So peanut butter may have started in with the Incas, spread across South America, then
exported to Africa, before traveling to the US and being coined as the perfect health food by George Washington Carver and Dr. John Kellog…..But what does the industry look like now?
Commercial peanut butter made its debut in 1896. Before the development of special grinders, the peanuts were ground in adapted meat grinder this was effective, though often not used because of the higher demand for meat. It was not till the civil war that peanut grinders were made specifically and the popularity and use of peanut butter exploded!
By 1899, an estimated two million pounds of peanut butter were manufactured in the United States.
By the early 1900’s the US had created agricultural support programs to promote the production of peanuts.
The modern day farming of peanuts is centralized in seven states: Georgia (41%) Texas (24%), Alabama (10%), North Carolina (9%), Florida (6%), Virginia (5%), and Oklahoma (5%). Approximately 25,000 peanut farmers produce within these regions!
The average size of a peanut farm is 100 acres and the farming of peanut has increased in most of these south eastern areas since 1998.
Peanuts are the US’s 12th most valuable cash crop and value out to over 1 billion dollars annually!
The United States is currently the 3rd largest producer of peanuts in the world proceeded by China and India, however unlike most countries the majority of peanut production in the US is used for edible consumption. Only 15% of peanuts farmed in the US are crushed for oil. The US exports between 200,000 and 250,000 metric tons of peanut butter every year.
Peanut butter accounts for 1/2 of all edible peanut product consumption in the US. This equals out to $850 million dollars each year!Each year over 1.5 billion pounds of peanut butter are consumed. Peanut butter has been recorded to be in 90% of households Today there are three major peanut butter manufacturers dominate the market: Skippy, (first produced in 1932); Peter Pan (founded in 1926); and Procter & Gamble’s Jif (first produced in 1958).
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