Do We Really Need Another High-Dollar Peanut Butter Alternative?
Go back a few decades (maybe not even that many) and upon arriving in the peanut butter aisle at your local grocery store, you’d be unlikely to see any other than the big names: Skippy, Jif, Peter Pan if you’re lucky. The heavy hitters in the spread world we all grew up with, available virtually anywhere with taste and cost we could depend on.
Flash forward to today, and there are more peanut butter, nut butter, and nut-free spreads you can shake a stick at. And while the list of options seems endless, almost all of the current offerings — particularly those sans nuts altogether — stray far from the beloved classic in both flavor and affordability.
The Current Lineup
Now, we’re aware that having more options isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Seeing a variety of non-peanut and completely nut-free alternatives is a sure sign that we’ve taken a step in the right direction. But the way we see it, it’s a baby step at best and we can — and should — do better. Let’s break it down. When searching online for the best (overall) alternatives to peanut butter, the vast majority of results will include a combination of other nut butters and spreads free from nuts and other top food allergens.
Starting with butters made from nuts other than peanuts, the most common and widely available options feature as their main ingredient almonds or cashews, with a few others not quite as ubiquitous such as walnuts or pecans. According to this article in the Huffington Post, it isn’t uncommon for a 16-ounce jar of almond butter to go for upwards of $10, almost double that of a jar of traditional, name-brand peanut butter of the same size. This disparity in price holds true for the other alternative nut butters listed above. But even if these options were able to compete on price, they present another key problem for many of those shopping for a peanut butter alternative.
A sizable portion of these consumers simply cannot consume other nut-based alternatives due to food allergies, which leaves those alternatives that steer clear of nuts altogether. These options consist of seed, soy, and even granola-based spreads. Within these alternatives, prices are often much higher than classic peanut butter and much more closely rival that of high-end spreads touting claims of organic ingredients and artisanal production methods. Take Seedible’s Creamy Original Sesame Butter for example. An 11-ounce jar of the brand’s classic flavor goes for just under $10. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the existence of higher end spreads, whether made with nuts or without. But when — for those with nut allergies — they are the only option, there’s clearly something missing.
It’s Time to Balance the Scales
Just like with traditional peanut butter, there needs to be a variety of options to choose from when it comes to allergen-friendly alternatives, both in regards to taste and price point. Because let’s face it, there are few options that check off even one of these boxes and virtually none that do both. But not for long.
Our nut-free, allergen-friendly peanut butter replacement mirrors classic, traditional peanut butter in flavor, texture, and affordability. Because we believe that whether you have nut allergies or not, you should have the ability to choose exactly what type of spread you want. And we know that so many of you are ready for one that will wow your tastebuds — and still keep some money in your pocket.