Business shutdowns and travel bans brought wide swaths of the economy to a shuddering halt during the Covid-19 pandemic, but certain sectors are doing just fine.
Take the peanut business, for instance. Although peanut sales were already trending up before the pandemic, the Covid-19 crisis has led to a spike in domestic peanut butter demand as Americans turn to “the ultimate comfort food,” according to Stephanie Grunenfelder, senior vice president of the American Peanut Council.
And it’s not just a domestic phenomenon. Peanut exports are also seeing double-digit growth, according to Georgia’s Port of Savannah. In a May blog post, the port reported that for the fiscal year through March, it handled 10,947 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) of export peanuts, an increase of 3,724 TEUs, or 51.6%, over the previous year. The top markets for U.S.-grown peanuts are Canada, the European union, Mexico, and China, the port said.
As for where those nuts are grown, Georgia continues to be the leading peanut-producing state, accounting for more than 50% of the nation’s product, according to the American Peanut Council. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects Georgia farmers will plant 740,000 acres of the crunchy legume this year, a 10% increase over 2019.