The Power of Peanut Butter: How a Foodservice Staple Still Spreads Sales Around

Posted in Millennials on March 13, 2018

tung-minh-418055-unsplash.jpgPeanut butter is one of those perennial favorites that brings back fond childhood memories yet stays forever fresh and contemporary, lending itself to an endless array of flavorful pairings. With so many applications, from cookies to confections, donuts to delicacies, chicken to burgers and beyond, it’s no wonder consumers keep going nuts for peanut butter and find new ways to enjoy it.

The love of peanut butter spreads thick across the world, with a global market worth $3 billion and sales at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 6% for 2009-2016.1 Consumed in 94% of U.S. households, peanut butter is internationally popular yet as American as apple pie (and often paired with it), with enough eaten by American consumers to make 10 billion peanut butter and jelly sandwiches each year.2

As a source of protein with a luscious taste and creamy (or crunchy) texture, peanut butter meets the dual demand of the millennial market for functional nutrition and versatile flavor. As tasty on a bagel as on a chicken satay, peanut butter transcends dayparts as an anytime snack or meal enhancement. As a result, offering it in a variety of product assortments can be a smooth move for foodservice operators who yearn for a reliable sales-generator with mass millennial appeal.

In the Thick of It: Millennials Key to Driving Peanut Butter Sales

Even though millennial Americans have grown up with a growing awareness of the spread of food allergies and an ever-expanding variety of snack options, research conducted by The Bantam Group on behalf of the National Peanut Board shows that peanut butter and peanuts are their favorite nut products.3

In fact, peanut butter and peanuts rank number 1 and number 2 for highest consumption rates among both millennials and the general market —survey data that is comparable to USDA’s Economic Research findings that peanuts are America’s most consumed nut.3 Half of millennials surveyed eat peanut butter at least once a week and say they are more likely to eat peanuts and peanut butter on a daily basis.3

True to their penchant for bucking conventional eating patterns, millennials surveyed proved more likely than the general market to enjoy peanuts and peanut butter in non-traditional ways such as in smoothies and sauces, rather than with bread or on crackers.3

The ABCs of PB&Js and Cracking the Nut of Menu Innovation

Pairing old and new is often a recipe for foodservice success. And yet the classic peanut and jelly sandwich manages to stay in the thick of sales, with the average American devouring 2,984 PB&J sandwiches in their lifetime, starting around four years of age, according to other survey results.4  

With the average adult surveyed consuming three PB&J sandwiches every month and nearly half of participants regularly eating them, it’s easy to see why the peanut butter and jelly experience is replicated in many different formats, including the limited edition OREO PB&J Sandwich Cookie. (As part of its limited edition lineup, OREO also offers Peanut Better Creme Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.)

Introduced to the U.S. in 1969, Nutter Butter, the peanut-shaped sandwich cookie with a peanut butter filling, is another member of the Mondelēz International brand family that can help bring peanut butter fans into a foodservice operator’s fold.

For an example of how we can help drive peanut butter-boosted menu innovation, be sure to check out our recipe for Shark's Fin Sundae with Nutter Butter and OREO.

Want more ideas for making business better with intriguing peanut butter pairings? Give us your thoughts in a nutshell below.


2 Kruse, Nancy, “Peanut butter spreads beyond sandwiches,” Nation’s Restaurant News, Jan. 4, 2016 





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