Sorry for the twigs in your cider boxes

Mon 2 July 2012 08:30, Qin Hu

Sorry for the twigs in your cider boxes

If there is a fly in your soup or a finger in your pie, you definitely will complain. Furthermore, taking pictures, posting on Facebook, and twittering the name and location of the restaurant are necessary things to do in social media times. In the end, this restaurant is known by more people, but in the negative perspective of course. Smart marketers from Monteith’s took advantage of this fact to promote Monteith’s crushed cider successfully.

Monteith’s Brewing Co. is one of New Zealand’s original brewers of cider. Its ciders contain fresh fruit, not concentrated fruit syrup like its competitors. How do you let people know and trust this main difference from its competitors then? Monteith’s has its own ideal – using twigs to expose the truth.

Monteith’s advisedly slipped real tree twigs into the packaging of Crushed Apple cider and Crushed Pear cider 12 packs before they were distributed to stores and supermarkets. Within a week, public complaints about the discovery of twigs was rising and people from New Zealand were asking for an explanation via Facebook, radio and Monteith’s call center. These twigs definitely gave the company an opportunity to engage with the media.

But Monteith’s is not in a hurry to apologize. After 2 weeks of this issue was exposed, it sent apology letters for the ‘mistake’ via all means. The headline was “Sorry about the twigs, folks. Because we use real apples in out cider, you may find real twigs in this box.” Every apology spread a simple message: the fruit in Monteith’s cider comes from a tree, not a can. 


In the end, Monteith’s successfully differentiated itself on the market. In addition, its Crushed Cider sales increased by 32% and Monteith’s completely sold out of their 12 packs cider. How smart the idea was!

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