Module 11

The French’s Ketchup story has really made an impression on consumers and has been noted on social media making quite the impression. A couple of months ago the American company was taken off the Loblaw’s Grocery Store shelves. The American company is known to use Canadian grown tomatoes for its product. Loblaw’s has made statements reporting that the elimination of the product from its stores is due to the low sales and low demands of the product compared to competitors. This did not sit well with consumers of the product and customers of Loblaw’s Grocery Stores. After taking it off the shelves the grocery store heard a two day viral backlash on social media from angry customers and consumers expressing their concerns and questions towards the actions of the removal of the product by the store.

French’s Ketchup is known to have their ketchup made from Canadian Tomatoes from Leaminton, Ontario. The product is also produced in plants in surrounding areas in Ontario. This being known to consumers, when they heard the news of course there would be backlash. Customers wanted to support and purchase from Canadian grown and produced products. Many people actually prefer this brand over the other commercial brands.

The backlash about the product increased after one particular user, Brian Fernandez, took to Facebook to express his concern and admiration for the product and company after the removal from the shelves. He went on to explain why he liked the product and how much more value should be expressed in locally grown goods and products. The post was shared on Facebook over 130,000 times and received comments from around the world of people showing support for locally grown goods. After the social media outbreak, Loblaw’s then decided it would re-stock the product hoping that the buzz created around the product would increase its sales.

After analyzing and examining the social media outbreak and the response from the grocery store and company it is quite impressive to how fast and effectively they responded. The company took into consideration all the steps in dealing with a situation like this. They really listened to what their consumers thought and what they wanted as an end result and acted to the problem accordingly. Overall I believe that this story is a true example of how companies should model their reactions and responses to. It really shows that the company values its consumers and their opinions. That their opinions on products and how they run the store really matters to how they build their company and what products they carry.

Because of the success that consumers achieved I think that in the future the company should be more open to hearing the opinions of its consumers. Setting up ways that they can voice their opinions about products that they should carry and find a way to promote and value Canadian grown foods. Setting up a Facebook page or a Twitter hashtag that allows for consumers to be in touch with the company really goes above and beyond to show they value them.

Building a relationship through social media, responding and listening to what is being said, is truly the way to connect with your audience. Allowing for a vessel to connect and share opinions and stories builds trust. This also draws more buzz and attention to your company and the message you are trying to portray. Once consumers can actually see that their opinions matter and that their voices are being heard in regards to products they will trust the company more and build a respect for them. This builds the brand further as one that values their audience and wants to grow their business around their consumers.