Behind the scenes these past few days, a drama has been unfolding in Unilever Israel; there is a shortage in supermarkets of two of its flagship and popular breakfast cereals, marketed under the brand Telma: Cornflakes and DeliPecan. Inside of Unilever, a losing battle is being waged to hide the facts from the public.
The company has halted the marketing of thousands of its cereal boxes. In a conversation with Ynet, a source in one of the top two major retail chains in Israel said, "A shortage has begun in some branches, and we've understood from the supplier that this shortage will grow in the coming days. We tried to find out why, but the employee who spoke to me said that it's a secret and that employees were instructed not to talk about it with anyone. They're hiding what happened here as if it were nuclear secrets."
A Unilever employee commented that the company was extremely "compartmentalized," preventing insiders from comprehending the bigger picture: "What I know is that it's dealing with a huge amount of cornflakes—huge amounts."
Ynet's repeated requests for clarification on the reason for the shortage from Unilever since Tuesday night have all been met with the company's persistent refusal to provide information to the public and to answer questions.
It is not just from the public that Unilever is concealing information: Ynet's health correspondent, Rotem Elizera, attempted to clarify on Tuesday night if the Ministry of Health was aware of what was happening, and it turned out that Unilever had not elected to report on the occurrence to the ministry.
Sources in the company have said that thousands of boxes of cornflakes are currently being checked, and they may be destroyed later on.
Unilever released a statement in reply to queries: "Our company regularly carries out extremely comprehensive checks on all its products before they are released to the market. Sometimes, those checks cause temporary delays. However, our company never compromises on the quality or intactness of its products. Of course all the company's products, including Telma cereals, are intact and safe for consumption."