News & Analysis on the Bakery and Snacks Industries
1 – For nutrient density and affordability, the peanut is the king of all nuts
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
In a consumer survey conducted by Kraft (which owns the Planters brand of peanuts), 60% of consumers agreed that nuts were heart healthy; 59% agreed they contained good fats; 67% agreed they were a good way to get protein; and 62% agreed they had ‘health benefits and are good for my body’.
However, the percentage of consumers agreeing with these statements when the word ‘nuts’ was replaced with ‘peanuts’ dropped to just 50% for heart health (vs 60% for nuts), 49% for good fats (vs 59% for nuts), 63% for protein (vs 67% for nuts) and 55% for general health benefits (vs 62% for nuts), proving there is still a lingering perception that peanuts aren’t quite as good for you as rival nuts.
This is particularly frustrating, as much of the data on the cardio benefits of nuts is based on studies involving peanuts, or mixtures of nuts including peanuts, Kraft Foods Group associate director of nutrition Sandy Morreale told delegates at a three-day press event hosted by the Peanut Institute in Napa Valley.
As for good fats, meanwhile, 79% of the fat in peanuts is healthy mono or polyunsaturated fat; peanuts contain more protein, weight for weight, than any other nut, and when it comes to nutrient density, you cannot beat peanuts, which are also significantly more affordable – and arguably more sustainable in terms of water use - than rival nuts, she added.
“Peanuts [which are often stocked next to soda and potato chips] have traditionally been seen as fun food, an entertainment food, which affects perceptions of how healthy they are. But we are winning on taste [peanuts are by far the most popular nut in terms of US consumption] so we just have to give people more reasons to enjoy them, as they are tasty and fun, but also very healthy.”