Article by Emma Christiantelli | esPResso Staff Writer
Amy’s Kitchen, founded in 1987, is a family-owned company that manufactures organic, non-GMO frozen and convenience foods. Last week the organization announced that it had voluntarily recalled 74,000 cases of frozen food items that contained potentially Listeria-infected spinach.
In a press release issued on March 22, the California-based company said it wasn’t aware of any reports of illness connected with its products but was recalling them “out of an abundance of caution.”
Food recalls are fairly common; however, a company’s transparency surrounding each incident is not always evident. Amy’s Kitchen is changing that precedent and leading the way in excellent response strategies.
Once Amy’s Kitchen issued the official recall of the spinach products, the company launched a website entitled: amysrecall.com. The site includes the official statements explaining the details of the company’s voluntary recall, as well as a complete list of the affected products.
In addition to creating the incident-specific website, Amy’s Kitchen took to social media to address its customers’ concerns directly. The company first posted a clear and straightforward explanation of the recall to its Facebook page, including the link to the official FDA press release. It posted the same information to its Twitter account. Following the posts, Amy’s Kitchen took the time to respond to each comment or reply made on social media, ensuring that it did not simply take a cut-and-paste approach. Instead, the company addressed each customer’s comment personally by answering their questions, apologizing genuinely for the recall and offering website details and a phone number to call with additional concerns.
When faced with this type of issue, transparency and honesty are crucial. After voluntarily issuing its product recall, Amy’s Kitchen demonstrated both values when dealing with the situation. From the very beginning, the company openly communicated with the public. By creating the recall website and responding directly and quickly on its social media platforms, Amy’s Kitchen placed the health and safety of its consumers at the top of its priority list.
Briana Flynn, a senior at Marist College, applauds the organic food company for its strategic thinking and positive reactions. She even saw the positive effects of Amy’s actions firsthand when a housemate used amyrecall.com to check on her own Amy’s products.
“My friend is a fan of Amy’s and heard about the recall immediately,” Flynn said. “It was incredibly beneficial that they had the site set up, because she was able to find out exactly what the situation was. I was able to appreciate Amy’s response from the perspective of both a consumer and a student of public relations.”
Overall, Amy’s Kitchen served up a valuable lesson in crisis response. The brand came forward immediately to address the recall and did so with transparency and efficiency, all in the best interests of its customers. Amy’s Kitchen has upheld its reputation as a brand that is committed to quality, both in its products and excellent communication strategies.