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PQ April 2018 issue 37

a magazine from the

National Peanut Board


feature story

Cracking the Code for a Limitless Future The Peanut’s Genetic Code is Mapped. What does the discovery mean for farmers?

Today’s Trucking Industry How farmers play a critical role in solving pressing issues.

Peanut Milk Enters a Thirsty Market The new peanut product category is poised for success in a $2.11 billion nondairy milk market. Plus, see new recipes!

The National Peanut Board represents all of America’s peanut farmers and their families. As farmers and stewards of the land, our mission is to grow, cultivate and promote the best-tasting peanuts in the world. We seek to be responsible in all that we do, from production research that results in a more healthful, sustainable crop, to sharing all the nutritional and culinary benefits of USA-grown peanuts.

National Peanut Board 2018 Officers and Members Gregory Gill, Chairman Dan Ward, Vice Chairman Peter Froese Jr., Treasurer Andy Bell, Secretary Alabama Tom Corcoran Thomas Adams, alternate Arkansas Gregory Gill Gregory Baltz, alternate Florida William Carte Jeremy Rolling, alternate Georgia Andy Bell Neil Lee, alternate Mississippi Joe Morgan Lonnie Fortner, alternate New Mexico Jim Chandler Karen Jackson, alternate North Carolina Dan Ward Raymond Garner Jr., alternate Oklahoma Les Crall Gayle White, alternate South Carolina Bud Bowers Neal Baxley Jr., alternate Texas Peter Froese Jr. Jeff Roper, alternate Virginia Paul Rogers Westley Drake, alternate Member-at-Large Eileen Jordan Micah Barham, alternate

Bob Parker NPB President and CEO PQ Editorial Staff & Contributors

Record-Breaking Crop: Problem or Opportunity?

A Message from Our 2018 Chairman



Dear Fellow Peanut Farmers, It’s an honor and privilege to serve on the National Peanut Board. In August of last year, the National Peanut Board invited me to present at the Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) Flavor, Quality and American Menus conference. After hearing from researchers, chefs and restaurant owners, I went up to the stage. I talked about my farm and my family and shared the good news about peanuts.

Being at these types of events is very beneficial and helpful to the peanut industry. We reach a diverse group of people who are influencing food today. If we weren’t there, we would never make those kinds of contacts. We also get lots of positive feedback and tremendous exposure for peanuts. I think for every dollar we spend out there, it comes back to us severalfold.

I’m not a presenter. I’m a farmer. But I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and were genuinely interested in learning more about peanuts and farming. When I went back to the CIA for the Worlds of Healthy Flavors conference this winter, there were people who remembered my presentation from the previous conference. I had conversations with media folks, food chains and university dining directors, and answered their questions about GMO peanuts (there are none), peanuts’ water usage (less than 5 gallons per serving) and more.

As chairman, I hope that we continue to move forward in peanut promotions. We all wish that peanut prices were higher, but with new products like peanut milk and expanding export markets like China, we’re ensuring demand for our products and achieving our mission of improving economics for U.S. peanut farmers and their families.

I also got to see the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco first hand. I’ve never seen anything like it. All the supermarket chains and retailers were there looking for new items to put into their stores. We had lots of exciting new peanut products at our booth that these buyers were interested in.

I’d also like to commend our staff. The presentations we hear at meetings are barely an insight into how much work they do. Every time I go somewhere and see the effort that’s put into NPB presence at an event, from the display to the materials and connections, I’m impressed. They work their tails off for peanuts and they get how important it is. It’s almost like they’re farmers too.

The U.S. produced a record peanut crop in 2017 of over 3.5 million tons. With that news comes concerns about an over-supply of peanuts and, as a result, crashing prices. Those are legitimate concerns and the efforts of all of us who work to move the needle to increase sales must continue. But these concerns also bring good news and reasons for a bright future ahead. Our industry is collaborating. The industry is working together at the highest level I have seen during my 40-year career. Groups such as state grower associations, The Peanut Institute, the American Peanut Council and the National Peanut Board are using common messaging platforms, sharing resources and working together at unprecedented levels. We have less money than competing nuts, so we must “outhit our weight” to be effective. Working as a team with common goals is a way to be successful.

Americans are getting the message that peanuts are a nutritional powerhouse. Consumers, especially millennials, want sustainably-sourced foods and peanuts have the best environmental footprint of all nuts. Fig. 1 Peanut per Capita Consumption

Editor: Cathy Johnson

Lauren H. Williams

Caroline Bearden

Sherry Coleman Collins

Lindsey Johannesen

Keegan Treadaway

Mark Dvorak

Greg Gill Chairman Source: USDA. Stocks and Processing Report; excludes peanut oil

Sandra Flores, Art Direction Silvia F. Tavitas, Editor Cecilia Lozano, Lead Designer Anais Quintanilla, Cover Art


CONTACT INFORMATION 3350 Riverwood Parkway, Suite 1150 • Atlanta, Georgia 30339 • toll-free tel: 866.825.7946 • tel: 678.424.5750 • fax: 678.424.5751 email: • web:

Figure 2 shows an upward trend line in peanut exports since 2011. It also shows a step-change in exports since 2012. We were doing well to export over 200,000 metric tons per year in the past. Now the norm is 400,000 metric tons plus. Now other countries recognize the U.S. as a competitive supplier. Fig. 2 U.S. Peanut Exports in Metric Tons

Domestic consumption is at an all-time high. The 2017 crop is of excellent quality and will provide an opportunity to boost sales of U.S. peanuts at home and abroad. You can’t sell them if you don’t have them and, frankly, that was a problem with the 2015 and 2016 crops.


Sr. VP, Marketing & Communications: Ryan Lepicier

Exports of U.S. peanuts are at record levels. Historically, the U.S. has struggled to compete consistently in the global market. With higher yields and production efficiency, the U.S. is one of the world’s low-cost producers, allowing us to compete on the global stage. With repeated large crops comes the reputation in the world market of being a reliable supplier of peanuts year in and year out. That has not always been the case. When opportunities arise, like crop problems elsewhere, we are in a position to fill the void.

