ICA came out ahead of its main rivals Axfood and Coop when customers were asked to rank Sweden’s supermarket chains.
But the poll was taken one week before national broadcaster SVT aired a programme revealing how four ICA stores repackaged old meat in order to change the best-before date.
According to SKI’s Jan Eklöf, ICA can expect its popularity to plummet as a direct result of the meat scandal.
“People’s trust in the products’ quality and freshnesswas highest for ICA. Much of the image they have created around ICA centres on the fact that you can trust them,” he said.
Other major companies hit by controversy, such as Systembolaget and Skandia, have found it difficult to reestablish their brands. Skandia bank fell 17 points on SKI’s satisfaction index after a major scandal earlier in the decade.
“I don’t want to draw parallels with Skandia that are too far-reaching. But there is potentially a very high drop and things can start happening very quickly,” said Eklöv.