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Case Code: CLBS157
Case Length: 04 Pages 
Period: 2016   
Pub Date: 2017
Teaching Note: Not Available
Subject :Business Strategy
Organization :Unilever Israel
Industry :FMCG
Countries : Israel

Unilever Israel – The Salmonella Crisis



Anglo Dutch FMCG Major Unilever found itself amidst salmonella crisis in Israel, when Telma cereals were found to be contaminated in August 2016. Without the company’s knowledge the contaminated batch of cereals were distributed and reached the consumers. Unilever then recalled the cereals, but its production license was suspended. Unilever rapidly lost market share to competitors. Before it could emerge from the crisis, the company faced another round of contamination. With two contamination occurrences in quick succession, Unilever was again in trouble. CEO of Unilever Israel, Anat Gabriel faced the challenge of minimizing the damage done to the company’s image and regaining the lost market share.

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  • Debate on crisis management and communication strategy of organizations.
  • Revival course after a major setback in terms of losing customers’ trust in the product or brand.
On August 7, 2016, Israel’s Health ministry suspended the GMP (Goods Manufacturing Practice) license of Anglo Dutch FMCG major Unilever in the country after Telma cereals tainted by the salmonella bacterium were found to have reached consumers. The ministry announced that this was “a series of negligent mistakes and not an incident with malicious intent by the firm's management and quality control procedures.”

At the end of July 2016, consumers were surprised to find that supermarket shelves across the country did not have Telma cereals . On being questioned by the media, the CEO of Unilever Israel, Anat Gabriel (Gabriel), told journalists that there was a fault in the quality assurance system and a secondary contamination had been found in one of the production lines in the plant in Arad . On further questioning, Unilever admitted that Cornflakes of Champions and Deli Flakes had been found to be contaminated with salmonella and informed the same to the health ministry..


Crisis Management, Communication Strategy , FMCG, Unilever, Israel, salmonella contamination, crisis communication, goods manufacturing practice "

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