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The US Food and Drug Administration confirmed in February 2007 that a major foodborne illness outbreak was caused by two peanut butter brands, Peter Pan and Great Value, manufactured by ConAgra Foods Inc. at its Sylvester, Georgia, processing plant. As a result, on February 14, 2007, ConAgra voluntarily issued a nationwide recall of its Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter products produced since May 2006 and sold through grocery and retail stores throughout the United States. Using the ACNielsen Homescan Panel for calendar years 2006, 2007 and 2008, this study investigates the impacts of the recall on the demand for peanut butter by estimating a second degree polynomial distributed lag with a lag length of three and endpoint restrictions imposed. The estimation results showed that the recall did have a statistically significant positive impact on the demand for peanut butter as a category. Also, the recall appeared to have had a statistically significant demand-enhancing effect on the Jif peanut butter brand and a demand-diminishing effect on the Skippy peanut butter brand. In all the cases, the maximum impact of the recall took place one to two weeks after the release of the recall.


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