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Case Study

King Nut Peanut Butter Recall

Client Situation:

On a snowy Cleveland morning, the King Nut Company reached for Stevens Strategic Communications to help them. The FDA and CDC were reporting that peanut butter bearing the King Nut brand carried salmonella poisoning to people–mostly seniors in at least eight (8) states. Deaths were attributed to the peanut butter. King Nut was the distributor of a product made by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). Damage to King Nut’s reputation could result in serious sales set backs for the company’s other product lines–especially packaged products sold to the airlines.


The Stevens Strategic team recommended that a nationwide recall be announced immediately. We provided media training and messages to the company’s president. Every reporter received an interview. We sent out news releases announcing the recall and indicating that PCA was responsible for the salmonella. SSC monitored the media, FDA and CDC and ensured that the message that PCA was the villain not King Nut came through loud and clear.


King Nut not only maintained its business with the airlines, it actually increased with one airline. King Nut was cited as being fast acting, empathetic, proactive, accommodating and professional during one of the year’s biggest crisis stories. While King Nut continues to thrive, PCA filed bankruptcy and is now out of business.


PRSA Cleveland Rocks Best of Show Award

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