Are nut butters still the new thing in the free from market?

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There are so many to choose from, it’s fantastic! The Free From aisle in the supermarkets have a whole load of nut butters from the ever popular peanut butter to almond butter, cashew butter, coconut and cacao butter, date and orange, to name a few.

As a peanut butter addict, I just love the fact that there are alternatives and it’s a healthy go-to snack on oatcakes for me. Well, healthy if you limit the portion size and the amount of oatcakes you eat!

High in protein, but also in fat, some nut butters have gained a bad reputation. Many nut butters contain additives, salt, sugar and sometimes even seemingly healthy options can contain palm oil. So check the ingredients before you tuck in!

Almond, macadamia, cashew, hazelnut, pistachio, walnut, pecan, and brazil nuts all make terrific butters, and are no longer just the preserve of health food fans. A lot of these are nutritionally better than peanut butter. They can be brilliant in baking especially some no bake recipes with oats and make a good and filling snack. I’m lucky that both my daughters don’t have any nut allergies and they both like nuts so I use them in baking especially almond butter and they work well in smoothies too.

Well-known brands are Meridian (my favourite as its ingredients are just 100% peanuts and nothing else), Kelkin, and Panda. However, other brands are making a name for themselves especially with varieties they are producing –  The Wise nut, Fiona’s Nutterly Nutritious to name a few. These manufacturers have some decadent and interesting flavours. Check your supermarket shelves!

The peanut butter market is big money for manufacturers and worth approx £50 million a year in the UK. Almond butter is approx £1 million. Almond is a lot more expensive than peanut, hence why sometimes the jars are more expensive. From talking to supermarket managers in Dublin, they are big business in Ireland too, I don’t have figures though. Nut butters jostle for space on supermarket shelves. It’s great news for free from consumers and the healthy food aisles consumers. Online sales are at an increase also and fitness fanatics hail the protein content in the nut butters especially peanut so now the large tubs are ever so popular, especially when on sale or special offer. Nut butters are put intp protein smoothies, protein balls and snacks.

It will be interesting to see what the next new product will be. I hope this market keeps growing, I’m a big fan anyway.

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