Blink and you’d have missed it! What in days-gone-by might have remained an insignificant issue made a supermarket giant twitch yesterday when it triggered a social media uproar. Loblaw’s did a fast 180 on its decision to drop French’s Ketchup from the inventory…
Ketchup King Heinz quickly moved to challenge Mustard King French’s after Heinz
was swallowed up by food giant Kraft last year. Heinz also shut down its
Canadian Tomato processing operations in Leamington, Ontario –
Canada’s Tomato Capital. Then, All-Canadian French’s got into
the Ketchup business, re-opening the former
Heinz plant and saving all the lost jobs!
It took less than 24 hours of negative exposure on social media for Loblaw’s – the supermarket giant which sells one-third of Canada’s groceries – to reverse its decision to drop French’s Ketchup from its inventory.
The decision to drop French’s drew intense criticism from Tweeters and bloggers. After Ketchup King Heinz closed down its southwestern Ontario (Tomato Belt) operations and announced that all its Ketchup for the Canadian market would henceforth be made in the U.S, Mustard King French’s stepped in and said it would pick up the slack, save the jobs and ensure that All-Canadian Ketchup would not perish. Social media commenters basically assailed Loblaw’s move to drop French’s as ‘un-Canadian’. Logic was left in the dust.
Loblaw’s cited low demand for the French’s product, at least compared to Heinz, for dropping French’s. Loblaw’s also made a point that its own house brand Ketchups are Canadian made, so it wasn’t really fair that people were raking it over the coals on the French’s issue. But the whole thing had already become a matter of principle to the social masses.
Loblaw’s relented – entirely in response to social media pressure, apparently – and promptly defused the situation. The moral to the story? The biggest players make the biggest targets. And together average folks can make a difference!
~ Maggie J.