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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Consumers still leery of spinach

Some interesting quotes and statistics from an article from the The Associated Press. In talking about people’s reluctance to return to Salinas bagged spinach:

“As soon as somebody dies, then you’ve created something in people’s minds that’s very hard to overcome….”

William E. Rice, a marketing professor at California State University, Fresno.

Ultimately, it is less about the deaths and more about the industry’s desire to get money back into the system.

  • That lagging confidence has growers and marketers scared the country’s estimated $374 million spinach business will not recover following the recent bacterial outbreak that killed three (actually four) sickened nearly 200 others.
  • Farmers in California, where three-quarters of all domestically grown spinach is produced, could face up to $74 million in losses, according to researchers with Western Growers, a group that represents produce farmers in California and Arizona.
  • The Salinas Valley, nicknamed “America’s Salad Bowl,” will probably suffer the most, said Dennis Donohue, head of the local chamber of commerce. He estimates the region’s $180 million spinach industry will take a hit of about $60 million. “We’re worried. We expect the economic consequences to be much more significant than just spinach,” he said.