Given the health properties of peanut butter, it’s fitting that the popular spread was invented by a doctor to serve as a health food. Although peanuts have been around for much longer, peanut butter is considered to be relatively new.
In 1890, Dr. John Kellogg (yes, that Kellogg family), created peanut butter as a health protein substitute that was easy for patients without teeth to digest. By 1904, peanut butter began to be promoted as a health food. It wasn’t until 1922 that peanut butter began its commercial debut with the help of J.L. Rosefield of Rosefield Packaging Company. It’s possible his claim to fame – Skippy Peanut Butter – is in your pantry right now.
Today, many Canadian households enjoy peanut butter made from quality USA peanuts – and they enjoy it on just about anything. Not to mention, there are many health benefits that are hard to ignore. It’s cholesterol-, trans-fat- and gluten-free, packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, plus it contains “good-for-you fats.” From an economic perspective, the value per serving of peanut butter is undeniable, as are the endless possibilities when it comes to cooking with peanut butter.
Specific to peanut butter, its consumption continues to grow at a rate of five-to-six per cent per year. Are you offering your patrons Canada’s number one, most popular spread? Like snack peanuts, the flavour profile of peanut butter is also evolving. While creamy and crunchy peanut butter still dominates within the foodservice sector, natural, whipped and flavoured or swirled peanut butters are growing in popularity.
What’s still the number one sandwich made at home? It’s a peanut butter and jam sandwich, but when was the last time you came across a menu that offered patrons this most popular sandwich? Variations on peanut butter sandwiches include but are not limited to: the plethora of jams and jellies that are broadly available, honey, chocolate or maple syrup, slice of chocolate, Nutella, bacon, cinnamon sugar / sugar, marshmallows or marshmallow fluff, raisins, bananas, potato chips (very popular in the UK!), sliced cheese or cream cheese, other dried fruit, sliced apples, sliced strawberries, dill pickles, ham, tomatoes, scrambled eggs, blueberries, applesauce, grated carrots – and the list goes on.
Being creative in kitchens and on menus – including frying – with this most popular and value-added item is a quick-and-easy way to turn this basic and low per-serving cost and highly profitable staple into an easy-to-prepare and nutritious menu item patrons can experience and enjoy!
Check out PeanutButterLovers.com for all things peanut butter, including recipes, contests, allergy information, and service and training. It also has a special section dedicated to the foodservice industry.