Peanut butter is a classic protein packed snack that’s versatile enough to be combined with just about anything. For a long time, it was the only kind of nut butter that people knew of. With constantly evolving consumer dietary needs, we’ve seen a boom in “butters” made from all kinds of different nuts and seeds. Here are a few aspects of this growing category that brands are taking into account:
The demand for peanut butter alternatives has resulted in an influx of “butters” made from ground almonds, cashews, pistachios and more. Often at a higher price point, it is common to see companies touting the healthy benefits of their product. Nutraw’s pistachio butter features packaging that is more elevated than what you might associate with a typical peanut butter jar, reflecting the minimal ingredients (stripped down to just pistachios, coconut oil and vanilla). Similarly, butters are increasingly being made from seeds – even ones you may not have ever thought to eat. Sunflower and pumpkin seed butters have been heralded as friendly options for consumers with nut allergies. Watermelon seed butter is unconventional yet intriguing. Sakara’s version appeals to consumers based on its aesthetic alone. The cream colored product is complemented by equally clean packaging, suggesting its simplicity and quality.
Inclusions and unique flavors set brands apart in this ever growing category. Sesame seed butter is traditionally known as tahini, a main ingredient in hummus, but it’s making its way more and more into the butter category. Ilka’s Chai Sesame Butter appeals to create a more memorable and unique experience when spread over toast or fruit. Big Spoon Roasters also offer various nut butter flavors, like Espresso and Vanilla Peanut Sorghum.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Despite the rise in alternative unconventional nut and seed butters, peanut butter certainly isn’t going anywhere in the hearts of the consumer. Gourmet peanut butters are being spotted more, keeping up with their less conventional butters on shelf. Many companies take on a wide variety of products to suit different tastes. The now infamous Justin’s started with a line of simple peanut and almond butters, and has expanded to include other types of nut butters and flavors. Betsy’s Best (shoutout to another Boulder company) makes peanut, almond, cashew, and seed butters with chia seeds. These companies acknowledge that consumers are looking for a wide variety of ingredients, and many are meeting that demand.
GRAB AND GO
Nut butters are know to be a great source of protein. Having on-the-go, no mess servings available is a huge draw. Justin’s pioneered this with their rip-open pouches of nut butters. Now they are offering snack packs which couple nut butter with pretzels, dried bananas and other inclusions. Yum Butter created unique yet functional pouches for their various nut butters, with a color system signifying the different types. Trail Butter has positioned itself as an alternative to trail mix by combining different ingredients into nut butters for a crunchy, trail-friendly snack.
Nut and seed butters are an on-going trend, and we’re wondering whether this will continue by pushing the boundaries of what can be made into a “butter”, or whether companies will focus more on the flavor and inclusions of the more conventional nut butters. While nut and seed butters have the power to stand as individual products, how will we begin to see them incorporated into other types of snacks? We’ll be on the lookout for nutty and seedy concoctions of all kinds.