Source: American Peanut Council

The members and staff of the National Peanut Board are committed to our mission of improving the economic condition of American peanut farmers and their families. We will continue to work to make peanuts relevant to all consumers, to get the word out to parents about the early introduction of peanuts to prevent peanut allergy and to find new ways and occasions for consumers to eat peanuts—such as the new product, peanut milk. I believe that large peanut crops are not so much a problem as they are an opportunity.


Scientists complete the five-year Peanut Genome Initiative, mapping the genetic code of the peanut and shaping the course of the peanut industry for years to come. Here’s what it means for farmers. In the summer of 2012, the United States experienced its worst drought in more than half a century.¹ Farmland in the Midwest and Great Plains were hit the hardest. The Carolinas and the Southeast fared slightly better, but periods of severe and moderate drought worried farmers throughout the summer. Temperatures reached over 100 degrees for days on end, and all-in-all, 2012’s annual average temperature in North Carolina registered in the warmest 10 percent of all the years in the historic climate record.² Yet, despite the bleak outlook of 2012, Dan Ward, a farmer in North Carolina, had reason to remain cautiously optimistic about his corn crop that year. Ward had planted a new drought-tolerant seed, DuPont Pioneer® Optimum® AQUAmax® a corn hybrid developed with conventional breeding techniques—not GMO—using genotyping and genetic markers to produce high-quality corn that used less water.¹ “I harvested a large, beautiful corn crop that year with very little rain,” said Ward, who also grows peanuts and soybeans. ““I don’t use irrigation methods and I shouldn’t have been able to get that much yield with such a small amount of water.


If it had been five years earlier, I wouldn’t have gotten such a high yield.” Today, Ward sees potential for a similar kind of experience with peanuts that he had when he planted DuPont Pioneer® drought-tolerant corn. In October of 2017, scientists released the Peanut Genome Initiative (PGI) Final Report,³ a five-year, comprehensive research project giving scientists a map and the necessary data to unlock the genetic code of the peanut plant. “The map of the genetic code gives peanut researchers the same abilities and methods that corn researchers used to conventionally breed seeds with better traits for drought tolerance,” said Ward, who served on the Peanut Genome Advisory Committee for five years and serves as research committee chairman on the National Peanut Board. The discoveries by the Peanut Genome Initiative offer new capabilities to find beneficial genes in cultivated and wild peanuts, which sets the industry on a strong path to greater yields, lower production costs, lower losses to disease, improved processing traits, improved nutrition, better flavor— virtually anything that is genetically controlled by the peanut plant.

¹ ² ³

“As a farmer, I understood the need for peanuts to remain competitive with other crops. I saw corn and soybeans making changes in their varieties to help solve problems in the field. And I knew if I wanted to continue to grow peanuts, peanuts would have to compete well for me to continue to be profitable.”

The Peanut Genome Initiative—five years in the making In 2012, peanut producer organizations, shellers and manufacturers urged The Peanut Foundation to initiate a research program to map the peanut’s genetic code. Peanuts were about six to 10 years behind the scientific technology for improved variety development compared to other major crops. Also, costs of genomics technology were dropping and the time seemed ripe to push ahead with mapping the peanut genome. PGI’s strategy was developed to investigate basic genomic research problems, develop genetic and environmental data for important traits, assure preservation of genetic resources, develop databases and tool sets; all working together to speed solutions to critical problems.

“Through largely random ‘crossing and selecting’ breeding techniques, breeders have been amazingly successful at manipulating peanut genetics,” said Steve Brown, executive director of The Peanut Foundation, the organization that coordinated the genomics initiative. “Cultivated peanut is very different from wild species and different varieties of cultivated peanut are different from each other. We live in a point in history where we can begin to understand genetic variation and purposely manipulate that variation. The peanut genome allows us to begin that process.” The PGI was—and remains—the largest research project ever funded by the industry, with the $6 million in cost shared equally among growers, shellers and manufacturers. Peanut farmers contributed through the National Peanut Board, and the $2 million funding was in addition to NPB’s annual research funding distributed through state peanut producer organizations. Emphasizing the key benefit of the investment in the Peanut Genome Initiative—economic sustainability and profitability— Ward said, “Farmers will grow peanuts as long as we can make a profit on it and it works into our cropping scheme. It must remain profitable and economically sustainable.”


It is easy to see that if any of the disease or production problems in Chart 1 could be eliminated, or slowed down, there would be significant value added to the peanut industry.

Chart 1

Industry costs of several diseases, conditions and desired traits Estimated savings and revenue per year if all available genomic tools are used based on estimates compiled during 2011. (Information supplied by Marshall Lamb, Dr. Tim Brenneman, Dr. Bob Kemerait, Dr. David Jordan, Dr. John Damicone, Dr. Barbara Shew, Dr. Jason Woodward).

Trait Drought Tolerance²

Annual Savings $8.87 million

$60.32 million


$69.19 million

Early Leafspot

$31.75 million

$31.75 million

Late Leafspot

$21.41 million

$21.41 million

TSWV³ White mold (Rhizoctonia)

$24.99 million $45.15 million

$24.99 million $45.15 million


$2.18 million

$6.75 million

$8.93 million


$12.24 million

$43.62 million

$55.86 million


$121.60 million

$135.68 million

$257.28 million

A Flavus/A Paraciticus

$25.00 million

Increase Folate & High Oleic SUBTOTAL TOTAL


Increased Revenue

$25.00 million $100.00 million⁴

$100.00 million

$25.00 million

$100.00 million

$125.00 million

$146.60 million

$235.68 million

$382.28 million

¹ Savings and revenues will vary year to year based on acreage and weather conditions. This chart is based on 1.34 million acres. ² Savings estimate based on 36,086,044,968 gal/year in water use efficiency; revenue estimate based on improved drought tolerance. ³ Reflects losses only to Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. No estimates were included for expenses related to condensed planting window and potential losses due to later harvest. ⁴ Revenue for each new health claim per JM Smuckers marketing groups.

