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Do You Respond to Recall Notifications? Survey Finds if You're a Millennial, Maybe Not

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Millennials are the least likely among the U.S. population to say they respond positively to product recall notices, according to new research commissioned by Stericycle Expert Solutions.

A consumer survey1 of over 1,000 Americans found that most claim to comply with recall notices for food, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, and consumer electronics. However, the study also showed that millennials (age 18-34) are the least compliant across all age groups. In fact, compared to baby boomers (age 55+), millennials are twice as likely to say they usually ignore recall notices (18 percent v. 6 percent), after reading it; typically throw it in the trash (36 percent v. 16 percent); and consider recall notices "not serious" (33 percent v. 21 percent). The findings suggest that manufacturers undergoing a recall may need to rethink their communication strategies with this demographic to improve compliance rates.

Surprisingly, millennials ranked recalls of consumer electronic products least important, but agreed with their fellow Americans that food and pharmaceutical recalls are most important, with nearly 70 percent of all respondents ranking these recall categories first or second in order of importance. Millennials also ranked last in acting on product recalls for motor vehicles, food, and pharmaceuticals.

"It's a trend that needs to be reversed because millennials are now the largest living American generation and will drive the greatest percentage of product purchases in the near future," said Michael Good, Vice President of Marketing & Sales Operations, Stericycle Expert Solutions. "This research shows that product recalls are as much a communications challenge as they are a logistical one. The lesson for both regulatory bodies and product manufacturers is to make recall compliance easier and more relevant to this generation."

In fact, the survey found that personal relevance – or lack thereof – was a key driver of recall non-compliance. Approximately 70 percent of respondents said they judge recall notices based on whether they think they are personally at risk. And more than one-quarter (26 percent) believe that recall notices are not serious and are sent mainly out of legal obligation.

Well over half of consumers (60 percent) surveyed say they have never received a recall notice for a consumer electronics item. Of those who have, 27 percent say they responded only some of the time or not at all.

So which consumer product categories do consumers take most seriously? Appliances and power tools. Of seven items tested, approximately 80 percent of respondents ranked appliances as the first or second item they would most likely take action on should they get a recall notice. Coming in at second place was power tools, with 35 percent.

For car owners, more than one-third of respondents say they have never received a recall notice for a motor vehicle.

Similarly, consumers will at least generally check their food and drug purchases if they hear about a recall indirectly. Approximately 85 percent of respondents say they check their refrigerators or cupboards when they hear about a food recall on the news or via social media, while 82 percent say they check their medicine cabinet for a recalled pharmaceutical product.

About Stericycle Expert Solutions™
Stericycle Inc. is a NASDAQ-listed global business-to-business services company which provides highly specialized solutions to healthcare and commercial businesses of all sizes. Founded in 1989, Stericycle Inc. has grown to become a leader across a range of complex and highly regulated market sectors and operates in 550 locations. Stericycle Expert Solutions™ is the industry leader in managing automotive, consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. Expert Solutions streamlines the entire product recall process and manages Notification & Response, Processing & Tracking, and Compliance & Reporting for leading global companies. For more information, visit www.stericycleexpertsolutions.com.

1 The U.S. consumer survey was conducted by Stericycle Expert Solutions, August 23-25, 2017, using the national Toluna QuickSurvey panel, n=1,104 (results weighted to match U.S. Census data).

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SOURCE Stericycle Expert Solutions