Findus, Lactalis … Before Kinder and Buttoni, How Did These Companies Recover From Health Corruption?

Findus, Lactalis ... Before Kinder and Buttoni, How Did These Companies Recover From Health Corruption?

Although good crisis management is essential, precedents show that the power of the brand, as well as the passage of time, do their job.

Buttoni and Kinder are far from the first brands to deal with a major health scandal. For nearly thirty years, one business in the agri-food business has been following the other and scratching the image of the companies associated with it. With the horsemeat affair in 2013, we are openly thinking about Findus with baby milk contaminated with lactalis and Salmonella in 2017-2018. But we can use Mars (the plastic found in the chocolate bar in 2016), Ikea (shit in the dart in 2013) or the Buffalo grill (during this time).Crazy cow“In the early 2000s).

However, with the exception of a few very rare cases like Spanghero, which was dissolved in 2013 following the horse meat scandal – these companies have recovered from these crises. “There is no miracle recipe, every crisis is a special caseஜெ, Geraldine Michael, Director of Brands & Values ​​Chair at IAE Paris-Sorbonne. The lasting consequences for each company involved will largely depend on the management of the crisis.

The comparison between horse meat and contaminated baby milk is significant in this respect. Because while Findus’s crisis management was praised for its transparency – the company that started the alarm – Lactalis was rather harshly criticized. “The Lactalis case is a perfect example of what not to do at all», Tackle Florian Silnicki, Founder of LaFrenchCom, a crisis communications company. “We have a company that denies, lacks transparency and does not answer questions from journalists“, He recalled.

Passing time as a great partner

Thus, one year after the scandal, Findus returned to solid growth (+14% in February 2014), with the Lactalis health crisis set to fall to less than மில்லியன் 300 million in 2017 and 2018 over the next two fiscal years. Agrifood (especially President, owner of Kalpani and Locktel brands) “Then I learned the lessons of corruption and did everything I could to restore its image, preventing the risk of CSR, social dialogue or its industrial activities.Florian Silnicki explains, for example, that the group, named for its preference and its opacity, issued its financial results for the first time in early 2019.

“Crisis management is essential, but if the brand has a strong reputation, it will be easy.”

Michael Corcia, professor-researcher in marketing at the Gedge Business School

Four-and-a-half years after the lawsuit was filed, consumers have forgotten about it. “Lactalis took advantage of the fact that it was a company, not a business brand, so people did not create a direct link with the brands they were buying.“At this point, a brand owned by Nestle, E. coli, can be compared to the corruption of Butoni pizzas contaminated by bacteria, whose name does not seem to be really tainted,” Geraldine Michael insisted.

And globally, “Time gradually erases slander“Says Laurent Vibert, founder of crisis communications company Nitidis.”People forgetGeraldine Michael Brief. They actually change their buying behavior under duress, for example if the offending product is pulled from the shelves or when they are in shock, which only lasts for a few months.

Also, the power of the brand should not be underestimated. Findus, Coca-Cola, Kinder, Ikea … Often, major health scandals affect food giants or brands familiar to the French. “Crisis management is essential, but if the brand has a strong reputation, it will be easierGedge oversees Michael Corsica, a professor-researcher in the field of marketing at the Business School. “This is easy for a big brand Nonsense Makes it small only for a small brand“, He says succinctly.

Coca-Cola and Perrier, bypassing the rules

Co-author of an article in 2015 “Corruption-proof brands“, The expert takes the example of the lesser known case of cans”PollutedCoca-Cola in 1999. Exposure to bad carbon dioxide and pesticides has caused more than 300 diseases in Belgium, Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands and Germany, forcing the company to destroy 90 million liters of beverages. However, after a small drop in sales, there was no impact on the US company in the long run. “Coca-Cola used its brand, which already had a strong image in the minds of the people and was a shield to curb the negative fall from corruption.“, Michael Corsia understands.

The opposite example of Periyar would tell even if it did not touch France. In 1990, an American laboratory found traces of the carcinogenic gas benzene in bottles. The French company, then fully developed in the United States, is not yet properly established and cannot recover from corruption. Although crisis management is seen as a textbook case today (with the recall of 280 million bottles worldwide, including 160 million in the United States), the group sees its sales decline across the Atlantic. It could not recoup its global revenue in 1989 … until 2013, meanwhile acquired by Nestl in 1992. An example of the power of the brand. But also from a certain pointCultural“, According to Geraldine Michael.”In the United States, consumers are more sensitive to all of this. They quickly regain their confidence from failed brands“Judges as Professor at the IAE Paris-Sorbonne.

The question now is what is the future of the currently confused Buttoni and Kinder brands. According to Michael Corsia, their rules are probably different. “The downside to Bhutoni should be strong, because deaths have occurred, which is more children (two children died, author note)“, Says marketing professor-researcher. Even”Depending on whether the consumer wants to be punished, and whether consumer associations take up the matter, for example, boycott calls“, He adds. Laurent Vibert, of the Nitidis agency, is probably imagining.”Name change in the coming months“On the Kinder side, Michael Corcia is less worried.”No drama. Then it is identical to an essential brand, happiness, sharing, this shield should be very strong for a long time.

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