Speaking on Abbott's Q2 conference call with analysts, Miles White, chairman and CEO, Abbott Laboratories, said the company has made progress over the last 11 months to recapture market share lost as a result of the action it was forced to take.
Illinois-based Abbott recalled batches of infant formula on the orders of the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in August 2013 - days after Fonterra alerted eight customers that three lots of WPC potentially contaminated with Clostridium botulinum had entered the supply chain.
In the same week, Abbott pulled infant formula suspecting of containing the WPC in question from shelves in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.
Abbott chief White pinpointed the scare, later revealed to have been a false alarm, as the "single biggest...setback" for the company in 2013.
"When it happens it's a year to recover because the consumer is an incredibly quality conscious consumer," he said, "once that consumer has shifted to another brand it's very difficult to regain them."
Nearly twelve months on, Abbott is feeling the effect of the Fonterra botulism scare.
In its Q2 2014 financial results, published yesterday, Abbott reported pediatric nutrition sales of US$963m (€712m) for the quarter, a 0.5% year-on-year decrease.
It has estimated the impact of the Fonterra botulism scare on its sales at US$40m (€29.5m) - an improvement on the US$75m (€55.4m) quoted by Abbott in Q1.