Tesco Criticised After Removing Saltire Off Strawberry Packaging

Tesco has come in for strong criticism after customers highlighted that it removed the Scottish flag from the packaging of its strawberry punnets.

Tesco confirmed that it had replaced the Saltire with the Union Jack after receiving complaints from customers in England.  Responding to a customer’s complaints on Twitter, the group said it had taken the decision after customers asked why it did not display the English flag for punnets containing berries grown in England, but displayed the Scottish flag to highlight those grown in Scotland.

Responding via Twitter, Tesco noted: “When the category went through corporate re-design, it was decided to have British packaging only to avoid further criticism…. To provide consistency for customers, we mark all of our homegrown fresh berries with a Union flag.” It also stressed that each punnet clearly displays the country-of-origin.

However, the explanation failed to pacify the situation, with Twitter users continuing to criticise the group over the decision.  The matter was even raised at a press conference with Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, who noted: “Perhaps we should reflect and wonder what the response might be if this story was in reverse and the Union Jack was removed from packaging because of complaints in Scotland. So hopefully in whatever way this happens, common sense will prevail.”

NAM Implications:
  • …the downside of listening to customers…
  • But at least a sign that Tesco’s customer orientation policy is working…