Solving industry problems

Staying competitive worldwide

The goal of the PGI has always been to support and advance peanut breeding programs, thereby helping producers in the field. With the genome map now in place, highly specific regions of that map (called markers) can be discovered that confirm genes that give specific traits. For example, PGI research has already discovered markers for high oleic oil chemistry and resistance to leafspot (early and late), rootknot nematodes and tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). The accomplishments of PGI have opened doors for breeders to control peanut traits like never before, and without using controversial and expensive GMO techniques.

Presently, U.S. peanut farmers are among the world’s lowcost producers of peanuts. To maintain this global standing, the industry needs to stay proactive in solving problems and developing new varieties.

For decades to come, PGI will lead to lower production costs, lower losses to disease, greater yields, improved processing traits, improved nutrition, better flavor and more discoveries of anything that is genetically controlled by the peanut plant. “It means a great deal to growers when there’s a way to save us trips across the field and money spent on fungicides or insecticides by developing new varieties with traits that better resist diseases and help lower our production costs,” said Ward. Indeed, now that the genome has been sequenced, and if all available genomic tools are used to solve certain key problems, savings and revenue could be significant. Based on estimates compiled during 2011, scientists and researchers determined the information in Chart 1 to illustrate the industry-wide costs of several diseases, drought conditions and desirable traits, as well as the economic value that genomic tools will bring to the industry.

“We have to make sure our varieties stay on the cutting edge and we must stay competitive,” said Ward. “When we began this project five years ago, our goal was to create a database of the research that could be accessed online.”* While transparency is a good thing, believes Ward, this also means competitors have access to the same high-quality data. “It’s a matter of facing reality to realize our farmers are in competition with peanut crops worldwide. We want to ensure that our infrastructure, our technology, our varieties and research continue to advance as rapidly as is humanly possible,” said Ward.

Recruiting for a sustainable future The charge to remain competitive brings us to a final reason the Peanut Genome Initiative was an important investment to make. “If we want peanuts to remain competitive on an international scale and with other crops domestically, we’re going to have to recruit the very best and most skilled plant breeders and researchers. We will be left behind if we can’t offer the next generation of breeders the very best data and technology to do their work,” said Ward. Consumers are already choosing peanuts for their flavor and nutritional benefits. The millennial generation is already impressed with the peanut’s sustainability, versatility and affordability.

Ward sums up, “When I looked at the cost savings and increased revenue numbers and saw that resistance to leafspot disease alone could save around $53 million a “I don’t know that any of us can fully articulate what this advance year, it was easy to justify the $2 million grower investment by growers over five years in the genomics initiative.” means to our ability to grow more peanuts with fewer resources to feed the world,” said Bob Parker, president and CEO of the National Peanut Board. “But I’m excited just thinking about the promises ahead of us.” *


Thankfully, the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the farm bill, reauthorized the use of peanut marketing assistance loans and loan deficiency payments to stabilize the U.S. peanut industry and protect farm income and prices. The loans allow farmers to store their production until the market prices are more favorable, or forfeit the peanuts if they are unable sell them at a price that will satisfy the loan.

Peanut butter is a nutritious staple that we provide to our pantry partners. Jeff Kleen, Oregon Food Bank

To forfeit peanuts for a farmer means the market is depressed to the point that it will not cover the cost of repaying the loan. This program is vital to the financial security of peanut farmers. Forfeiting peanuts is not ideal for farmers, industry or the government, but the latter has recently found a thoughtful solution—when life gives you forfeited peanuts, make peanut butter.

By Keegan Treadaway Farming is unpredictable. It’s impossible for farmers to produce exactly what the market demands for any given crop. Between extremes in both weather and market conditions, the supply and demand of a commodity fluctuates wildly between surplus and shortage.

Over the past few years, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), the government-owned and operated entity that manages inventories handled through nonrecourse loans, has allowed for the exchange of forfeited peanuts into peanut butter that’s distributed to food banks across the country. While those peanuts would normally be auctioned off at a price often well below the loan rate, the exchange into a value-added product helps the government earn a higher price for those peanuts while also providing a much-needed shelf-stable food for food banks. “The peanut butter helps to support domestic producers and feed those in need,” wrote a CCC representative about the exchange. “The peanut exchange program was used, as opposed to sales, to ensure that CCC-owned peanuts will be used to feed people. This program benefits all sectors of the peanut industry because it works to avoid disruption of the market when forfeitures occur.” In fact, the exchanges provide an opportunity for the industry to partner together and move peanuts that would have otherwise continued to sit in storage and affect market prices. “It was a good way to get access to peanuts off the market and get more peanuts consumed into peanut butter,” said Brent Cuddy, vice president of sales for Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts. Golden won the bid for peanut exchange #4, which converted 32,991 tons of CCC-owned peanuts into 224 truckloads of peanut butter. The peanuts were forfeited by another sheller, which means Golden had to work with the competing company to acquire the peanuts and pay their competitor for the cost of warehouse fees, fumigation and loading.


“I think it's a win-win for the industry,” said Cuddy. “We were able to work very well with the government, transportation partners and the forfeiter of the peanuts. It's a good way for the industry to work together to get rid of excess peanuts and get some demand spurred and clean things up.” Using forfeited peanuts to supply peanut butter for domestic feeding programs is also a positive story that serves as a counter-argument to complaints about the industry producing too many peanuts. “It’s gratifying that for the 2016 crop, during a time when so many people criticized our industry for overproducing, very few peanuts were forfeited,” said Bob Parker, president and CEO of the National Peanut Board. “And this program was a way to utilize and distribute forfeited peanuts without being disruptive to the market.” Parker said the forfeited quantity of peanuts that went into exchange #4 was only about one percent of the 2016 peanut crop.

