Product Recalls

How Product Recalls Harm Your Brand and Bottom Line

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A product recall is the retrieval and replacement of faulty products for customers. Recalls cost money for the manufacturer and for reimbursing customers. Tarnished reputations, hefty marketing expenditures, and multi-billion dollar losses are the most likely outcomes of defective goods, food-borne diseases, or hazardous medicines.

As is often the case, recalls apply to more than one industry. Fittingly, they’ve occurred across the board and include companies like Toyota, GM, and Honda (who all produce cars) and other sectors like food, medicine, and consumer electronics.

What Causes Product Recall?

While many common goods use components from all around the globe, not all of them are created equal. Global supply chains, offshore, and outsourcing have grown to stay competitive, which has caused a loss in product dependability.

In other words, Apple’s iPhones are seldom made in just one location. Casing, hardware, and software all come from China, Korea, and Europe. The product must adhere to the regulations in the nation where it is marketed. Thus, even if the casing meets Chinese standards, it may not be considered legal in the United States, which means that it would have to be recalled.

Damage to the Company

To a company’s image, financial well-being, and future possibilities, the memory of recalls may be catastrophic. It is more essential to safeguard the brand than to protect the humans involved. There is a severe and widespread danger to consumer safety with salmonella and listeria illness.

Recalls for food are increasing. Product recalls are occurring not just at a higher frequency but are becoming more extensive because of changes in manufacturing and supply chain procedures.

Financial Implications

Recalls for food products have substantial financial consequences. In contrast to bigger businesses, which often have large cash flows and recognized brands, small firms tend to have less reliable cash flows and weaker brands. The fact that big companies are vulnerable to product recalls does not imply that they are unaffected. While they have a shorter recall cycle than their smaller counterparts, they are better prepared to deal with the short-term repercussions of recalls and are never the target of long-term financial issues.

This research, conducted by GMA, Covington & Burling LLP, and Ernst & Young, claims that the expense of doing business in the US may be above USD 10 million. Over $30 million US dollars was spent on recalls that approached one-quarter (23 percent) of the total. A food recall solely accounts for the actual expenses associated with food that has been recalled.

  • uniting the recovery and crisis teams
  • Informing regulatory authorities, customers, and vendors of the effects of the findings
  • probing the source of contamination
  • Looking for ways to engage suppliers and contractors in managing the recall, especially concerning external messaging
  • tainted products should be removed


The preservation of a brand is an essential part of a recall. It bears a high and long-term cost to your reputation. Reputation cost is also the most difficult to put a price on. The company has difficulty regaining confidence due to food contamination incidents. Therefore, it will take longer to recover.

Food recalls have far-reaching effects beyond simply consumer trust. Owners, business clients, and suppliers all have skin in the game. 55% of customers said they would try a different brand if a food recall occurred, while 15% of consumers said they would not repurchase the product if a recall occurred.

To handle the food recall process more efficiently, food producers should understand the role of social media in it. To rectify the product recall, it is just as critical to act swiftly, take responsibility, and react openly.

Also Read: Improve Your Traceability and Recall Capabilities


No data suggests that a product recall would lead to long-term losses in sales or stock values. Product recalls caused some short-term financial difficulties for Toyota and Merck, but their brands and stock prices recovered quickly once the recalls were concluded.

Product recalls are happening nearly regularly now, thanks to the cooperation of government authorities. The intricacy of the global supply chain may be one cause for this development. Modern goods utilize produced components from across the globe, with the risk of dependability sacrificed to save money.


There happen to be three major strategies to decrease the chances of recalls and associated losses which are as follows:

Reducing Risk

To reduce the danger of contamination, food manufacturers could consider providing training to their workers, establishing rigorous hygiene standards, and investing in sensitive detection technology. A well-established crisis-management strategy may reduce the effect on customers and businesses in the event of a recall and regularly conducted training for employees. Promote a culture of zero tolerance for risk in the organization. Encourage the exchange of ideas straightforwardly at all levels.

Assuming Risk

Alternatively, one may get insurance against food recalls or pay the expenses directly. In addition to the significant financial investment, it is also possible that producers that handle things appropriately may receive trademark protection advantages that help them return to production quicker. Since each of the companies faces differing risk levels, they must devise strategies to offset these differences, such as hiring risk consultants who are skilled in managing their particular risks.

Transferring Risk

Reducing the burden on food producers if the unimaginable occurs may be accomplished by sharing risk with a third party, such as suppliers or insurance. It can only be done when danger is transferred from one party to another to form a long-term relationship. It may be obtained through cooperating with suppliers and stakeholders in good faith. When establishing a supplier contract, address risk assumption and transfer, be explicit with suppliers and insurers about cost recovery limitations. To eliminate doubt, standardize contracts.

While product recalls do not cause a long-term dent in a brand’s reputation, they can really tarnish a brand’s image if it’s not dealt with properly and well in time. To preserve their reputation, companies must be prepared for the worst so that in the case the unimaginable does happen; they’re already prepared to deal with it.

About Folio3 AgTech Practice

Folio3 is a Silicon Valley based Digital Transformation partner for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies with a special focus on digitization of Agriculture, Production and Companion Animal industry. Having worked with some of the world’s leading animal health companies, cattle associations, cow-calf operators, cattle feeders, beef processors and beef marketing companies, we have the design and development expertise required to help you digitize your manual procedures and practices, whether you’re a farm or a ranch owner, veterinarian, feedlot manager, nutritionist, or processing plant owner, we have got you covered.

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