Consumer reaction to Mars recall measured by YouGov

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Insurance

Mars products Hungary. Picture: NEBIH
Mars products Hungary. Picture: NEBIH
A recall of Mars and Snickers chocolate has had a negative consumer impact on both brands but the signs are it will only be short-term, according to YouGov data.

Mars recalled chocolate in more than 50 countries due to potential plastic contamination last month. A piece of red plastic was found in one Snickers bar bought in Germany. The firm declined to answer our further questions.

YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz Score measures whether a respondent has heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the last two weeks.

On the consumer radar

Since the news of the recall, Mars dropped 23 points and Snickers fell 14 points, which underlines the story interested a solid number of consumers, said the market research firm.

It interviews thousands of consumers every day to compile the data.

YouGov said Mars and Snickers will be particularly conscious of reputational damage and the potentially irreversible impact on its brand throughout its target markets.

So while the recall and destruction of products will cost in monetary terms, overall it is of more value to show the public they are on top of the issue, it added.

This was reflected by YouGov’s Reputation Score as the scores have not wavered too much, with the number at a similar level to before.

The signs are good that the public recognises they have taken appropriate steps, added YouGov.

Products were made at the Mars factory in Veghel, Netherlands and those labelled "Mars Netherlands" are affected. They were manufactured between December 5 and January 18.

mars yougov
Data compiled by YouGov

Insurance against a recall

Meanwhile, specialists at Arthur J. Gallagher said companies could face millions of pounds worth of costs if they fail to properly insure themselves against the risk of a product recall.

The risk management and insurance brokerage firm said the fact it happened to Mars, who must have extensive product-checking procedures in place, shows it can happen to anyone.

Garry Moseley, a director within Arthur J. Gallagher’s specialist Food and Drink practice said in some cases, costs have spiralled into the millions for companies without adequate protection.

“These types of recalls, particularly when you’re talking about an international issue, can lead to a myriad of issues from communicating the recall to consumers and sellers across a range of different countries in different languages, to managing the media response and the logistics of getting the products themselves out of circulation,” ​he said. 

“There may also be legal costs involved should any harm come to consumers, which can be covered under product liability insurance. There may also be legal costs involved should any harm come to consumers, which can be covered under product liability insurance.

“It just goes to show how vital it is that companies are properly protected with both well-tested crisis response plans and comprehensive insurance policies in place to cover costs.”

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