Value Added Nut Products

The nut farmer that develops his own market for his nuts will eventually be faced with the option of expanding his product lines. Whether the sales are from the farm gate or over the internet, the more products the grower can create, the greater will be his sales and profits.

It could be as simple as providing nuts for bird feed or as complex as setting up a kitchen to produce nut breads and candies. A perfect example of what can be accomplished is illustrated by Ernie Racz who founded the label Kernel Peanut in Vittoria, Ontario. He is the only producer of Ontario peanuts today. His store is stocked full of the products he created from his own home grown peanuts. He has a staff of several fulltime and part time workers. Everything he produces is sold from his store. A visit to his store is recommended. Take Highway 24 south from Simcoe, Ontario and look for his sign on the right.

Picard’s Peanuts is another successful entrepreneur who now sells through specialty stores in several locations across Southern Ontario. Picard’s sells Ontario peanuts, and imported peanuts and also many other kinds of imported nuts. His value added business has expanded to include flavored nuts, candied nuts, and hundreds of nut related items and some not so related.

The following are some suggestions and possibilities for the nut growing entrepreneur:

  • nuts can simply be cracked, sorted and roasted/salted/mixed.
  • processed nuts can be flavoured garlic/barbecue/sour cream & chive, etc.
  • a bakery section can produce nut breads, candies, pies, cakes and tarts.
  • nut butters and spreads can be made.
  • nut oils can be produced.
  • chestnuts can be dried and shelled and sold for cooking purposes.
  • dried chestnuts can be ground and sold as chestnut flour.
  • crushed shell can be used in blasting equipment for a polishing and cleaning fine metal parts.
  • heartnut shells can be packaged for the craft market.
  • crushed nut seconds can be packaged as bird feed.

If it can be imagined, it can be done.

The following are some websites that have been successful at marketing their farm products.

“Kernel Peanut” is a company owned by Ernie Racz near Vittoria, ON. Check out his website:

Picard’s Peanuts Stores are in four locations in Southern Ontario:

Check out “The Big Apple” in Colborne, ON near Highway 401. This has evolved into a marketing sensation:  

Chestnuts are a new commercial crop in Michigan spearheaded by Dr. Dennis Fulbright of Michigan State University:

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