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News In a Nutshell | October 3, 2023

NPB Champions Solutions to Food Allergies

By Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD 

National Peanut Board’s (NPB) relationship with the food allergy community has certainly evolved since its inception. Way back when it started, NPB and the peanut industry were widely viewed with skepticism – even as the enemy! Fortunately, things have changed in wonderful ways. In fact, I would say that NPB is living the original Board’s goal of being “part of the solution” to the challenge of food allergies. 


NPB’s commitment to be part of the solution for those with food allergies shows in ongoing support of the food allergy community. NPB has had a long-term partnership with food allergy advocacy organization Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT).


FAACT’s mission is to educate, advocate, and raise awareness for all individuals and families affected by food allergies and life-threatening anaphylaxis. NPB has been a sponsor since its beginning ten years ago, including sponsoring the organization’s Food Industry and Research Summit. At this year’s event in September, Ryan Lepicier, NPB chief marketing officer, expressed his appreciation for Garrow-Holding and the food allergy community while providing an update of the industry and America’s peanut farms. Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD spoke about the many initiatives that NPB supports including helping to promote early introduction of peanut foods to help prevent peanut allergies and comprehensive approaches to food allergy management in K-12 schools, among others. 


Over the years, NPB has invested more than $36 million into food allergy research, education and outreach. Through this effort, America’s peanut farmers have supported early research that opened doors and provided seed funding for life-altering studies and intervention, including supporting the research team that conducted the groundbreaking LEAP trial. Because of his leadership in this area on behalf of NPB over the past decade, Bob Parker, NPB president and CEO, was recognized with the 2023 FARE Food Allergy Champion Award. FARE stands for Food Allergy Research & Education and is committed to enhancing the lives of individuals with food allergies, empowering them to lead safe, productive lives with the respect of others through education and advocacy initiatives and improved awareness around healthcare options and treatment – a mission NPB can certainly get behind too.


"Bob's commitment on behalf of NPB has made a significant difference in the work that FARE does to advocate on behalf of Americans with food allergies,” said Sung Poblete, CEO FARE. “We are grateful for his leadership and support of the food allergy community and happy to recognize him with this award."


NPB Participates in Mexico In-Country Seminar

(L-R): Peter Vlazakis, APC; Jeff Roper, NPB Texas Board Member, Lauren Highfill Williams, NPB; Donald Chase, APC.

The American Peanut Council (APC) hosted a two-day seminar in Mexico City, August 29-30. The trade mission connected peanut industry leaders to Mexican customers and stakeholders and more than 80 people from the U.S. and Mexico participated.


According to the APC, Mexico is the top export market for U.S. peanuts. Nearly 150,000 metric tons, valued at $212 million, was exported to Mexico in 2022. By volume, total U.S. exports of peanuts to Mexico have increased by 36% since 2018.


NPB Director of Communications Lauren Highfill Williams and NPB Texas Board member and member of the APC Export Committee Jeff Roper participated with Donald Chase, Georgia grower and vice chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission, in a panel about the U.S. peanut crop.


“I was honored to be included in the trip and to have the opportunity to speak to the group about the status of the peanut crop in Texas and the Southwest,” said Roper. “The Mexican market is one that we have been interested in and have put emphasis on for over 10 years now with reverse trade missions. With us being able to visit them in their country will pay dividends. They were very gracious and hospitable. Trips like this and when they come to see peanut harvest on the farm are incredibly important to building those relationships.”


To learn more about the event, read the APC news release.


Hy-Vee Increases Peanut Butter Sales by 15% with NPB Partnership

Retail registered dietitians (RDs) continue to be an impactful target audience of the National Peanut Board’s (NPB) nutrition communications efforts. As heroes at point-of-sale, retail RDs serve as a trusted source of information for shoppers. A cornerstone of this year’s program has been a partnership with trusted Hy-Vee RDs to reach their loyal shopper base. Hy-Vee is a chain of supermarkets in the Midwestern and Southern United States with more than 280 locations.


Building on the momentum of a sponsorship in February of Hy-Vee’s ‘Meet Your Metrics’ program, which provided shoppers with coupons and messaging on the nutritional benefits of peanuts, peanuts and peanut butter were on display as the ‘Dietitian Pick of the Month’ across Hy-Vee stores in July. The robust mix of pulse points helped to drive a peanut butter sales increase of 15% when comparing July 2022 sales to July 2023. 


