Case Study

Blue Bell Creameries

Challenge

Health officials linked a multistate outbreak of Listeriosis to Blue Bell ice cream products. After operating for 108 years without a recall, Blue Bell Creameries needed help restoring confidence in its brand.

Texas-based Blue Bell and its outside legal counsel called upon kglobal to manage communications with traditional and social media after the nation’s second-largest ice cream maker voluntarily recalled some of its products in 23 states. As the recall grew, Blue Bell needed to assure its retail customers and consumers across the country that it was taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety and quality of its ice cream.

Solution

We stepped in with a crisis communications plan to help Blue Bell retain confidence in its brand and manage its reputation among consumers, retailers and regulators.

We worked as a public spokesperson for the company, answering questions from the news media and consumers as Blue Bell’s internal team worked with health officials to investigate the contamination in its four plants. We wrote news releases, fact sheets, retailer letters and handled hundreds of media inquiries for the recall. We also produced videos detailing Blue Bell’s prodigious efforts to remove potentially contaminated ice cream products from the market and sterilize its plants. By emphasizing its commitment to fixing the problem and willingness to conduct a full recall, Blue Bell was able to prove its commitment to responsible action and quality control. We helped the company convey a consistent message of sincerity and determination to make sure its products are 100% safe before reintroducing them to store shelves.

Results

Blue Bell was able to maintain trust through responsible action and retain the strong support from consumers and retail customers.

The company is recovering from its recall crisis and expects to be back in full production soon. Retailers and consumers alike welcome the company’s return.