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New formulation + a pinch of consumer backlash

The very foundation of a Victorian summer was rocked last year. I am not referring to the stereotypical four seasons in one day that we tend to take pride in when comparing our weather with the rest of our wide brown land. I am talking about the reformulation of a summer staple, the Big M. Maybe it is the rise of social media that makes one person's voice that little louder than it used to be but before too long, we saw a consumer backlash to this reformulated classic. A backlash that hadn't been seen since the global outrage caused by Coca-Cola when they launched New Coke. Before long, the consumer got their way and "Big M ORIGINAL" was back on our shelves, right next to the "New & Improved" version. An advertising campaign later to explain the difference is "bigger flavour" and the panic dies down. We are seeing more and more much loved classics, both here and abroad falling foul of the same consumer backlash that was afforded Big M so we put a few products under the microscope to find out more. Conducting blinded vs branded sensory research and partnering with our friends at House of Thoughts to capture some consumer perspective, we believe that it is possible to re-formulate without adding the pinch of backlash into the new formulation.

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