Throughout the month of July, Hy-Vee RDs focused on showcasing the many benefits of peanuts and peanut butter while meeting shoppers where they are. Peanuts and peanut butter were integrated into store signage, cooking demos and local events. In addition, direct links to peanuts and peanut butter were included in digital ads on Hy-Vee’s website as well as their weekly digital newsletter directly reaching 170,000 shoppers. Social media content, local television cooking segments and media articles vastly extended the reach of peanut-centric messaging. 


This year’s retail RD program has been multifaceted and included a variety of other elements including direct outreach to promote the newly debuted Retail RD toolkit and a year-long partnership with the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA).  


NPB Connects with Farmers in North and 

South Carolina

The second week of September was a busy tour time for peanut-growing areas in North and South Carolina this year.


First, the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association (NCPGA) held their Field Day and Annual Meeting at the Peanut Belt Research Station in Lewiston-Woodville, North Carolina. Attendees viewed several plots testing insect, disease and weed management solutions and some exciting innovations in breeding made possible so quickly because of industry investment in peanut genome-related research. After the research field tour, NPB Chairman Paul Rogers and NC Board member Ray Garner provided the crowd with an update on NPB’s activities. Also in attendance was former NPB Chairman Dan Ward and NPB Director of IT and Compliance DeMarquiné Houston.


“By mapping the peanut genome and using marker-assisted selection techniques our peanut breeders can now offer new varieties with improved disease resistance in as little as 7 years,” Ward said. “Before this technology was available, it would sometimes take a breeder 15 years to offer a new variety and it may be 20 years before enough seed was available to plant that variety on a large scale”


The following day, the National Black Grower’s Council held its final field day of the 2023 Model Farm Field Day series. Antron Williams of Mahogany Farms, LLC and a graduate of the Peanut Leadership Academy Class X, hosted the sixth field day stop at his farm in Rowesville, South Carolina. Attendees, including Houston, visited three of Williams’ fields and were able to network and ask questions about technology, conservation, equipment and chemicals to the many representatives who attended and/or demonstrated during the tour stops. Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi also hosted stops on the tour earlier this summer. If you’re interested in attending the 2024 tour, sign up for updates here.


The Peanut Podcast Episode 21: Alternative Uses for Peanuts

Peanut production in the U.S. is skyrocketing. Ten years ago, U.S. peanut farmers produced a two-million-ton crop. Today it’s three million. In ten more years, it will likely be four million. Putting future peanut crops to good use will take innovative approaches and requires attention now to set farmers and the industry up for success. In this episode, we’ll learn about promising areas of innovation—like peanuts’ benefits for poultry and egg production, high-oleic and high oil content peanuts and even peanuts as alternatives for gluten and dairy in food products—to push this crop into new frontiers and keep peanut farming profitable. We speak with Dr. Nino Brown of the University of Georgia, Dr. Marshall Lamb from the National Peanut Research Lab, Texas peanut grower Larry Don Womack and Stephen Richards of Better Body Foods. Read the full recap here and listen to the full episode here.


Recipe: Spicy Coconut Peanut Soup

Photo and recipe courtesy of Tanika Douglas, Tasting Table.

This hearty, spicy soup is the perfect fall meal to keep you warm. The inclusion of peanut butter adds a nutty creaminess to the savory soup. See the full recipe here.


National Peanut Board Calendar for  

October 3, 2023 -  October 30, 2023

The Peanut Podcast Episode 21

October 3

 UMass Peanut Day
(Amherst, MA)
October 4

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo 

(Denver, CO)
 October 7 - October 10

Menu Directions

(Columbus, OH)
October 8 - October 10

 China International Peanut Conference 

(Jinzhou, China)

October 15 - October 21
 Advances in Arachis Through Genomics and Biotechnology Conference 
(Huntsville, AL)
 October 16 - October 20

Georgia School Nutrition Directors Conference

(Athens, GA)
 October 17 - October 18

American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition

(Washington, DC)
 October 20 - October 24

School Nutrition Roadshow – Stop 1

(Houston, TX)

 October 20

School Nutrition Roadshow – Stop 2

(Cobb County, GA)

 October 23

American Academy of Family Physicians Family Medicine Conference

(Chicago, IL)
 October 26 - October 30

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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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