With a reported eight deaths and several hundred others sickened, the peanut butter salmonella outbreak is among the most serious food safety crisis in recent years. It is not surprising that sales of peanut butter has dropped off in the last four weeks.
Nielsen tracks sales of a variety of peanut products at thousands of food, drug and mass merchandise stores (excluding Walmart) across the country. Here are the facts:
"The peanut butter outbreak shows little ill-effect on prepackaged peanuts, but the peanut butter category is definitely showing the impact. It would appear that manufacturers and retailers are quickly removing potentially tainted products off of store shelves. For those who are not affiliated with the particular supplier of tainted product, now is the time to take extra measures to educate consumers and minimize any negative impact," said Todd Hale, Senior Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Insights at Nielsen.
Additionally, Nielsen Online notes that traffic to the U.S. Food and Drug Admin website went up +376% Traffic to the U.S Centers for Disease Control website went up +66%. More about how consumers react on the web here. Nielsen will update this information at the completion of the next four-week period to further measure the effect the salmonella outbreak and resulting recalls have had on consumer behavior.