Warnings Crunch Peanut Butter Biz

Sales take a dive as wary shoppers steer clear of old favorite
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2009 6:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Peanut butter makers are struggling to deal with the public relations nightmare caused by the salmonella outbreak, reports the New York Times. Many shoppers have started avoiding all brands of peanut butter and sales are down almost 25%. Companies not affected by the recall are buying ads stressing that their products are safe and offering coupons to woo back shoppers.

Experts say advertising that a product is uncontaminated is a rare move and shows how much sales have been hurt, although continued media coverage of the outbreak will likely work against the strategy. "The news shows say don’t buy it and I won’t buy it,” said one shopper who usually gets through a jar a week. “I’m very fearful of salmonella.”