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News In a Nutshell | August 1, 2023

NPB Continues to Connect with College & University Food Service Association

The National Peanut Board (NPB) was an exhibitor at this year’s National Association of College and University Food Services conference (NACUFS) in Baltimore, MD from July 19-21st. This conference brought together hundreds of foodservice leaders from collegiate institutions and industry members to bring innovation and solutions to an ever-changing college dining landscape.


In attendance to this event were NPB’s Ryan Lepicier, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and Markita Lewis, Marketing Communications Associate. They were joined by Chef Patrick Cullen from peanut butter brand Peanut Butter & Co. At the exhibit, Peanut Butter & Co showcased their line of products including their peanut butter spread, peanut powder, convenient squeeze packs, and their peanut butter chip cookies.


At the booth, attendees of the conference’s exhibitor showcase were able to sample the various flavors of Peanut Butter & Co’s spreads including Smooth Operator, The Bee’s Knees, and Dark Chocolatey Dreams and learned how the overall line of Peanut Butter & Co products could be integrated into their collegiate dining operations.


NPB members also connected with college and university foodservice leaders and answered questions about food allergy management in university settings and how different peanut products could be applied in foodservice operations. Overall, the NPB booth was well-received, with many collegiate dining leaders expressing their love for peanuts and peanut butter.


Tackling Peanut Topics from Prevention 

to Schools

In the quest to prevent peanut allergy, safely serve peanuts in schools and promote new uses, the National Peanut Board (NPB) recently participated in two events: the Global Food Allergy Prevention Summit (GFAPS) and the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference (ANC).


Experts, researchers and clinicians from across the globe met together in July in Chicago for the inaugural Global Food Allergy Prevention Summit. Hosted by Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research (CFAAR) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the event included more than 2 days of presentations and workgroup sessions dedicated to moving food allergy prevention forward. NPB’s Bob Parker and Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD attended. 


"GFAPS gathered every branch of allergy prevention research, from genetics to environment to the microbiome, into one room to formulate a comprehensive blueprint for how we can decrease the incidence of food allergy globally over the next decade,” said Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of CFAAR.  “Some factors we know and others we are still exploring. Early introduction of peanut and egg products to babies around 4 to 6 months can prevent allergies to those foods. We need to make sure there is equity through education, awareness and access to these foods to prevent increasing disparities in food allergy."


This global effort is working to coalesce the clinical and research food allergy community and NPB is proud to be at the table to participate in the solutions.


Then, NPB and The Peanut Institute (TPI) were exhibitors at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference from July 9-11th in Denver, Colorado. This conference unites hundreds of school program operators, industry partners, and allied organizations to collectively transform K-12 school nutrition operations.


Markita Lewis, NPB Marketing and Communications Associate and NPB consultant Sherry Coleman Collins, along with TPI’s Miriam Crosby, Kirstin Collins from the American Peanut Shellers Association, and Rhea Bartlett from Fleishmann-Hillard were in attendance.


Sherry Coleman Collins co-presented a session with school nutrition leaders Emily Hanlin and Jeanne Reilly in a session titled “A World of Favors.” The session, which had over 100 attendees, focused on bringing plant-based eating and global flavors to K-12 menus.


During exhibition hours, we showcased our K-12 Peanut Power for Schools toolkit, had meaningful discussions with school nutrition operators about peanut nutrition and allergy management in schools and gave samples of our West African Peanut Stew which was a favorite amongst attendees.


Peanut Industry Looks to the Future for APRES

“Scanning the Horizon” was the forward-looking theme of the 55th annual American Peanut Research & Education Society (APRES) meeting recently held in Savannah, Georgia. Bringing together researchers, shellers, manufacturers and other industry partners, APRES provided a platform for the industry to hear exciting research developments and discuss issues affecting the industry like genomics, technology, and economics just to name a few.  


