Mars recall

Mars Chocolate’s recall ‘could cost millions’

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Mars recall could cost millions
The Mars recall could cost millions

Related tags: Management

Mars Chocolate’s recall of Mars and Snickers bars in up to 55 countries could cost millions of pounds, warns legal firm Roythornes.

The confectionery manufacturer blamed the recall – which also affected Milky Ways and Celebrations boxes – on “a piece of plastic”​ that was found in one of their products in Germany.

The recall affected products produced at its Veghel factory in the Netherlands.

Peter Bennett from Roythornes said: “The financial impact of this recall could be astronomic.

“Simply getting the products off sale and the logistics and communications involved in that, along with writing them off and losing out on potential sales is one thing.

‘Representational damage’

“However, the potential legal and PR costs along with the possible reputational damage and the effect that could have on investor relations and the value of the company is another thing altogether. We think the cost could potentially run to millions.”

Roythornes said the recall highlighted the importance of putting strategies in place to mitigate the impact of product recalls. “It just goes to show the importance of being prepared for such eventualities,” ​said Bennett.

“We learned from the Roythornes Product Recall survey last year, which revealed about a fifth of food and drink companies are operating without a product recall plan.”

‘That’s a scary prospect’

‘Vulnerable consumers’

“Here, you have products aimed at potentially vulnerable consumers – children – so the speed and co-ordination, even if in reality the risk of finding a piece of plastic is low, is reassuring.”

  • David Young, Eversheds

“That’s a scary prospect and I expect this incident may act as a wake up call.”

Law firm Eversheds said the Mars recall would be among the largest undertaken, given the number of products and countries affected. But it was about risk management, not pieces of plastic, said Eversheds, partner David Young.

“What needs to be remembered is that this is about risk management,”​ said Young. “It is not a story about pieces of plastic being in every one of these products.”

It was a legal obligation within the EU to recall a food product if it was or might be unsafe, he added.

“Here, you have products aimed at potentially vulnerable consumers – children – so the speed and co-ordination, even if in reality the risk of finding a piece of plastic is low, is reassuring.”

It was is so important that early central communication control is taken within a large business.

“If communications are dealt with on a purely local basis it can easily undermine a safety management system, something the authorities will expect to work quickly and effectively.”

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