When we talked to Fix & Fogg last yearThe company has just begun to focus on expanding APAC into countries such as Australia, the Philippines and Singapore, and has since set its sights on the United States peanut butter market as a way to ‘become big’.
“We want to be big, and the US is just that. Americans are known for their love of peanut butter, but most of it is filled with palm oil, “Spokesperson for Fix & Fogg Marketing and Export Lisa Pujper told me FoodNavigator-Asia.
“We bring a better alternative and show people how good real peanut butter is – at this stage we only bring our line of peanut butter and the variants of Smooth Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter have become big hits there.”
The company chose to establish its own local production facility in the US last year when it was too late to know that there was an import quota for peanut butter from all countries, preventing it from increasing or even having certainty the amount that could be imported in.
“Last year we found – very disappointing – that the peanut butter that we sent to America could no longer enter the market without being slapped at a large rate,” Piper said.
“It turns out that America has an annual peanut butter quota which is only possible in certain amounts each year.”
The peanut butter quota encountered by Fix & Fogg is actually a product of a two-decade old proclamation signed in 1994 by then President Bill Clinton as part of the Uruguay Round Agreement on US Agricultural Commodities.
In 2020, the number of peanut butter imports permitted to enter the country reached 14,500 metric tons from Canada, 3,650 metric tons from Argentina, 1,600 tons from certain countries in the agreement (which New Zealand is not part of), and only 250 metric tons for all other countries. Above this amount, a fee of US $ 0.15 per kilogram will be applied.
“That puts us in a difficult spot – either stopping supplying good goods to US consumers, or finding other ways to make it work. [So what we did was to] arrange production there to keep peanut butter flowing and our US customers happy, “Piper said.
The production facility is located in Colorado, and the company also established a retail store (which they call the Fix & Fogg window) in Texas. The focus for now will only be on peanut butter.
“Americans love Smooth, so that is certainly their staple food, but there are also many people who follow the Ketogenic diet there so our Dark Chocolate is also very popular because few treats are still low in sugar and carbohydrates,”He said.
“The US is big [for us], so it keeps us more than busy enough at the moment, even though we get lots of emails from people in the UK, so that they can become one for the distant future. “
As for the company’s current market, the focus is on NPD as with the new Cashew in New Zealand.
“We have just launched a new Cashew that we will bring to Singapore as well. [For this], we roast cashews before grinding them so there is a very beautiful flavor [and amazingly creamy], must be tried for lovers of butter beans, “Piper said.
“We also hope to develop Everything Hemp Free Butter so we can share the good in Singapore [where hemp is not legally allowed as a food]”
The latest version of Everything Butter in New Zealand is made from eight beans and seeds including flax, chia, sesame, sunflower, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds with nuts and almonds.
“Here in New Zealand, we are overwhelmed by the response to Everything Butter, which is why we really want to adjust it so we can share it with Singaporeans too,”He said.
“But in Singapore, Almond Butter is now one of our top sellers, as are our large Super Crispy Peanut Butter Jars.”
B Corp Certification
Fix & Fogg was also recently awarded the B Corp certification, which basically highlights the business focus on balancing goals and profits by ‘consider the impact of their decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, the community and their environment‘
“Sustainability is one of our core values - we only use glass jars and are in the process of transitioning to full paper labels as well,”Piper said.
“We source local ingredients where possible and all our products are Non-GMO, vegan friendly, palm oil free, plant based, and nutritious – [all in keeping] by becoming B Corp “