National Peanut Board (NPB) Chairman Paul Rogers (VA) and NPB Research Chairman Greg Baltz (AR), represented the voice of growers during a Peanut Germplasm Committee panel discussion on day one of the three-day conference. They both expressed their support for research that reduces production costs by improving seed genetics. Whether it be through increased yields or the introduction of natural disease resistance reducing the need for inputs like fuel and labor for spraying, greater efficiency will mean increased profitability for the grower, and measurable sustainability which is increasingly important to consumers.


Additionally, NPB Sponsored the PhD category of the Joe Sugg Graduate Student Competition that took place during the meeting. Jessica Bell, University of Georgia placed first, Annabelle McCachin of University of Georgia placed second and Jennifer Dudak of Oklahoma State University placed third.


APRES also hosted the “Opportunities and Challenges Facing U.S. Peanut in International Markets,” symposium to address barriers to trade into the European Union (EU), primarily the strict standards set by the EU on aflatoxin and pesticides. See Farm Progress article linked here for more comprehensive information about this issue. 


Board Approves FY-24 Program & Honors 

Award Winners

At the July meeting of the National Peanut Board (NPB), the Board reviewed and approved the program of work and budget for FY-24, which begins Nov. 1, 2023. The consumer promotion strategy embraces the uniquely American love of peanuts and peanut butter with a uniting theme of “We the Peanut.” Other areas of work include shopper and retail marketing, reputation management, business development and grower and industry communications. The program of work and budget will be submitted to USDA for final approval. The meeting also included sessions of the Domestic Promotions, Budget & Finance, Export, and Grower committees.


At the Southern Peanut Growers Conference held directly after the Board meeting, NPB continued its sponsorship of the Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Awards Breakfast. NPB Vice Chairman and Arkansas board member Greg Baltz congratulated the winners from the podium and said, “The ever-increasing input costs make this award for efficiency more important than ever. NPB’s production research dollars are helping to make advancements that potentially lower these costs, and our promotion and protection programs help ensure there’s a market for this fantastic crop.” The winners of the awards are Colt Woody & Brandon Woody (Upper Southeast), Ryan Jenkins (Lower Southeast), Triple D Farms (Delta) and John Reddecop (Southwest).   


The Peanut Podcast Episode 19: Peanuts 

in Schools

PB&Js have been a school lunch staple for generations—and at most schools they still are. Tapping into the National Peanut Board’s recent Summer School Nutrition Summit, we discuss the latest trends and how schools can serve peanuts while keeping students with allergies safe. In this episode of The Peanut Podcast, we hear from Amy Carroll of Lee County, FL Schools, Marlon Gordon of Nxt Gen Network, child nutrition chef Rebecca Polson, Leslie Wagner of Southern Peanut Growers and Texas peanut grower Lexi Floyd.

Read the full recap here. Listen to the episode here.


Recipe: South Carolina All Seasons Potato Salad

This South Carolina All Seasons Potato Salad recipe came from Ed Engoron, owner of Perspectives. Topped with peanuts, this picnic-perfect recipe is a great side dish for all your summertime activities. Find Ed’s recipe (Cooking Lesson #637: South Carolina All Seasons Potato Salad) here.


National Peanut Board Calendar for  

July 29, 2023 -  August 31, 2023

National Medical Association Conference 

(New Orleans, LA)

July 29 - August 2


National Black Growers Council Field Tour (Sledge, MS)

August 11

Diversify Dietetics Intern Orientation

 (Atlanta, GA)

August 14 - August 17

American Peanut Shellers Association Pre-Harvest Meeting 

(Albany, GA)

August 22 - August 23

American Peanut Council Mexico In-Country Seminar 

(Mexico City, Mexico)

August 28 - August 31

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News in a Nutshell is a monthly e-newsletter from the National Peanut Board with the latest on USA-grown peanuts in the media, marketing and promotions, food allergy news, grower resources and much more.


Marketing & Communications Editorial Team

Ryan Lepicier

Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Lauren Highfill Williams


Lindsay Stevens


Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD


Catherine Karanja


Markita Lewis, MS, RD


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