Peanuts! Getch’er Peanuts Here!

Imagine a world without peanuts. No more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. No more peanuts at the ball game. No more Reese’s peanut butter cups. No more peanuts at the local bar. I know, it’s a big stretch, but the recent peanut salmonella scare made me go without peanut butter for a couple of weeks. Nine deaths and 677 sick people is a very serious crisis.

To convince the public that peanuts are safe to eat, the National Peanut Board hit the streets of New York City last week to sample peanuts with the major event taking place at Grand Central Station.

The strategy here was smart. The peanut board aligned themselves with farmers, chefs, peanut companies and anyone and everyone with a vested interest in peanuts. These were the people out on the streets handing out samples of peanuts, peanut butter smeared on fresh apples, Snickers bars, you name it. Grand Central Station’s main lobby was turned into a exhibition hall with tables of samples and peanut mascots. There’s no better way to get people to buy into your product than sampling – especially in the food biz. This was a gutsy move, but if you can convince New York that peanuts are safe, well… then maybe the rest of us will follow.

Take this into consideration. One of the things any brand should be prepared for is a crisis. Whether you’re in retail, manufacturing, health care, or especially the food industry, there is a need to have a crisis communications plan. It takes years to build up a brand, and only mere seconds to topple it. A poorly managed crisis can ruin your brand’s reputation and it can take years to build consumer confidence back up. Kudos to the “peanut people”.

“Peanuts! Fresh hot peanuts! Get’cher peanuts!!”


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