“Peanut butter is a nutritious staple that we provide to our pantry partners,” said Jeff Kleen, public policy advocate at the Oregon Food Bank. “We are grateful for the partnership between the Commodity Credit Corporation and USDA that made it possible for peanut butter to be distributed to our food bank through TEFAP program. It makes a real difference for those we serve.” In all, the exchanges were an excellent solution for stakeholders at every part of the supply chain, from farmers and shellers, to the CCC and recipients of food aid. A subsequent exchange #5 generated almost four million pounds of peanut butter for food banks, and it cleared the remaining quantity of forfeited peanuts from the 2016 crop. Cuddy argues that these exchanges are a net benefit for everyone involved, and is proud that the forfeited peanuts are going to communities and people in need.

“We are excited about this program because it helps the According to the CCC, “the exchange was relatively small, industry move peanuts, which benefits farmers and shellers, accounting for just under 14 percent of the total quantity of and it also provides the added bonus of helping the commupeanut butter delivered as part of the Government Domestic nity. It's a great program,” Cuddy said. Feeding and Child Nutrition Program through the Food and Nutrition Service for the entire 2016-2017 marketing year.” That peanut butter was offered to state agencies administering The USDA’s Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which distributes to feeding organizations like the Oregon Food Bank.



How Farmers Play a Critical Role in Today’s Trucking Industry

In today’s world, it’s important to reduce wait times for drivers, provide safe access to loading and unloading areas and have more welcoming areas for required rest. Customers benefit from keeping driver regulations and comfort in mind when planning logistics.

All that said, it’s pretty simple, according to Nall. The places that create a driver-friendly environment that allows drivers to maximize their driving period in a safe and comfortable way will be more popular, and “you stand a better chance of getting those guys wanting to come to your place.”

“My concern is that in any industry that has long loading or unloading times, drivers are not going to stay in that industry. They’re going to go find jobs in other industries that allow them to move and keep the flow of their freight going,” said Nall. “We’re trying to implement as many drop-andhook scenarios as we can, which is where a driver comes in, drops an empty container, picks up a loaded trailer and goes, instead of having to wait to be loaded and unloaded. That’s what drivers are looking for.”

With the peanut industry’s help, we won’t have to put “Without trucks, America stops” to the test.

For peanut growers, buying points and shellers, here are some tips: • Ensure entry points are secure to prevent rollovers or damage to trucks. Be conscious of loading heights and weights.

• Provide a place for drivers to take a break with clean restrooms, showers, water, etc.

By Lauren Highfill Williams

• Provide a place after hours for drivers to safely park when they have timed out.

• Be appreciative and respectful of the driver. • Recognize and thank them for what they do for your business.

The impact of the trucking industry on peanut farmers and the industry at large cannot be overstated. All farmers depend on trucks to keep the flow of peanuts moving at harvest and keep their harvesters working. With the advent of semi-drying trailers, many farmers play a critical role in keeping trucks moving. Our lives are touched in every way by goods transported by trucks. Over 70 percent of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks. “Without trucks, America stops,” according to the American Trucking Association (ATA). And yet the trucking industry is facing two pressing issues that are critical to its future: a driver shortage that’s worrying industry experts, and the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs). “The biggest issue we’re all faced with right now is an overall driver shortage in the country,” said Hugh Nall, president of SouthernAG Carriers, Inc. According to the ATA, the industry is currently short 48,000 drivers and that number could surge to 240,000 in the next five years.¹ Food demand alone is predicted to rise by 59-98 percent by 2050.² “The driver shortage is driving up rates, driver pay is up and it’s a very competitive market right now for drivers.


¹ ²

They’re able to get lots of job opportunities, and, like everybody, they’re looking for the best paycheck and the best environment. Included in that is the best benefits and more home time,” said Nall. Interconnected to the challenge of keeping current drivers and recruiting new ones, carriers were required to implement electronic logging devices (ELDs) that track drivers’ driving time and rest periods beginning December 17, 2017. The requirements aren’t new, but paper logs were previously allowed. In the Congressional record §395.3 Maximum Driving Time for Property-Carrying Vehicles, the requirements include: Start of work shift: A driver may not drive without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty. 14-hour period: A driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Driving time: A driver may drive a total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period specified. Rest breaks: Driving is not permitted if more than eight hours have passed since the end of the driver's last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.

“Once that 14 hours [of the driving period] is done, it’s done. Drivers have to shut down wherever they are, with few exceptions,” said Nall. “If a driver is not in compliance with the federal law and an accident or a problem occurs, people could get hurt and it could cause a real big lawsuit. This isn’t not turning in your homework; this is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the DOT. This is serious business.” As regulations and technology evolve, older drivers who are resistant to change are more likely to retire. Companies like SouthernAG encourage young people to get into the industry and support local driving schools and technical schools.

For us, we’re trying to encourage younger folks to get into it because a law-abiding and hardworking person who does it right, in years to come, will be making good money. Hugh Nall, SouthernAG Carriers, Inc.


However, much like the perfect PB&J, it’s the balance of multiple elements that produces the best results. Over the years, NPB has built and grown its relationship with the registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) community. RDNs rank high on the content scale; they cover topics in depth and with authority.

Distribution. This shows us the speed and scale that influencers can deliver. For example, health/fitness coaches are very high on the distribution scale, meaning they have a large reach and can reach people quickly. Content. This factor ranks how in-depth and trustworthy the influencer’s messages are. For example, parenting media rank highest on the content scale due to their richer coverage of health topics. Dietitians also rank relatively high on the content scale. krolls_korner

Fresno, California

Last year, NPB further expanded and deepened relationships with RDNs through a Peanut Ambassador program. NPB engaged more than 30 vetted RDNs who opted-in to receive mailings from NPB. These mailings included the latest new peanut products, nutrition news, fun customized gifts and traditional and social media messages to share with their followers and clients. Tying in our key messaging priorities of early introduction, #ShellOut, plant-based meals and more, the program succeeded in engaging this credible audience. The Peanut Ambassadors produced more than 18,000 engagements on Instagram (people who liked, shared or left a comment on the content) and 800,000 impressions on Twitter (number of times people saw the content). This year, based on the changing landscape of health and wellness influencers, NPB has added other health and fitness influencers to the mix of Peanut Ambassadors. These coaches encourage healthy lifestyles and well-being without academic expertise. Their growing popularity with millennials makes sense for many reasons:

