Some things never get old, like eating a PB&J with a glass of milk or chowing down on a handful of peanuts at your hometown baseball game. Throughout the years peanuts have become an essential part of the American eating and life, and we can’t seem to get enough of them.
Today, America’s love for peanuts and peanut products has never been stronger. Based on new USDA data, peanuts remain the most consumed nut by Americans (by far), and they are the only nut showing consistent growth over the years. Peanut consumption grew from 6.6 pounds to 7 pounds between 2012 and 2014. And based on USDA and U.S. Census data, estimates are consumption rose to 7.2 pounds in 2015 and will reach 7.4 pounds this year.
“Peanuts’ flavor, nutrition and value advantages continue to make them tremendously popular,” said Bob Parker, president and CEO of the National Peanut Board. “But as important, is the deep emotional connection consumers have with peanuts. It’s a bond very few other foods have, and it’s why people continue to choose peanuts first – and in growing numbers.”
Parker says he’s especially proud of peanuts’ growth in the face of food allergy concerns and increased spending by other nuts to gain market share, particularly almonds and pistachios.
While peanuts are one of eight foods most commonly associated with food allergies, they are the food most often cited as the poster child for this growing health issue. Thanks to groundbreaking new research, guidelines are changing and parents are now encouraged to introduce peanut products to children at an earlier age to prevent development of peanut allergy.
“America’s peanut farmers are dedicated to finding a solution for the less than one percent of Americans who have a peanut allergy,” said Gayle White, NPB board chair and a peanut grower from Oklahoma. “Farmers have put more than $10 million of their own money to improve research, education and outreach over the past 15 years, and we’re proud of the advancements being made every day.”