Consumers are well aware of the salmonella outbreak, but many are confused about what products have been recalled, says two surveys from Harvard University and Burson-Marsteller.
The Burson survey, which comes on the heels of its work with Peanut Corporation of America, the peanut butter manufacturer at the center of the salmonella investigation, notes that 93% of US consumers have heard about the recalls.
Harvard’s survey showed that 1 in 4 people think that national peanut butter brands are involved in the recall but only half are worried about the other foods - snacks bars, baked goods, ice cream - that have been recalled.
“There is a difference in consumer perception,” says Bill Zucker, MD and Midwest market leader for Burson-Marsteller. The Burson survey also showed that companies with a strong brand name will fare better in recall situations.
For communicators, the question should be: “Am I ready to communicate in that situation?” says Zucker.
The firm has announced, along with the food safety survey, that it has a one-day onsite checkup plan for companies that want to evaluate their crisis communications plans, in the case of a potential recall. It is providing proactive outreach to food trades and wire services about the plan.