Consumers eat more than 6 lbs of peanut products each year
ELGIN, Ill., Mar 25, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Is there anything more American than peanuts at a baseball game? In Chicago, a city with a baseball pedigree and part of America's heartland, fans have eaten nearly 500,000 bags of Fisher Salted-In-Shell peanuts in one season alone. Okay, there's mom and apple pie, but when was the last time someone's mother passed out pie at a sports event?
Eating peanuts to the crack of a bat is engrained in the national consciousness. It's a rite of spring, a signal that it's time to grab a favorite old cap, go outside and crack some salty shells.
Fisher salted-in-shell peanuts fill the bill with crunchy goodness in every chomp. The Fisher brand has provided the best in nuts since 1922, when Babe Ruth entered his prime, began hitting prodigious home runs and forgot about Boston and pitching.
Peanuts, after all, are featured in one of America's best-known songs, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," whose lyrics suggest that they are as important as the game itself. Note that the songwriter did not ask for cheese, crackers, hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, cotton candy or one of the big foam hands everyone waves around.
How important are peanuts at baseball games? For one day, in 1950, the peanut was banned from baseball, noted Gaylon White in an article for the Society for Baseball Research. The one who made it happen, Paul Fagan, was the owner of the San Francisco Seals, a team best known for having Joe DiMaggio on it before he went to the major leagues to make history.
Fagan, concerned about a lack of cleanliness and order in the game, ordered players to wear their uniforms just so. He even provided each player with a handkerchief to address runny noses. He put the kibosh on favorite old lucky sweatshirts and socks. Finally, to save money on the cost of cleaning up peanut shells after games, Fagan banned shelled peanuts. That did it, White wrote. San Francisco "went nuts."
A local druggist complained that baseball without peanuts was like eating "mush without salt." A beer vendor said he'd rather wrestle a tiger than take peanuts away from baseball fans. And a sensible office girl chimed in: "Just like a man to think of something as nutty as that." Fans threatened to boycott Seals games and Fagan caved after only one day. To make amends, he promised fans that he would give away 18,000 bags of peanuts on opening day. He said he'd never been beaten in his life, but the humble peanut proved his match.
Given all their attributes, plus the fact that they satisfy our stated preference for salty and crunchy snacks, peanuts are American royalty. Baseball fans rooting their favorite teams or razzing the umpires only have to stomp on some discarded shells to know they are in heaven.
John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., founded in 1922, is a leading processor, marketer and distributor of shelled and in-shell nuts that are sold in multiple distribution channels. Their products can be found under the company's Fisher and Sunshine Country brand names and under a variety of private labels.