Since COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions began in March, the prices and availability of agriculture and commodity goods have been affected. Peanuts, however, have shown their true place in Canadian homes as a trusted pantry staple item, especially in a time of crisis. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), peanut producers are on track to grow more peanuts this year than last, even with the impact of the coronavirus and the restrictions that stem from it.
Peanut butter, by comparison, is no exception to the peanut industry’s growth in the COVID-19 era. The American Peanut Council’s (APC) spring newsletter discussed the unprecedented spike in demand for peanut butter, which has remained at elevated year-over-year levels since the pandemic began. In fact, data from the USDA shows that commercial processors used 124 million pounds of peanuts for peanut butter in April 2020. This figure was up slightly from March.
When examining the COVID-19 pantry of many Canadians, it’s evident that core staple items (dairy, shelf-stable items – peanut butter – meat, and produce), have increased in price. What this also shows is that Canadians are purchasing quality products they are accustomed to.
Although consumers have reduced pandemic stockpiling that was seen in March and April, Canadians’ grocery baskets are in fact larger. A recent survey through Dynata (market research firm), found that Canadians are shopping less frequently, but are buying more and consuming more than they were pre-COVID. Consumers/household members are also spending more time at home due to social distancing measures, including school-aged children who are now enjoying PB&J sandwiches for lunch without any school consumption restrictions – this means continued strong demand for peanut butter for sandwiches, cooking, snacking and baking as out-of-home restrictions remain intact.
The U.S. peanut industry remains in a good position to continue to provide plentiful quality, nutritious products to its Canadian import partner.
Source: Dynata, 2020. Data available through Canadian Grocer webinar with free sign-up.