Reputational Dependencies in the Supply Chain

A Munich court is currently hearing a case that involves several members of a supply chain: (1) Alfred Ritter, a manufacturer of chocolate (“Ritter Sport”), (2) Symrise, Ritter’s supplier of piperonal, an aromatic compound, (3) Stiftung Warentest, an influential consumer organization, whose verdicts frequently lead to an increase or decrease in sales in Germany, and (4) the end consumers. Stiftung Warentest conducted tests on Ritter’s hazelnut chocolate. They argue that piperonal, a vanilla flavoring, cannot be gained in a natural way and is, thus, falsely labelled by Ritter as a “natural flavor”. According to Symrise, “[t]he piperonal contained in this flavor is not ‘chemically’ manufactured, contrary to the statements made by Stiftung Warentest”. The court’s decision will be announced on January 13th. The case has confused consumers and influenced their shopping behaviors in the important winter season. It demonstrates that reputation is a strategic asset and reputational dependencies exist in the supply chain.

Update (2014-01-13): Alfred Ritter won the dispute against Stiftung Warentest.

Tags: , , , , ,

About Andreas Wieland

Andreas Wieland is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include resilient and socially responsible supply chains.

One response to “Reputational Dependencies in the Supply Chain”

  1. Roman Sahakov says :

    Hi, I’ve just been reading the latest post on your website “Reputational Dependencies in the Supply Chain” and think it is really great piece of content. I Twitted it to my friends, I know it’s something they’d appreciate too! I am writing for DMG Freight Services Ltd transport company with a dedicated and versatile range of vehicles. I am writing about transportation, supply chain and also everything connected with logistics.

    Here are the titles of my articles which may be good fits for your website:

    1. How to Choose the Best Among the Types of Pallet Storage 2. Pick and Pack vs. Standard Pack. What is the difference? 3. Tips That Will Make Your Freight Forwarding Company Distinct 4. Trends in the Global Freight Forwarding Industry

    Let me know what do you think of it.

    Kind regards, Roman

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.