As the pandemic disrupted Canadians’ lives, from leaving schools and offices, to staying home for days at a time and stockpiling necessities, data shows that peanut butter emerged as a go-to pandemic staple. It was in our pantries in a year when we needed comfort, familiarity and health the most.
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Over the past two decades, peanut products have been banned in Canadian public schools. While peanut allergies affect two in 100 Canadian children, new research out of McMaster University has found little evidence that school-wide bans are actually effective in preventing allergic reactions.
From peanut butter to mattresses, the prices of consumer goods in Canada are rising. While the pandemic is an overwhelming factor in the recent price hikes, it’s not the only cause. Several major food manufacturers and brands have cited factors from weather to the Suez Canal crisis as the reason for price increases.
While some areas of Canada’s food and beverage sector have experienced irreversible losses due to the pandemic, it has also accelerated growth opportunities for the industry. A recent report shows how certain pandemic-related trends are affecting this industry.
A new study from McMaster University has found little evidence that school-wide bans against allergenic foods, like peanut products, are effective in preventing severe allergic reactions. The study came new guidelines developed by an international panel of key stakeholders comprised of school employees, health care professionals and parents.
In January 2021, a meeting was held with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) to discuss new clinical guidelines for the prevention of food allergy in the U.S. and Canada. From that meeting came a new paper that serves as an evolution of the allergy introduction guidelines published back in 2017.
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re starting to see the longer term effects on consumer consumption behaviours and nutrition. With more than 2.4 million Canadians working from home by late 2020, Canadians began to re-prioritize meals, in favour of eating several small snacks throughout the day.
A recent study from the University of British Columbia studied preschool peanut oral immunotherapy (P-OIT) in “real-world” settings, like allergists’ offices. The study showed that young children who were exposed to a small, consistent dose of peanuts had a significantly reduced allergic reaction.
The pandemic has caused Canadians to pay more attention to their health and wellness, and this includes what they eat. A recent study has found that 60% of consumers are actively looking for products that boost their immune system. Likewise, more than 50% of consumers reported taking more immune-support supplements in 2020.
2020 was a year of significant change for the retail industry, with many adaptations expected to remain permanent fixtures in how the grocery retail space operates as the pandemic evolves. Much of this change has occurred at the grocery retail level with COVID closures and restrictions fundamentally changing consumer shopping behaviour.
In a year where consumers looked for shelf-stable, comfort foods to prepare and enjoy at home, it’s not surprising that Canadians turned to peanuts and peanut butter. With a robust nutrition and flavour profile, Canadians found ways to incorporate the powerful peanut into different meal, snack, and dessert occasions.
Half of all consumers are shopping more health consciously since the pandemic, according to a leading global professional services company. This includes prepping and planning weekly meals and preparing most, if not all, meals at home to avoid eating at restaurants.