Magazine article Marketing

Britvic

Magazine article Marketing

Britvic

Article excerpt

The soft-drinks company has been hit hard by the effects of a packaging design flaw.

Back in May, Britvic claimed to have solved many a parent's nightmare with the 'spill proof magicap'. The revamped packaging, for the company's Robinsons Fruit Shoot and spin-off Fruit Shoot Hydro drinks, was designed to stop juice from spilling.

Just over two months on from the launch of the cap, however, the soft-drinks manufacturer voluntarily recalled millions of the new-look bottles. It had reportedly received complaints about the design from parents, who claimed that the cap would become detached when pulled and chewed by children, and thus presented a choking hazard.

The recall is set to cost Britvic up to pounds 25m - five times more than its original estimate of between pounds 1m and pounds 5m. Shares in the drink manufacturer slumped by 13.4% following this announcement - Britvic had already stated in May that trading had been hit by poor weather.

It will be the end of this month before the Robinsons Fruit Shoot lines can be returned to market with an alternative 'sports cap' that is already in use. Despite its best efforts, Britvic said it was unable to speedily resolve the issue regarding the faulty 'magicaps', despite its ongoing investigations into the matter, and it does not expect to be able to return to full production levels for six months.

So what can the company do in the meantime to restore consumer confidence in its products and, particularly, the Fruit Shoot brand?

We asked Nick James, a consultant with branding and communications consultancy Westra, and a former manager of external affairs and brand marketing at Britvic, and Mike Cavers, executive creative director at Lateral Group, and a former executive creative director, Europe, at agency The Marketing Store, where he worked on the Britvic account.

BRITVIC STATS

Britvic claims the Robinsons Fruit Shoot brand is worth

pounds 96m

The Fruit Shoot Hydro recall is set to cost the company up to

pounds 25m

Source: Britvic

DIAGNOSIS

Two industry experts on how Britvic can put a lid on the 'magicap' recall

Nick James Consultant, Westra (and former manager, external affairs and brand marketing, Britvic)

Britvic's relaunch of Fruit Shoot has not gone well. A problem with a new cap design has led to a full recall and its factory cannot implement a fix for months. Cue worried mums, unhappy retailers and miserable shareholders. The only happy people will be the competition, in this case Coca-Cola Enterprises' Capri-Sun, which will be maximising the chance to steal further shelf and promotional space, including during the key back-to-school period.

Product recalls don't have to be long-term brand disasters. Just look at Cadbury, which came back strongly from a salmonella contamination in 2008. …

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