Volume sales of peanut butter increased 13.5 percent in April 2009 compared to April 2008, according to recent data from Information Resources, Inc. (I.R.I.).

These findings continue a trend that began in March 2009 with a 5.6 percent increase in volume sales over March 2008. These figures include retail scan data from all retail outlets, including Walmart, most supermarkets, drug stores and mass market stores.

In addition to this increase in peanut butter sales, the results of the National Peanut Board's third wave of independent consumer research were also recently released. The consumer research shows:

• Awareness of the salmonella outbreak is down 17 points to 78 percent and perceptions about the level of severity of the affect of the outbreak have declined significantly since February.

• Those who said they or someone in their household has stopped eating peanut butter has dropped six points to 13 percent and those who have resumed eating has increased sharply by 43 points to 70 percent.

"This consumer research and subsequent sales data shows that the outreach programs of the National Peanut Board and other industry organizations are achieving results," said Raffaela Marie Fenn, NPB's president and managing director.

"The National Peanut Board will continue to make efforts to engage consumers and primary influencers like healthcare professionals and restaurateurs to assure them of the safety and quality of the peanuts and peanut products they love."