Bravo on good Crisis Management – or, Jamba Juice boards the “Uh-Oh” train with Taco Bell.

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Jamba Juice, my high-fructose-corn-syrup, little slice of heaven, Regular Banana-Berry, holding the yogurt and the sherbert, and adding extra bananas instead, with a shot of Fiber, and a side ounce of Wheat Grass (with or without the Orange Wedge, either way is fine), just announced that they’ve voluntarily issued a warning for potentially contaminated smoothies. This is only affecting Southern California, Nevada, and Southern Arizona

Jamba Juice warned that one of their suppliers, Cleugh’s Frozen Foods, notified the company last week that routine testing in a Salinas food processing center found that its frozen strawberries tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially harmful bacteria.

Could you imagine? I know I’m not the only “Jamba Junkie” who started involuntarily shaking and sweating when he heard “Warning on Jamba Juice.” God, why not tell me my Blackberry also causes infertility! (Thanks Sarah for the edit…)

However. giving total props to Jamba Juice, they’ve done the following, and handled crisis management exactly the way it’s supposed to be handled. Check out what they did:

1) They came out with it as soon as they found out what was up.

2) They announced everything they knew, emphasizing that while it was an important warning, it wasn’t a huge amount, and in fact, only potentially affected a very small amount of customers, if it affected any at all.

3) They emphasized key points to calm consumers down and grow continued confidence in Jamba Juice, as well as the way they were dealing with the situation:

  • Less than 3% of all of their strawberries may have been infected.
  • They came out and encouraged consumers, if they felt at all sick, to get a blood test.
  • Jamba Juice would pay for said blood test if needed.

4) They set up an emergency number for the public.

5) Finally, the CEO came out and gave the statement. Not a flunky, not a PR flack, not a “spokesperson.” The CEO.

Bravo to Jamba Juice. They got an A+ on the handling of this crisis. I hope no one gets sick, (every day no one reports that they’re feeling any symptoms, the odds continue to go down) and we can all go back to eating the truly lovely concoctions that we all know aren’t as non-caloric or non-fattening as we believe they are, but we don’t say anything because a) psychologically, it’s fruit, so it has to be healthy, (!!) it’s better than anything with the word Caramel and Macchiado (forgive the spelling on that, it’s early) in it, and finally, well, they just taste so damn good. Bravo as well to Cleugh’s Frozen Foods, for letting Jamba Juice know ASAP, and letting them deal with it in a professional manner.

Crisis management: Handled the best way possible by Jamba Juice. Props to everyone involved, from the CEO down to the PR/Comms people.

This is a great, great case study. Hope you think so, as well! As always, let me know below.

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