‘I Say It’s Spinach ...’
I considered myself a fairly savvy consumer/shopper.
As Miss Piggy might say, “Silly moi!”
The Food and Drug Administration announced that the following 30 brands were recalled for possible E. coli contamination from the Natural Selection Foods plant in San Juan Bautista, Calif.:
Natural Selection Foods, Pride of San Juan, Earthbound Farm, Bellissima, Dole, Rave Spinach, Emeril, Sysco, O Organic, Fresh Point, River Ranch, Superior, Nature’s Basket, Pro-Mark, Compliments, Trader Joe’s, Ready Pac, Jansal Valley, Cheney Brothers, D’Arrigo Brothers, Green Harvest, Mann, Mills Family Farm, Premium Fresh, Snoboy, The Farmer’s Market, Tanimura & Antle, President’s Choice, Cross Valley, and Riverside Farms.
It’s all the very same spinach. The only difference is the names on the bags.
When it’s all the same stuff, individual brands are suddenly meaningless.
Outside Forces Can Damage a Brand
In 2005 Wendy’s was the subject of huge negative publicity when a woman claimed she found the end of a human finger in her bowl chili at one of the Northern California restaurants and sued the chain for $2.5 million. She turned out to be an extortionist who planted the finger, but not before sales nosedived 60 percent to 70 percent and a number of employees were furloughed. This was a case of sabotage and criminal mischief. Wendy’s was in no way responsible and the victim of bad luck. The only lucky break was that Wendy’s corporate slogan wasn’t “Finger lickin’ good.”
Corporate Greed and Incompetence Can Damage a Brand
In the mid-1990s, Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness tires on Ford Explorer SUVs were overheating on highways, resulting in tread separation and a series of horrific crashes that killed 135 people worldwide and injured 250 more. In her U.S. Senate testimony in September 2000, Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook accused Ford and Firestone of covering up “safety problems with the tire/SUV combination for a decade.”