Although nothing is ever perfect, we expect the food and products we purchase to be pretty close. And when things don’t come up to our standards, like, for example, food posing health hazards or children’s toys coming apart at the seams, it forces manufacturers and organizations to pull their products off of the shelves.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is one such organization, and over the past decade, they have issued over 3000 required recalls on everything from food to clothing to children’s products. Recalls cost companies more than money. They also affect the public’s perception of brands and products and the trust people have in them. Knowing that a product they purchased was potentially dangerous makes customers wary of purchasing from that brand again.
We wondered what trends we could find in recalls the CPSC issued over the past ten years. The results are compiled below.
The most common recall category was children’s products. This is unsurprising, as the guidelines for children’s products are more stringent than adult products. Outdoor activity gear, miscellaneous household products, and electrical products came in second, third, and fourth. Food, surprisingly enough, barely cracked the top five most common recalls of the past 10 years.
Retailers who are forced to pull merchandise off of the shelves for recalls lose money just as the manufacturing brand does. Amazon had the worst luck with children’s product recalls. Of the recalls involving children’s products, 16.78% were sold on Amazon. Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us were the only other retailers to have over 10% of children’s product recalls affect products on their shelves. Target had the third highest rate of recalled children’s products.
Of course, when a children’s product gets pulled off of the shelves, a solution has to be presented to those who have already purchased the product. The most common reason for children’s products to be pulled from the shelves is for choking hazards. Strangulation and fall hazards were second and third. In fourth place were federal recalls, recalls as a result of a violation of federal standards for a particular product. Refunds are very commonly issued for all types of recalls, as are repairs or replacements. In a few cases, the products are disposed of altogether.
If you’ve ever looked on the label of any product, you have probably seen a warning alerting the consumer about possible allergens in the product. In over 60% of food recalls, undeclared allergens account for the reason they were pulled from the shelves. Exposure to Listeria and Salmonella account for over 30% of the remaining recalls. These are by far the most common reasons for food recalls over the past decade. Surprisingly, only 2.3% of cases were due to E.coli exposure.
Recalling products is a tough pill to swallow for any company. Beyond the financial difficulty, it’s a tough message to send to customers. We understand that here at WorkWise, which is why we’ve integrated our comprehensive incident management and precise defect tracking into our Customer Service Software. We want to make sure that our clients have all the tools they need to handle any bumps in the road, so they can focus on bettering their products and creating new ideas.