Country Crock: Healthy Recipe Leaves Bad Taste in Consumers' Mouths
Bradley Brooks, Steven Cox, Timothy E. Burson
January 1, 2016
Strategy & General Management
marketing, product innovation, brand equity, consumer behavior, multi-attribute models
Journal of Critical Incidents
Country Crock spread (a butter substitute made by Unilever) had changed its recipe to meet increasing consumer pressures for healthy food products. Consumer posts on sites such as the brand’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter page almost universally stated that the new recipe had (literally) left a bad taste in consumers’ mouths. Country Crock was torn between meeting increasing consumer demands for healthy food products vs. offering a positive taste for consumers. This critical incident poses three alternatives for Country Crock: (a) maintain the new recipe with the healthy ingredients; (b) return to the original recipe; or (c) develop some new recipe. Which option should Country Crock choose?