The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

18 August 2007

Just back from Neverland

Peter Pan peanut butter is back in stock today, at least at the one store I checked, and while there's a big NEW on the label, it's pretty much the same old stuff. Then again, it's the same old stuff I liked, so I did buy a jar.

It wasn't exactly flying off the shelves, either, which points up this issue:

[ConAgra] has to find ways to reassure customers that Peter Pan is safe without reminding them why the brand hasn't been available since February, said DePaul University marketing professor Joe Marconi, author of Crisis Marketing: When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies.

"The best strategy to take would be to focus on their plans for the future," Marconi said.

The model for regaining a lost market is Johnson & Johnson's handling of the poisoned-Tylenol scare twenty-five years ago. It will be harder for ConAgra, I think, since (1) there have been lots of lethal-foodstuffs stories of late and (2) unlike the case of the Tylenol capsules, which were tampered with by persons unknown, ConAgra is clearly to blame for lax procedures at the plant. (The new spread is temporarily being produced at a new facility while the old one is refurbished.)

Perhaps they should mention that it's not made in China.

Posted at 3:30 PM to Worth a Fork


China. Yeah. Roomie and I have started looking at labels on everything we buy. It is shocking how much comes from the Beast in the East, and of course the labels don't say where the ingredients come from.

Yesterday I bought shrimp at Publix. Choices were wild pink shrimp from Florida or pond-raised white shrimp from Thailand. Guess which I bought. Then there were the oranges from South Africa, the bananas from Honduras, the pignola nuts from China... At least the vine-ripened tomatoes were marked USA.

Posted by: Winston at 6:08 AM on 19 August 2007

Just when I had recalibrated my taste buds to accept Skippy, they reintroduce Peter Pan...now I'll have to decide whether to switch back, once the jar I'm working on is gone.

All of the food-scare stories (and it's not just China; there was the spinach outbreak of last fall, and two instances of botulism-tainting this summer - all from US products), almost make me afraid to eat.

Perhaps that's the real solution to the "obesity epidemic" - terrify Americans out of eating any food.

Posted by: fillyjonk at 2:33 PM on 20 August 2007