• According to a report from Healthcare Finance Administra-

tion (HFA), 93 percent of millennials do not schedule preventative doctor’s visits; instead millennials are more likely to focus on day-to-day health maintenance choices like food decisions and movement or exercise choices.¹ • 43% of millennials distrust “Big Food”—a rate that's twice as high as previous generations.² • Millennials are twice as likely as any other generation to act on healthcare advice they find online, especially on social media which is a key platform for health and wellness coaches.³

By Lauren Highfill Williams Not too long ago, besides at the doctor’s office, most people received health and wellness advice from credentialed medical professionals on television, and in magazines and newspapers. With the advent of social media, blogs, YouTube stars and more, the world of health and wellness for the National Peanut Board’s (NPB) target audience of millennials has become more complex. The NPB combines multiple factors that help map both media and individuals to determine who can spread our stories to the most relevant audiences. It’s not just about targeting one group of influencers. Instead, success occurs when multiple influential groups come together to share a common story.


NPB Ambassador member Tawnie Kroll appreciates the gear from NPB to help her express her love for peanut butter. She shared this picture with her 11,000 followers on Instagram.

Only 58 percent of millennials said they trust medical professionals compared with 73 percent of all others.⁴ Leveraging health and wellness coaches’ wide reach and holistic approach to well-being, NPB’s goal is to provide these influencers with reasons to get excited about peanuts and peanut products and to share that information with their millennial audiences. By combining the credentialed credibility of content from RDNs with the high distribution of health/fitness coaches, NPB’s 2018 Peanut Ambassador program positions peanuts perfectly in the health and wellness landscape.

¹ ² ³ ⁴


Peanut Milk Launches to a Market Thirsty for All It Offers If you’re like some media and food professionals the National Peanut Board (NPB) has met with over the past few months, your reaction to the news about the launch of peanut milk might be this: Where have you been all my life? For some, it’s surprising that there hasn’t been a peanutbased alternative to dairy milk available in grocery stores until now. After all, peanuts are America’s favorite nut—by a greater than three-to-one margin.


But there might not have been a peanut milk at all even today, if not for the foresight of the National Peanut Board seven years ago. That’s when NPB sought out and began working with Dr. Cheryl Mitchell, who had developed a proprietary processing technique that led to the creation of what was then the best-selling rice milk.

“Traditional almond milks use so few almonds because of the affordability. Tree nuts are just like that. Peanuts are considerably more sustainable and traceable to the farmer. Because of the nutritional profile of Milked Peanuts and the fact it’s creamy and behaves like dairy milk, we can go into all kinds of food-based products and appeal to flexitarians and those looking to live a plant-forward lifestyle,” said Mitchell. Now, after years of development and refinement, the peanut milk has a producer—Elmhurst™—and the first two peanut milk varieties hit store shelves in January. All the signs are pointing to peanut milk being the right product at the right time for a market that is growing both in size and sophistication.

How substantial could the market for peanut milk be? No one knows, exactly. But the future is indeed bright. Mintel, a company that studies and reports on food trends, said that consumption of nondairy milk increased 61 percent from 2012 to 2017, and reached $2.11 billion in sales for 2017. And still, 90 percent of nondairy milk drinkers are also buying cow’s milk, according to Mintel’s statistics. Dairy and Alternative Beverage Trends in the U.S., 4th edition, predicts the total market for dairy and alternative dairy beverages will top $28 billion in sales in the next three years—40 percent of which will come from alternatives alone.

“I have been so interested in peanuts from the very beginning because of the opportunities,” said Cheryl Mitchell, Ph.D., senior vice president of ingredient manufacturing at Steuben Foods, Inc.—the maker of Elmhurst-branded products.


Consumers are looking for more plant-forward products, and as consumers see the nutritional advantages and great taste of peanut milk, it will grow in acceptance. We hope this market for peanuts will be substantial.

Bob Parker

More than ever, consumers are demanding dairy alternatives that compare favorably with cow’s milk on that front. Enter Elmhurst Milked Peanuts™ and Elmhurst Milked Peanuts Chocolate™, which the manufacturer says offer simple ingredients, full flavor and six grams of protein in every eightounce glass (eight grams in the chocolate version). Elmhurst calls its products “Milked” rather than “milk” because of its unique manufacturing process that extracts the most protein, fat and micronutrients from the nut—alleviating the need to fortify the products.

Both products are also non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, dairy free, lactose free and kosher. For comparison, dairy milk has eight and a half grams of protein per serving; soy milk has seven grams of protein; and almond milk has one gram of protein. There are multiple reasons for the explosion in popularity of plant- and grain-based milks. The peanut’s strong sustainability story—including use of less water than any other nut to grow— is just one way it is in sync with growing consumer demands. Now that peanut milk is on the market, NPB is turning its attention to supporting Elmhurst in building awareness and consumer trials. Beginning last fall, NPB introduced the product to media, dietitians, chefs, foodservice and retail executives and others at a series of events. Then, in January, NPB took advantage of National Milk Day to launch the products publicly and held a cocktail reception for media in New York City with original drinks using the peanut milk. Peanut milk has been described as having a smooth, slightly creamy feel and taste similar to cow’s milk. That’s why it can easily be used in place of cow’s milk in the kitchen, especially for breakfast. Here are some of our newly created breakfast recipes using peanut milk:

10 Minutes

½ cup peanut milk

½ cup plain greek yogurt

½ cup frozen berries

½ cup raw oats

¼ tsp vanilla

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp honey

(OR sub 1-2 Tbsp strawberry jelly for berries, vanilla and honey) Optional Toppings: 2 Tbsp peanuts, chopped 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter Sprinkle of cinnamon Dark chocolate chips

In a mason jar or plastic container, mix all ingredients together and store in refrigerator overnight (or 4 to 6 hours). Remove from refrigerator and add toppings.

