Even though news of the peanut butter salmonella outbreak has subsided, peanut butter sales continue to decline.
During the four-week period ending February 21, 2009, sales of jarred peanut butter fell to $87.2 million, down 2.3 percent from the same period in 2008. 41.8 million pounds of jarred peanut butter was sold during the current four-week period, down 13.3 percent for the same period a year ago. Pounds sold is at the lowest point of the three-year span Nielsen has tracked the total U.S. Food/Drug/Mass (including Walmart) Stores channel.
“While most brands of peanut butter – including the name brands that many consumers know and enjoy – were not subject to recall, the coverage the outbreak received has caused consumers to exercise an abundance of caution with respect to buying this product. The fact is that these brands are safe and should benefit once consumers recognize that the safety of these and most jarred peanut butters were not in question,” said Todd Hale, Senior Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Insights at Nielsen.