Consumer research: Who are the peanut power eaters?

heart-shaped bowl filled with peanuts

New research from Erickson shows that almost every Canadian (97%) eats peanut butter, and this number has been on the rise since 2013. As a delicious and convenient protein source, peanut butter has claimed its spot as a pantry staple with 87% of households having it on hand. Even with the widespread love of this nutty spread, research shows two distinct groups of peanut “power eaters” whose consumption habits and attitudes towards peanuts (and peanut products) are greater than the national average.


There must be many empty peanut butter jars in Quebec, where consumption is higher than the rest of the country. Eighty-two per cent of Quebec respondents say they eat peanut butter at least weekly, with 41% eating it daily, compared to the national average of 76% at least weekly and 22% daily. Attitudes toward peanuts and peanut butter differ as well. Sixty-four per cent of Quebecers surveyed say they like peanuts very much versus 53% from the rest of Canada. Peanut butter saw an even larger discrepancy, with 70% of Quebecers liking peanut butter very much versus 57% of all other Canadians.

Hardcore health "nuts"

The hardcore health segment – those who meticulously read labels and seek out natural, organic and healthy foods – are another group of peanut power eaters that transcend provincial borders. Compared to mainstream health consumers (described as generally healthy, not particularly worried about food origin), this segment is more likely to use peanut butter in recipes, versus simply spread on toast, than the national average. Hardcore health consumers use peanut butter considerably more in baking (46%), as well as cooking (36%), than mainstream health consumers (32% and 25%, respectively). When it comes to selecting a brand, 22% of hardcore health consumers reach for specialty or gourmet brands, while only 15% of other consumers will shop for these higher-end products. These gourmet products are perceived to be healthier, and 40% of hardcore health consumers pick peanut butter for its nutritional content (26% for mainstream health).


The findings of this research show that Quebec is nuts about peanuts and peanut butter, which can help those sourcing ingredients and planning menus to better understand this demographic. Whether by utilizing peanuts as an extra source of protein, or infusing peanut butter into a classic dessert, restaurants can benefit from capitalizing on Quebecers’ peanut-preferring palate. The same can be said for health-focused establishments; hardcore health nuts feel confident in the nutritional value of peanuts and peanut butter and would feel good about products using peanuts for an extra protein kick.


Source: Erickson Research