After finding an unknown foreign substance in her child's Capri Sun, a concerned mom turned to Facebook to share photos of her experience and voice her frustration. That post quickly went viral, generating millions of shares and engagements, and presenting a challenge for one of Kraft Foods' largest and most beloved brands.

The substance in question turned out to be common food mold. With a preservative-free product such as Capri Sun, it's possible for common food mold to form if exposed to air just as you see take place with fruit or bread at home. The only way to truly prevent this is to add preservatives, which Capri Sun consumers did not want (nor did Kraft).

While the mold situation isn't harmful to one's health, it's an unpleasant experience for any consumer and can be visually disturbing, which tends to elicit very emotional responses on social media.

In a situation such as this one, consumer education is key; therefore, a full-scale crisis communications plan was executed to engage consumers and inform them of the cause and Kraft's action plan, provide customer care where needed, and reaffirm the brand's upstanding commitment to product quality and safety.

Acting swiftly, all consumer-facing social media/digital communications were revamped with new responses that directly addressed the matter and consumers' concerns. A new FAQ page was launched containing informative videos that reinforced messaging efforts, and search engine ad campaigns ran targeting relative key words ("Capri Sun mold," etc.) directing consumers to the site. Additional media outreach was executed to ensure accurate coverage. All communications were regularly updated based on new or frequent questions consumers asked on the brand's social channels.

A social media customer care team was trained and equipped to monitor the social landscape for Capri Sun mold mentions using Kraft's advanced listening tools. This team actively engaged with consumers using tailored language and provided fast customer care wherever needed. They also identified key conversations pertaining to Capri Sun/mold and participated with informative and educational points when applicable.

Working in conjunction with the social listening team, daily reports were generated and presented to senior management, which helped guide next steps and tactics.

Social media played the most important role in this strategy, as it enabled Kraft to a) accurately measure the true reach of the matter; b) quickly engage with consumers and provide informative responses for others to see; c) provide top customer care in a publically-visible forum; and d) monitor real-time results, consumer comments and sentiment to adjust tactics on the fly.


  • Improved brand sentiment among impacted consumers 

  • Maintained sales during crises stages, ultimately leading to increased sales after 

  • Revamped communications that better informed and educated consumers

  • Created a new digital crisis communications response model still in use today


  • Implemented social media monitoring and response strategy

  • Created all consumer-facing language used on social channels

  • Oversaw social media care team; provided training on any Capri Sun mold matters

  • Actively engaged with consumers in real-time 

  • Worked closely with agency partners to ensure seamless messaging and operational alignment

  • Served as internal social media advisor to the brand

  • Worked with social intelligence team to track brand sentiment and generate reports