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Description:  About three years ago this space covered the social-media backlash against Loblaw when they tried to delist French’s ketchup. Canadians rallied to support French’s, a company that reopened a padlocked plant in Leamington, Ontario, after ketchup giant Heinz pulled out of town. Canadians seem to be liking what they are tasting from French’s, indicating that longer-term success can’t just come from a social media victory. Of course, even though Heinz appears to have lost market share to French’s, it is still well out in front for the overall lead in the category.

Date:  April 20, 2019



Discussion points:  

1) Which ketchup is in your fridge? Would you switch to French’s because of the “support Leamington” angle?

2) If you were advising French’s on strategy, how do you think you might respond to Heinz’s new television commercial campaign?

3) In Chapter 5, page 242, of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making you can see a bit more about the French’s success story. Read how this caused a problem for some stores running out of stock of French’s. How can a company deal with the sudden surge in demand caused by social media posts?

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