Saturday, May 25, 2024

NPB Invests in Food Entrepreneurs

Business-building strategies are on-target with consumer trends.

As part of the San Francisco Street Food Festival, the National Peanut Board (NPB) donated $5,000 to La Cocina, a San Francisco-based non-profit devoted to helping up and coming food entrepreneurs. The event was part of the Peanut Butter for Breakfast program where peanuts and peanut butter were the centerpiece of a brunch menu. An initial gift of $5,000 was given to Charleston, S.C.- based Crisis Ministries, which serves the needy and homeless in that area.

Support For Communities

“The NPB has been an important supporter of both La Cocina and the San Francisco Street Food Festival for the last two years,” says Caleb Zigas, executive director, La Cocina. “Like many of our clients, the farmers that the NPB represents epitomize the best in food. It is an honor to celebrate that entrepreneurial spirit collaboratively.”

“We were happy to provide La Cocina and the people they serve with our support,” says Cindy Belch, NPB chairman. “USA peanut farmers believe that it’s critical we support the communities we serve. Peanut butter is an affordable source of protein to those who need it most, and we’re always excited to have opportunities like these to help people thrive.”

Showcase Of Diversity

“Not only do peanuts have more protein than any other nut, but they are very versatile. They can shine within an array of cuisines that are as diverse and unique as a city like San Francisco,” Belch says. More than 90 percent of American households have one or more jars of peanut butter. To share with everyday families ways that breakfast can be nutritious, delicious and convenient, America’s peanut farmers launched the Peanut Butter for Breakfast initiative.

The mission of La Cocina is to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market and capital opportunities.

The nonprofit organization focuses primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities. Its efforts aim to help entrepreneurs become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant economy doing what they love to do.


Consumers And Research Focus

The National Peanut Board recently approved a 2013 Program of Work and Budget of $8.7 million.

“Our board adopted a long-term strategic plan designed to have a positive impact on consumer attitudes. This program and budget implement strong advertising and promotion initiatives, business development, production research funding and nutrition and allergy education and research,” says Cindy Belch, board chair and North Carolina delegate.

The board allocated $400,000 toward the Peanut Genome Project, an initiative to develop new and improved varieties through marker-assisted breeding.

Michael Davis, research chair, says, “Our investments, coupled with funding from other industry segments, will help everyone get on equal footing as we continue to support this vital effort focused on ensuring the future of U.S. peanut farming.”


Building On Earlier Success

The NPB’s marketing and promotional strategies will build on the success of “Peanuts: Energy for the Good Life” with a focus on “24/7 Energy.”

Don Self, promotions chair, says, “It’s a very competitive marketplace and without NPB’s multi-layered marketing, advertising and promotions programs, consumers and decision-makers in foodservice, retail and manufacturing would choose other products.”

Market research shows that NPB’s business-building strategies are on target with consumer behavior and attitudes. Trends point to a continued focus on plant-based diets, as well as toward fitness and healthier eating.


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