Chocolate peanut but terbanana stuffed french toast

Creamy, Dreamy Peanut Milk smoothie Easy

PB&J Overnight oats with Peanut Milk Easy


15 Minutes

10 Minutes

½ medium frozen banana

½ cup peanut milk

¼ cup frozen cauliflower florets

6 Tbsp of PB

1 medium ripe banana

1 cup chocolate peanut milk 1 tsp wheat germ

¼ tsp cinnamon

tsp cardamom

Blend all ingredients together in a high-powered blender and enjoy!


6 large eggs

¼ tsp cinnamon

8 slices of thin 100% whole wheat bread

1 tsp of butter

Mash banana and mix with peanut butter. Spread mixture evenly on 4 slices of bread and top with the other 4 slices to make 4 sandwiches. In a shallow, wide bowl (or pie plate) mix together chocolate peanut milk with eggs and cinnamon. Dip each sandwich into peanut milk-egg mixture allowing each side to soak up mixture. Add ¼ tsp of butter to nonstick pan and heat pan over medium heat and fry on each side. Repeat with each sandwich.


Changing the Conversation About Peanut Allergy Bans in Schools By Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD

Offering valuable information about food allergies for professionals who face this issue every day, National Peanut Board co-funded an online repository, “Food Allergy Resources for School Nutrition Professionals” on the School Nutrition Association’s Website.

Anytime you talk about schools and peanuts at the same time, the topic of peanut allergies is bound to come up. Myths and misinformation continue to be a problem, but through a partnership with the School Nutrition Association (SNA), the National Peanut Board (NPB) is helping to change the conversation about nut bans in schools. Last year, NPB and SNA collaborated to bring to life an online repository of information for school nutrition professionals called “Food Allergy Resources for School Nutrition Professionals.” Housed at, the resource was officially launched at the 2017 SNA Annual Nutrition Conference last summer. The resource site is accessible to anyone. While the content is certainly targeted to the school nutrition audience, it is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in learning more about how food allergies can be safely managed in the school environment. Because schools often make decisions to ban foods containing nuts based on inaccurate information, the resource center aims to provide reliable, evidence-based facts and resources to guide schools. There are six primary components to the site: The Big 8, Ask the Allergy Expert, SNA Food Allergy Webinars, CDC's Resources, Food Allergy Resources, and FAQs. Each area was designed to answer common questions asked by SNA members during previously-held food allergy webinars. Most of the information is static, always available for members to consult and come back to as issues come up. The Big 8 section describes each of the eight most common food allergens.


The FAQs section lists the top 10 questions asked by school nutrition professionals and about managing food allergies in schools. The CDC’s Resources section gives links to the CDC’s Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs,¹ an evidence-based approach that provides direction for every role in a school community. In addition, this page provides a link to the CDC’s complimentary Food Allergies in Schools Toolkit.² Each of these areas of the site are meant to provide valuable tools for schools to use. The two remaining sections are: Ask the Allergy Expert and SNA Food Allergy Webinars. These sections allow users to interact with the content. In the Ask the Allergy Expert section, members can submit questions to be answered by SNA or NPB-determined experts, with the effort to lean on the science available in every instance. Questions so far have been about the allergenicity of spices and coconut, and procurement. SNA hosts webinars each month on a variety of topics. Those that focus on food allergies have been linked to the resources for convenience. NPB has hosted five food allergy focused webinars over the past few years with SNA and each one is available in archived form (members only). It’s easy to see that this resource is a valuable tool for school nutrition professionals. So far, the site has been a great success with more than 6,000 unique visitors and over 8,000 pageviews. SNA continues to promote the site as a member benefit via their e-blasts and social media. Moreover, NPB has provided advertising support and continues to share via social media, as well.

¹ ²


As in all research, the highlighted studies have their limitations. In study one, there were some differences in study populations. For example, while most studies included both genders, three included men only and five included women only.

Nutrition Research Keeps Linking Peanuts to Heart Health By Caroline Young Bearden, MS, RD, LD, RYT In the world of nutrition research, there is only one constant—change. As soon as a conclusion is drawn from one study, there will be another study with a contradictory result. It’s no wonder nutrition news on varying research results can leave consumers (and us) skeptical, unsure and confused. Nevertheless, research linking heart health to dietary habits persists, and for good reason—heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.¹ And, excitingly, studies continue to draw associations between peanut consumption and reduced risk of heart disease. Here’s the strong and recent research linking peanuts to improved heart health.

Strong Recent Research Supporting Peanuts’ Link to Heart Health Study Key Takeaways

Key Strengths




Eating nuts, including peanuts (one ounce), at least two times per week, is linked to lowered risk of CVD by 13 percent and CHD by 15 percent.

Eating nuts and peanuts is linked to lowered CVD mortality in low-income people in the U.S. and men and women in China; Eating nuts—particularly peanuts— may be a cost-effective way to improve heart health.

Large review of 20 studies of chronic disease outcomes, totaling 700,000 participants.

Long study period (24 years).

Multiple ethnicities (African, European and Asian) and both sexes.

Large population of both sexes (over 169,000 women and 41,500 men).

Additionally, the studies were not randomized, controlled trials—the gold standard in research. In other words, there were no direct interventions, so the studies do not show a cause-and-effect relationship between nut and peanut consumption. Instead, study one, published in BMC Medicine in 2016, was a review of previous studies and the other two studies looked at data over a period of time. In other words, we are unable to say, “Eating peanuts prevents heart disease,” but we can say, “Eating peanuts is linked to reduced heart disease risk or improved heart health.”

Eating peanuts provides our bodies with nutrients that research links to improving heart health. For instance, the fat in peanuts is primarily mono- and polyunsaturated, which helps support a healthy heart, particularly when replacing saturated fats typically found in animal products.⁵ Another star nutrient in peanuts is dietary fiber, which helps us stay fuller longer and can lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Further, dietary fiber promotes intestinal regularity and can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.⁶,⁷ As you probably know, peanuts have an approved heart health claim since the 90’s, which says, “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove that eating 1.5 oz. per day of most nuts, including peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” Although nutrition research is indeed ever-changing, it continues to reveal links between peanut consumption and reduced heart disease risk.


Eating a handful of peanuts (about 20 peanuts) five to six times per week is associated with decreased Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) risk.

