Marketing Mix: We'll call you - Heinz

We turn up the heat on Heinz to find out why our favourite chilli soup seems to have disappeared.

Heinz: Heinz customer contact, can I help you?

Mktg: I hope so. With the weather getting colder at the moment, I've just been to my local supermarket to buy some tins of soup and I couldn't find your Big Soup Chilli with Potato flavour anywhere.

Heinz: We don't make that one any more.

Mktg: (distressed) You're joking?

Heinz: No, we stopped making it last year I think.

Mktg: Oh no! That was my favourite soup.

Heinz: Yes, it was a good one - my husband loved it. But it didn't sell very well, unfortunately. If there's not a big enough turnover, they stop selling it.

Mktg: Are you planning to replace it with anything similar?

Heinz No. Some variants contain potato, but there is nothing that contains chilli.

Mktg: Did people find it too spicy?

Heinz: It may have been that. It's just one of the variants people didn't really take to.

Mktg: I can't believe it.

Heinz: We thought it was a really good idea too, but unfortunately the general public didn't agree.

Mktg: Is there anything I can do to persuade Heinz to bring it back?

Heinz: No. When we do a production run we produce 400,000 cans at a time.

Mktg: You don't have any spares you're selling off, do you?

Heinz: No, we don't hold on to any stock. Everything that we make goes straight out to the retailers.

Mktg: Can I give your marketing department some feedback then?

Heinz: I've logged your comment on the system and that will be fed in to the marketing department, but I'm afraid we've had very few people asking about it.

Mktg: I don't suppose you would consider making some extra chilli soup for loyal consumers like me who are going to miss that flavour dreadfully?

Heinz: Not unless you want to buy 400, 000 cans.

Mktg: I think even I would be hard pushed to get through that much soup.

VERDICT

While the call-handler's manner was polite and she answered all my questions adequately, I felt she sounded a bit wooden. The fact that she was talking quietly didn't help. Considering that she was talking to a loyal soup customer, she didn't use the opportunity to persuade me to try other flavours. The conversation was one way - I asked all the questions and she gave brief responses, rather than trying to find out more about my views on the Heinz soup range.

Score 5/10.

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