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Rebuilding Consumer Confidence

Overnight the news broke about horsemeat being found in Findus Beef Lasagne and the headlines and social media sites are talking of little else.

I received a call from BBC Radio Stoke asking if I could give my thoughts on how brands could regain consumer confidence.

Communication is critical in a situation like this, nobody likes the truth hidden and being honest and upfront is one way that customers will stay loyal.

Findus have appeared to date to have done just that, as soon as it became apparent that there could be an issue with the processed meat products they undertook their own testing, they released the results, withdrew the affected stock, started an investigation with their supply chain and issued customer care numbers on their website for people to call if they were concerned.

Only time will tell whether their brand overall has been affected by this, though there is no doubt that customer confidence will be knocked and it will be interesting to see how Findus (and other affected manufacturers and retailers) will respond and I am sure we will see promotional campaigns to give consumers an incentive to buy as well as an increase in advertising and PR activity to reassure consumers about the quality of their range.

Food in the UK is monitored by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and they are already working with the manufacturers and retailers on ensuring the quality of ingredients, including those products containing imported meat meet the approved standards.

Going forward more transparency may be required for the source of ingredients for example featuring the country of origin on the packaging, as there is already required for fresh food.  This could also be a good opportunity for local British suppliers; it would reduce the carbon footprint though it could impact on the retail price due to increased costs.

Feedback:

Tree Surgeons Cheshire
Alan Bethell, Director
"After having a 1-2-1 with Helen Stott it was obvious to me that with her experience, knowledge and pure enthusiasm would be the perfect addition to our business. Helen and I put our heads together and"
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