Major US peanut and peanut ingredient supplier the Golden Peanut Company has launched two new organic peanut flours and an organic roasted peanut oil, to meet growing demand for both organic and nutritional finished products.
The Golden Peanut Company supplies processed peanuts and peanut derived ingredients, such as peanut flours, worldwide and is owned by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Alimenta USA.
The company has been preparing its production pipeline to produce organic ingredients for several years, but only now saw a strong enough level of demand for these products as the organic trend becomes mainstream.
"Customers started asking me for organic peanut flour and organic roasted peanut oil about four or five years ago - we actually got the plant organically certified about two years ago," Bruce Kotz, vice president of specialty products with Golden Peanut, told FoodNavigator-USA.
"It was just recently that we had strong enough commitments from more than one customer that we made our first production run of the organic products."
Golden Peanut contracts organic peanut farmers to supply its peanut shelling plant in Texas.
For the company, organic certification brings with it a premium positioning it can market along with the ingredients' other attributes, including the taste profile and functionality associated with peanuts.
Golden Peanut is offering medium roast and dark roast organic peanut flours, which have 28 percent fat and 12 percent fat respectively, for adding nutritional and functional value to confectionery, baked goods, nutrition bars, dry seasoning blends, dry flavor systems, reduced fat peanut butters and sauces.
Peanut flour consists of between 40 and 50 percent protein depending on the fat level of the specific ingredient.
The company's organic roasted aromatic peanut oil is designed for use as a base in peanut flavor systems, peanut butters, salad or cooking oil applications and other applications in which a processor wants to add a peanut flavor to a food.
The new peanut ingredient lines are both Organic Crop Improvement Association International (OCIA) and Kosher OU certified.
Though Golden Peanut exports internationally, the company foresees demand for its organics line at the domestic level in particular.
"I think most of the demand will come from US companies," said Kotz.
The US organic market has shown phenomenal growth in recent years.
According to the Organic Trade Association's 2007 Manufacturer Survey, 2006 sales in the US reached $16.7bn - a 21 percent increase on the previous year.
In its market research, Frost & Sullivan has linked this to consumer fears surrounding the effect of additives, chemicals and possible additives on their foods.
Organic foods bring with them a perception of health, and that also ties in with general healthy eating trends as consumers get wise to the dangers of obesity.
In terms of the landscape of the US organic market, Frost & Sullivan says the organic trend has moved out of its niche and is making an impact on the mainstream market.
It said in a recent report that several multinationals are "vying for strong positioning", either by launching their own new organic ranges or by acquiring some of the smaller but successful brands that may have started out as small-scale, mom-and-pop operations in the niche days.