Kraft Foods vs. the slime mold moms
Kraft Foods are having a Nestlé moment. As of 11:13am Eastern Daylight Time Thursday, their Facebook page has been overrun with negative posts about something found inside a pouch of Capri-Sun:
The story starts back at the end of May when Melissa Wiegand Brown posted these photos to Facebook, commenting:
when we opened a new box of the drinks my husband pulled the top pouch out, it was sticky and immediately started leaking everywhere… he went to drain it in the sink and felt something LARGE inside the pouch… that’s when he got out a kitchen knife and sliced it open as he was yelling for me to get the camera and document it!
It seems that Melissa informed Kraft about the incident and some sort of dispute ensued, leading her to start posting disgruntled comments on the wall of Kraft’s page, which went largely ignored. However, things changed dramatically at 11:13am EDT on Thursday, when Kraft’s page became flooded with comments about the issue (including the video above):
Kraft, who view their page as “a fun, family-friendly community where fans of Kraft Foods products and recipes can join the conversation”, posted a response on their wall at 6:06pm EDT Thursday, almost seven hours after the incident began, and, at the time of writing, appear to have done little since to address the concerns of their customers. Meanwhile their page is a maelstrom of negative comments, visible to their almost 300,000 strong fan-base and to the world at large.
Kraft clearly have a crisis on their hands, and we know from painful experience it’s not nice to be second guessed in situations like these. They’re obviously right not to react in the way Nestlé did, and although there are a few lone voices on the page coming to their defence, we trust Kraft are focusing on establishing a human and apologetic position of their own. This could take the form of a status update with a link to their latest response, so it’s there for all to see at the top of their page, and them responding individually to customers as comments are posted.
Unlike Nestlé, who’s crisis was stirred up by a global pressure group with hundreds of thousands of members, what’s interesting about this situation is that this seems to have been brought about by a few genuinely upset moms, savvy about the power of social media, much like Motrin’s 2008 crisis.
Brands of all stripes should take heed, realise that their Facebook pages and other social media presences are not just marketing channels and make sure they’re prepared for situations like these.
Update: The crisis still seems to be raging for Kraft, although they have taken some interesting steps over the last 24 hours.
At 4:15pm EDT on Friday Vinay Sharma, Director of Capri Sun Beverages at Kraft Foods, posted this very personal message from the official Kraft Foods account:
While well received, it soon got lost in the flood of wall comments from concerned consumers (probably not helped by the Consumerist picking up the story).
However, at around 7pm EDT on Friday, Kraft created a new Capri Sun tab on their page with a much more comprehensive response, along with an update to their profile picture with a bright pink box drawing attention to the new tab (although it’s worth noting that Kraft have chosen not to use a status update to draw attention to the tab). It does seem to be appreciated by some of the people on the page:
It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops from here…