Does brand loyalty stand the test of product recalls? Britons weigh in
October 3rd, 2023, Janice Fernandes

Does brand loyalty stand the test of product recalls? Britons weigh in

In recent times, the business landscape has witnessed a spate of product recall incidents. Companies such as Müller and Lactalis, Costa Coffee, and retail giants like Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, and Asda have all found themselves compelled to recall various products, citing concerns ranging from listeria contamination to the unexpected presence of foreign objects.

This article delves into how consumer behaviour is impacted by these recalls, focusing on a study conducted in Britain to examine how likely consumers are to buy from a company again after a recall incident.

Polling data reveals that a significant portion of British consumers (41%) would buy packaged foods and beverages from brands that have experienced product recalls. A similar sentiment is observed among 38% of consumers regarding dairy products.

However, this loyalty isn't universal. A notable proportion of consumers express reluctance to purchase from the same brand of packaged goods (28%) and dairy products (33%) after experiencing a recall. The hesitation is most prominent when it comes to medicine and medical products (49%) and meat and seafood (45%).

Among consumers who are unlikely to buy from the same brand again, safety and product quality concerns is the main reason why (49% packaged goods, 48% dairy products and 48% meat and seafood).

Loss of trust in the brand stands as the second most important reason, but at a significantly lower rate, with roughly around a quarter of consumers sharing this sentiment for all three categories (27%, 28% and 25% respectively).

Fewer than one in ten consumers (7% packaged goods, 8% dairy products and 9% meat and seafood) cite personal experience as a potential deterrent.

Brand’s handling of the recall, past experiences with the brand and word of mouth are the other reasons why consumers would be less likely to purchase from the same company.

Negative reviews or media coverage have a relatively minimal impact with fewer than one in 25 picking it as a main reason to influence their purchasing habits (3% all).

It's important to emphasize that feedback isn't all negative. Even with concerns about buying from a brand after a recall, a significant proportion of individuals remain confident in food brands' responsible and transparent recall management (36% for packaged goods, 36% for dairy products, and 40% for meat and seafood).

Explore our living data – for free

Discover more FMCG content here

Want to run your own research? Run a survey now

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today

Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on August 24-25, 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 2,115 adults in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education and region to be representative of all adults. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Image: Getty Images