Nut Shot

Nut Butter Mini-Series: Nut Shot

This is the second in my Nut Butter Mini-Series exploring various nut butter brands from brilliant producers around the UK. I am a nut butter nutter – I love the stuff! I can eat it straight from the jar with a spoon, on porridge, in a quick butty or as an ingredient in a fancy meal.

The nut butter market has exploded over the last couple of years and, alongside chocolate, is supporting the entire spreads market in the UK. In recent weeks a catastrophic shift has occurred in mainstream retail that signals how shoppers have shifted their buying habits as Whole Earth overtook Hain Celestial’s Sun-Pat in the nut butter rankings. Now, Whole Earth, isn’t the best example of this new trend as it does contain nasties but this news is a great dipstick into what the modern consumer is now demanding of the fixture.

So what’s driving this surging growth in nut lustings? Well it’s partly due to health connotations and the protein junkies; it’s also partly down to the purists seeking foods provided completely by Mother Earth and, as much as we may not like this fact, we can also thank our cousins across the pond who’s love affair with nut butters is a daily rendez-vous!

Right, enough of that! On with my review…

Product Review: Nut Shot Chunky Peanut Butter

Rating: 8/10

Appeals to: this is the purest of pure peanut butters with (literally) one ingredient so this product will particularly appeal to health nuts (pun definitely intended).

Packaging

Well, marketeers always talk about ‘popping off the shelf’ (apologies, disgusting phrase I know) and this brand definitely meets that brief! The colours are vibrant, it’s fun and it will stand out against the wallpaper that is the rest of the category. This jar will certainly appeal to a younger audience and the tongue-in-cheek branding will have the students gathering and gawping.

Price

£2.95– this is a very reasonable price point when compared against its competitive set. I did pick this up in my local Spar so anything over the £3 threshold would have stood out like a sore thumb and, more than likely, gone dusty. On a side note: I think it’s great that this local shop is doing it’s bit to support artisanal producers and differentiating against the melting pot of generic retailers in the industry – well done you!

Delivery

Really very good! Please don’t be put off by the fact that you have to stir the nut butter before you consume; that’s how you know it’s good. The nut oil has separated from the solids and formed a delightful layer across the top of the jar. Stir it in and get amongst it! The delivery is astounding to say there is just one ingredient. It’s thick and chunky and just how I like it. This has a completely different consistency to the Funky Nut Co I tried earlier as it’s more of a nut pate than an out and out spread.

Verdict – in a word, amazing! I really like this product. It’s doing something different to other nut butters out there and really differentiates on taste. I can see why it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but, as an enthusiast, I’m a big fan.

Details: http://www.nutshot.co.uk

Northern Munkee.

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Rest in Reese’s

Product Review: Reese’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Spread

In a previous product review I’ve alluded to the fact that the UK spreads market is evolving month-by-month and the growth is being driven by two areas: nut butters and chocolate. In fact this week, we saw another trend coming to fruition as Whole Earth knocked Sun-Pat off the top spot in peanut butters signalling a shift in consumer habits and shopper buying patterns – let the battle of the premium spreads commence! However, Nutella is still driving a significant proportion of that growth backed by a big budget and a strong heritage. If you couple that information with the surge in popularity of all things American then a Reese’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Spread should set the UK on fire, right? Erm…best not tell Hartley’s just yet.

Rating: 4/10

Appeals to: fans of the super sweet and synthetic, you know who you are!

Packaging

Perfect and fit for purpose. Let’s be honest, if you have a great brand, which Reese’s is, then you should milk it for all it’s worth. This was about the only thing the product delivered on.

Price

£3.49 – don’t worry I didn’t actually pay that, it was on offer!

Delivery

You’ve probably worked out from the tone of this post that I wasn’t going to cover it in glory but it wasn’t good at all. I don’t think I ask too much from a Peanut Butter and Chocolate Spread when I ask for a well-formed peanut flavour and a real chocolate; however I was let down on both fronts. The chocolate was slimy and synthetic and the bubbles of peanut that ran through it had no impact on the flavour whatsoever. I do think this would be better positioned as a dessert topping rather than a spread, something needs to mask the flavours slightly.

Verdict – in a word, poor. I was disappointed by this product which, in theory, shows a lot of promise. There are other, non-hazelnut, chocolate/peanut butter combinations out there which, I believe, do a much better job (take Sun-Pat’s Choc-a-Nut for example). I always set out to be a ‘nice blogger’, if there is such a thing, and not be an overly pretentious, hateful blogger but it’s more important to me to be an honest blogger so I think Reese’s should just stick to what works for them: pieces and butter cups.

Northern Munkee.

Product Review: Bim’s Kitchen

Review – African Tigernut, Coconut and Cashew Butter [Bim’s Kitchen]

Rating: 7/10

Appeals to: nut butter enthusiasts and Food Adventurers.

Packaging

This is a really exciting sub-category of spreads with a lot of growth coming from peanut and other nut butters which means there is a lot of noise on the fixture and new entrants to the category. The growth is being driven by health conscious consumers looking for a protein-rich snack and shoppers demanding more from the category; products like Sunpat are great for hitting a price point but the synthetic delivery isn’t exciting shoppers any more. So, to compete in this arena, you must shout out your USPs from the busy shelf; does Bim’s Kitchen achieve this, I’m afraid not. The packaging is good but, in my opinion, it doesn’t talk directly to the people visiting this space in supermarkets. It does, however, fit well within the rest of their portfolio as African food specialists so they might find their niche in World Foods rather than in a heavily saturated marketplace.

Price

£5.25 for 190g is very steep and it will standout like an anaphylactic thumb against the competition. I would see this as direct competition against the likes of the fantastic Nut Shot or Pip & Nut and at this price point it isn’t going to worry them too much. As a shopper I fully appreciate that cashew nuts are an expensive commodity, particularly in comparison to peanuts, however this message is lost on the packaging and just seems a little out of touch.

Preparation

I enjoyed this with a couple of slices of lightly toasted white bread. The website suggests that it could be used as an ingredient for a sauce but I felt this would mask a lot of the subtle flavours.

Delivery

FANTASTIC! I have sampled one other cashew and tigernut butter and it was quite powdery and hard-going. This restored my faith in this style of nut butter. I cannot fault the delivery at all. It was the perfect mix of sweet and savoury and a really great food.

Verdict: In a word – frustrating. The food is phenomenal but, because of the failings of the rest of the product, I don’t believe people will pick it up to give it a chance. Having said that, with some tweaks to purchasing and packaging I believe this would be a brilliant proposition. There are a few barriers to entry but as a Food Adventurer I am happy to pay a premium for an exciting and great tasting spread.

Details: www.bimskitchen.com

£5.25

Other variants: African Baobab and Peanut Butter,

Northern Munkee.