New “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey” from Rich Products Corporation Reveals How Nut Allergies Influence Grocery Purchases

67 percent of mothers take nut allergies into account when deciding which snacks to provide for children’s events

Buffalo, NY. (May 21, 2014) – Rich Products Corporation today released findings from its inaugural “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey,” uncovering the impact nut allergies have on snack purchases made for home and school by families both afflicted and not afflicted by these food allergies.

In the United States, approximately three million people report allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, accounting for just 0.9 percent of the overall population (Citation: United States Census Bureau). While this figure suggests a minor, yet growing footprint, Rich’s “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey” outlines how broader demographic segments are affected by a single individual suffering from the allergy.

“In the spirit of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, we wanted to take a closer look at the significant influence one individual with a peanut or tree nut allergy can have on others around them,” said Lauren Lopez, Senior Marketing Manager of Desserts at Rich Products. “From anyone involved in children’s playdates and extracurricular activities, the allergy ecosystem extends to parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, neighbors and relatives who have regular contact with individuals suffering from nut allergies.”

Consumer awareness around nut allergies has become crucial with 90 percent of fatal food anaphylaxis resulting from peanut and nut allergies (Citation: Michael C. Young, MD, author of The Peanut Allergy Answer Book). Rich’s “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey” polled 1,024 mothers in the U.S., identifying the prevalence of nut allergy concerns. More than half of the participants (56 percent) indicated they have received warnings or guidelines from their child’s school regarding nut allergies.

The rise of nut allergies in children presents a growing concern for many parents and caretakers alike. In fact, the fears families have when it comes to providing snacks for children’s activities is demonstrated by nearly one-third (30 percent) of survey respondents acknowledging that a nut allergy has influenced a food product they have purchased. Additionally, more than 25 percent were stopped from providing snacks at an event due to nut allergies.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Nut allergies affect food purchases. 1 in 3 mothers (33 percent) who know someone with an allergy reported purchasing a food product for someone with a nut allergy and 67 percent consider children’s potential nut allergies when deciding which snacks to provide for an event involving their children.
  • Kids are missing out on snacks due to fear of nut allergies. 17 percent of survey respondents have been reluctant to provide snacks for an event in the past due to concerns over nut allergies. Young mothers (under the age of 35) are particularly affected, with 22 percent being reluctant to provide snacks at all.
  • Nut-free labels matter. Clear food labeling is important, as evidenced by 1 in 4 mothers checking labels thoroughly when purchasing food products that meet school requirements. Additionally, 27 percent of survey responders check food labels as their first act in evaluating food products that meet school guidelines (second only to asking teachers).

“With many parents reluctant to provide snacks for events, Rich’s recognizes the importance of producing peanut- and tree-nut-free cookies for consumers,” added Lopez. “Rich’s spent approximately two years developing a line of 100% peanut-free and tree-nut-free Frosted Sugar Cookies to ensure a high-quality, great-tasting cookie that families can enjoy. We take this commitment seriously and built an entirely nut-free facility from the ground up, using only raw ingredients from suppliers that do not process peanut and tree nuts in those facilities. This is to ensure we deliver a complete 100% nut-free product.”

Rich’s “Our Specialty” Nut-Free Cookies are available in many varieties, including Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Snickerdoodle, Fudge Brownie and our signature Frosted Sugar cookies. Varieties coming soon include Red Velvet and Chocolate Frosted Cookies.

About Rich Products Corporation

Rich Products Corporation is a family-owned global food company defined by innovation and an unparalleled commitment to treating its customers, associates, and communities the same way… Like Family. Since 1945, Rich’s has been committed to developing food solutions that raise the standards for quality, safety, convenience and efficiency for its customers. As a leading supplier to the global foodservice, in-store bakery and retail marketplaces, Rich’s posts annual sales exceeding $3.3 billion, operates 34 manufacturing facilities spanning six continents, and employs more than 9,200 people across the world. Additional company information can be found online, on Facebook, on LinkedIn and via Twitter.

About the Survey

Rich’s survey was conducted online within the United States by YouGov Plc. between May 1-4, 2014 among 1,024 moms. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.