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What I’ve Learned About Social Marketing in 2020 from Peanut Butter

marketing peanut butter

What do you think of when you hear the word “peanut butter?” Chances are, name brands like Jif, Smuckers or Skippy come to mind. Or maybe you’re having an internal debate between creamy or crunchy. Am I right? 

We all grew up with a go-to brand of peanut butter and many of us have stuck with our favorite brands into adulthood. When we get to the peanut butter aisle we go into auto-drive and grab the container we’ve grabbed a million times with little to no thought. 

Now in 2020, everything has changed. Thanks to some out-of-the-box thinking and a smart digital marketing campaign, there has been a major disruption in the peanut butter market.

It all began in 2019 when a young couple, Craig Mount and Erika Peterson, started a small company making homemade peanut butter with a grinder they purchased from eBay. They launched their company, Nerdy Nuts, with $2,500 and two flavor offerings, honey roasted and white chocolate. 

Once their product became popular on a local level, Chris began to research the history of peanut butter. He learned that 60% of the peanut butter market is controlled by two conglomerates, J.M. Smucker Company (which owns Jif) and Hormel Foods (Skippy). What he also realized was large corporations are so broad they can’t always effectively innovate their products. So he decided to focus the Nerdy Nuts brand on fun flavors and quirky marketing as his competitive advantage.

At first, Nerdy Nuts’ social media marketing relied heavily on partnering with Instagram influencers. They quickly realized that strategy yielded very few results when launching a new line of products. While they had $27k in sales in June of 2020, only 107 sales could be attributed to their partnership with 18 influencers.

They decided it was time to start thinking outside the box, so they moved their focus to TikTok. Since TikTok was still a relatively untapped market, the influencers were cheaper and easier to work with. They reached out to TikTok superstars Ali Grace Morsell and Hailey Peters, who had around 500,000 followers each, which resulted in 5,947 sales!  Nerdy Nuts sales ballooned from 27k to 165.2k in the month of July, 10% of which they shared with the TikTok influencers.

It would be easy to hear this story and decide that you should add TikTok to your social strategy, but this may not be the best option for your brand. Although this was effective for Nerdy Nuts, it’s not likely to happen again in the exact same way. In fact, other companies have tried the same TikTok strategy and haven’t had the same return. Why? Because digital marketing is not a one-size fits all solution. Your company is unique and your social media strategy should be too. 

Need help getting outside the box? Contact us and we’ll help you get a bit “nutty”.


Feeling inspired yet? Keep an eye out on our portfolio to see how we’re implementing these trends into our work here at Tribu!

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