The Peanut Patch finalist in specialty food competition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Staff report

The Peanut Patch, Courtland, is the only peanut company among the 98 finalists in the 32nd annual Product Awards Competition sponsored by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. Six national specialty food retailers judged more than 1,500 entries totaling 3,500 products from the U.S. and overseas based on quality, uniqueness, taste, sales and merchandising potential, and retail price.

The Peanut Patch is one of six finalists in the Outstanding Classic with their salted extra large gourmet Virginia peanuts. Classic products are those with lasting staying power and are among the best retail sellers. The other finalists in the category include manufacturers of specialty cookies, cheeses, and pasta.

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&uot;As the specialty food industry has developed and grown over the years, products have emerged as classics,&uot; says Ron Tanner, vice president, communications & education, NASFT. &uot;These products keep consumers coming back to specialty food stores; they are truly the backbone of this vibrant industry.&uot;

&uot;Being the only peanut company to be singled out in an international industry competition is very exciting,&uot; said Jane Riddick-Fries, vice president of sales and marketing for The Peanut Patch. &uot;Our constant goal is to produce peanut products that meet the sales and merchandising needs of our retailers as well as the freshness and taste that our consumers deserve. This confirms that we’re on target.&uot;

Twenty winners will be selected from among the finalists at the 50th Summer Fancy Food Show in New York on Sunday, June 27, 2004. The judges will include nearly 100 specialty food retailers, supermarket buyers, and cataloguers.

The NASFT is an international organization composed of domestic and foreign manufacturers, importers, distributors, brokers, retailers, restaurateurs, caterers and others in the specialty foods business. The organization has more than 2,400 member companies throughout the U.S. and overseas.

The Peanut Patch cooks only the largest and best Virginia peanuts in pure peanut oil for exceptional tasting, wholesome and nutritious snacks ideal for guests, for gifting, and for everyday. Located in historic Courtland, in the heart of Virginia peanut country, The Peanut Patch products are featured in retail specialty food stores across the country and around the world through the company Web site and catalogs. For more information, visit