A snack bowl filled to the brim with peanuts, whether in the shell or not, sits on the dining room table. The hand that would reach out and grab a few of them as a mid-day snack is not your own, your classroom peer or even your parents, but very likely your grandparents.
North Carolina’s peanut production has an economic value of $135,766,000 million. While those peanuts produced in North Carolina can be found in your peanut butter jar, the trail mix sitting on the shelf by the checkout aisle or in your favorite Halloween candy, the likely consumer who would purchase a bag of in-shell peanuts as their choice of snack is estimated to be averaged at 54 years old based on consumer data. The question as to why other age demographics do not consider in-shell peanuts as their go-to choice to pair with their lunch remains unsolved.
The NC State University Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Clinic is assembling teams to conduct taste panels that will be launched across Centennial and Main campus to gain an idea as to why college-aged students are unlikely to purchase a bag of peanuts as their preferred snack item. These teams will ask the students questions about the taste of different varieties of in-shell peanuts, current snack preferences and perceptions of in-shell peanuts.
Growing the market value of our peanuts means providing answers to these questions and looking for new innovative ways to reach and market one of our most vital crops to North Carolinians.
Students interested in participating in such a focus group should reach out to the Student Clinic Manager, Seeby Jarvis-Earle, at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more involved.