Most studies included both sexes.




In study two, conducted by Harvard researchers and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2017, the population was limited to white health professionals. And both studies two and three (published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2015) used dietary data gathered through self-reported food frequency questionnaires, which are subject to human error.

In a (pea)nutshell

Study of nut/peanut consumption in one group, and peanut-only consumption in two other groups, totaling about 206,000 people.

¹ Deaths and Mortality. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Updated May 3, 2017. Accessed February 1, 2018. ² Aune D, Keum N, Giovannucci E, et al. Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dosexresponse meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMC Medicine. 2016;14(1). doi:10.1186/s12916-016-0730-3. ³ Guasch-Ferre M, Liu X, Malik, V, et al. Nut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017; 70:2519-2532. ⁴ Luu H, Blot W, Xiang Y-B, et al. Prospective Evaluation of the Association of Nut/Peanut Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA. 2015;175(5):755-766.

⁵ Cut Down on Saturated Fats. Published December 2016. Accessed February 1, 2018. ⁶ Dietary Fiber. Accessed February 1, 2018. ⁷ About Cholesterol. American Heart Association. WnNxpGaZPR0. Updated January 11, 2018. Accessed February 1, 2018.


Using Social Media as a Window into the Life of a Peanut Farmer Westley Drake is the National Peanut Board alternate from Virginia. Drake grows peanuts on his family’s farm, Sandy Ridge Farms, Inc., in Newsoms, Va. with his father, Michael, and mother, Rebecca. He serves as a volunteer firefighter for the Newsoms Vol. Fire Department and is a contributing writer to the local paper, The Tidewater News.

Put yourself in the shoes of a person who has never stepped foot on a farm or driven through the countryside. When they look out on fields from the window of a car or an airplane, their view of farming is from thousands of feet away. However, with the use of social media, farmers like me put agriculture right into the news feeds of their mobile devices. As people scroll through social media posts about events in their friends’ lives, news articles, funny pictures, or whatever else is out there; my goal is for them to come across a post about what I am doing on the farm. Americans love to learn, strive to be inspired, and generally support farmers even though they do not know much about what we do. I view their curiosity about farming as an opportunity to educate them about what we do day in and day out. People who follow me on social media see the evolution of a growing season and better understand things like the pain of excessive rains when the fields are wet, or the pleasure of rain when we need it most. My favorite social media posts include photos from the seat of the tractor because people see exactly what I see. Sharing my viewpoint from the tractor cab provides transparency between myself and consumers by allowing them to better understand what I am doing while working in the field. Going forward, social media will be a huge asset to educating consumers about the agriculture industry. My best advice to fellow farmers is, even on days when everything seems to be falling apart, try to make your social media posts positive. Do you think a consumer would rather follow a farmer on social media who constantly complains and posts negative things, or a farmer who is working even harder to overcome adversity in order to grow and harvest the crops that feed the world?


Millennials are increasingly using Instagram as their social “medium” of choice. That’s why we recently launched a presence on the platform to engage with millennials and share stories of peanut farming, new products and culinary innovations.

Check Us Out on The social media platform Instagram is no longer just a place for friends to share pretty photos. It’s become an asset that brands and businesses can use to communicate their stories to consumers and specialized audiences. Through a communications audit and survey, the National Peanut Board discovered that an increasing number of peanut growers, industry members, chefs and other specialized audiences are adding Instagram to their regular online activity—as much or more so than Facebook. With a professional presence on Instagram, NPB has another effective platform to communicate with, engage and target these audiences and to monitor trends. The NPB Instagram account draws viewers in with compelling images and shares content that highlights peanut sustainability, farmer and chef stories, culinary versatility and trade events. NPB is planning targeted promotion campaigns to increase followers and engagement on the account. So, check out our Instagram page: @nationalpeanutboard; and follow us on Facebook and Twitter under the profile @PeanutFarmers.

Export Update

Canadians Go Nuts for Peanuts By Kyla Best In this issue, we highlight the American Peanut Council’s marketing and promotions efforts with the United States’ largest export market—Canada. Kyla Best is the account director for Argyle Public Relationships, the agency representing the American Peanut Council in Canada. In 2017, Canada was the U.S. peanut industry’s biggest export market, in both volume and sales. Canadians’ passion for peanuts is fueled by multifaceted marketing initiatives that reach consumers and influencers directly—and focus on the superior quality, safety, versatility and nutrition benefits of U.S.-grown peanuts. These initiatives are directed by the American Peanut Council—under the name “Peanut Bureau of Canada”—and include creating social media channels and assets, and engaging with Canadian media, bloggers and social media influencers. Check out the channels to see how your industry is represented to your largest trading partner: The content is continually refreshed—in English and French—and includes recipes, health and nutrition information, special sections for professional dietitians and trade audiences, and up-to-date industry news. Canadians seeking information about peanuts can find it here. Facebook (@PeanutsCanada): Featuring custom content (images, GIFs, etc.) that inspires increased consumption, the Facebook posts are promoted to carefully targeted consumers and encourage engagement. Instagram (peanutscanada): New in 2017, the Peanut Bureau of Canada’s Instagram feed is especially effective in engaging French-Canadian consumers through advertising/promoting posts, custom content (boomerangs, stories, photos, GIFs) and more. Pinterest (Peanut Bureau of Canada): This platform is a strong repository of recipe content that can be cross-promoted on other social media platforms. YouTube (PeanutsCanada): Custom thumbnails for new and existing videos (e.g. inspirational recipe videos) are housed here, and are promoted and shared across all channels.

Twitter (@PeanutsCanada): Twitter is a listening platform— allowing the Peanut Bureau of Canada to monitor and respond to trends. The Peanut Bureau of Canada also works directly with social media influencers: Canadians who have loyal communities online (food blogs and social media), as well as established relationships with television programs. This approach can be very powerful, as it ensures content is delivered in an authentic voice to engaged and highly targeted communities. In 2017, the Bureau’s work with influencers in Canada resulted in 90 distinct media opportunities and 11.7 million impressions. The results of this carefully-managed social strategy are measured not only in numbers of impressions and followers, but also through engagement and audiences reached through influencer channels. Engagements are the total number of people who interacted with all social content— they liked, commented, shared and clicked on links. In 2017, engagement levels reached 183,000—a rate of 2.5 percent, with impressions of nearly 10.5 million for the year. The team in Canada also works with mainstream media to promote the benefits of U.S.-grown peanuts. In 2017, the program generated approximately 7.8 million audience impressions and 33 media hits through highly targeted media outreach to select food media contacts. Initiatives on social media channels and with mainstream media are just one part of the programming in Canada to promote tasty and nutritious U.S.-grown peanuts. It complements activities that reach trade audiences, key customers, dietitians and other health professionals. The strategic motivation behind every activity in Canada is to build reputation and relationships for U.S.-grown peanuts—and to help maintain export success.



Promoting Local

State peanut producers give home-grown peanuts a boost.

State peanut producer organizations strategically placed peanut marketing and promotions messages across their states this past year to let people know about locally-grown peanuts. Combining copromotion dollars from the National Peanut Board with their own organization’s funds, they creatively reached people living in or passing through their local areas. As a result, consumers are inspired to buy and eat more of America’s favorite nut. Alabama Peanut Producers Association advertised at Mobile Regional Airport with an annual passenger rate of half a million. An ad ran in Neighbors Magazine, circulating to more than 300,000 agriculture industry readers and consumers.


North Carolina Peanut Growers Association advertised in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the fifth busiest airport in the country. South Carolina Peanut Board placed a billboard on the I-26 corridor toward Charleston and created a digital billboard for Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, and Kiawah. Virginia Peanut Growers Association advertised on static and digital billboards in Hampton Roads, targeting beach goers.


Oklahoma Peanut Commission (OPC) participated in SeptemberFest, sponsored by Oklahoma’s First Family. OPC exhibited, handed out swag and interacted with 10,000 visitors. OPC hosted the Oklahoma State Fair Peanut Cooking Contest and provided narratives, quizzes, trivia and awards.


Florida Peanut Producers Association hit it out of the ballpark with a full-page ad in the 2017 Major League All-Star Game baseball championship program. Audience reach was 800,000.


Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) sponsored the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta. Exposure included LED ribbon board advertising and videoboard feature, activation spaces in FanZone and Tailgate Town, an ad in the Official Game Day program and logo listing on the sponsors’ page of the website. GPC was a sponsor at Taste of Atlanta and Kids’ Cooking Contest with demos, advertising, editorials, social media and items in 900 VIP gift bags. 9 3


Mississippi Peanut Growers Association partnered with Friday Night Under the Lights to hold “The Perfectly Powerful Peanut” game of the week at 10 schools. Promotions included a logo tent, commercials, interviews and website promotion. Attendance averaged 4,000 while the website had about one million hits during the season.

Arkansas Peanut Growers Association combined co-promotion funds with Peanut Proud to provide a full truckload of peanut butter for people hardest hit by devastating floods in 2017. The donation garnered local media coverage.

Texas Peanut Producers Board advertised with Texas Monthly in print, with the online food channel website and on Facebook. The magazine alone has a readership of more than 2.4 million.


North Carolina Peanut Growers Association, South Carolina Peanut Board and the Virginia Peanut Growers Association advertised on billboards in key metropolitan and tourist locations around their states.




NATIONAL PEANUT BOARD BUDGET Fiscal Year 2018 (November 1, 2017—October 31, 2018)

An online, interactive report highlighting the benefits of peanuts. We know that no other nut has a better sustainability story to tell than peanuts. For the first time ever, the National Peanut Board has developed a 360-degree interactive report, called “The Peanut Vision,” to showcase peanuts’ full range of benefits. The report, found at, highlights key benefits of peanuts in the categories of wellness, the environment, innovation, food safety and community. Everyone can help get this in front of retailers, foodservice professionals and consumers so they can make informed choices about which foods to use and, ultimately, choose peanuts or choose them more often. Download the report to share with retailers and foodservice professionals and use the provided information on your own websites and social media accounts.



$ 10,000,000

Prior Years’ Crop Overages

$ 427,429

Other Income—Prior Year

$ 10,720

Expense Savings—FY 17

$ 116,000

FY 13 Carryforward—Peanut Milk Funds

$ 413,500

Interest Income—Prior Year

$ 50,672

Late Fee Collection—Prior Year

$ 11,179


Water Use Peanuts use less water than comparable sources of nutrition.

Chemical Use

Resource Use Less water, fertilizers and pesticides mean that peanut production has a reduced carbon footprint.

$ 11,029,500

PROMOTION / MARKET DEVELOPMENT / RESEARCH Domestic—Promotion / Market Development Programs

$ 6,506,000

Export—Promotion / Market Development

$ 470,000

Grower & Intra-industry Communications

$ 595,750

Opportunity Budget

$ 100,000

Production Research Projects

$ 1,839,384

Germplasm Research Funding

$ 7,000

Griffin—Replacement Wild Species

$ 15,000

NIFA Research


$ 9,783,134

OTHER EXPENSES Administrative

$ 880,500

AMS Oversight


Unrestricted Reserve

$ 1,080,500

$ 165,866


$ 11,029,500

*Reserve Balance = $1,400,000


*Printed copies will be available by request. To view and download the report, visit



National Peanut Board 3350 Riverwood Parkway, Suite 1150 Atlanta, GA 30339

First-Ever Peanut Bowl

The grand finale to NPB’s #ShellOut campaign featured NFL Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson who surprised Texas high school teams DeSoto Eagles and Cedar Hill Longhorns in locker rooms, conducted the coin toss and presented the trophy. Sachs Peanuts delighted 12,000 fans. National media coverage included USA Today High School Sports; FOX Sports Southwest, UPROXX, and local Dallas-Fort Worth media.



PQ a magazine of the National Peanut Board  

A magazine about peanut news, innovations, food, wellness and marketing

PQ a magazine of the National Peanut Board  

A magazine about peanut news, innovations, food, wellness and marketing