Every now and then I come across a story that just warms my cynical little heart. And Pic Picot with his homemade peanut butter is one of those. (it’s also a good business story and an example of how a bit of lateral thinking can translate into good PR).
I was down in Nelson recently at the farmer’s market when Pic the Peanut Man enticed me to try a lovely big glob of peanut butter on a stick. Well slap me sideways and call me David Walden, it was the best peanut butter I’ve ever had, hands down.
So I bought a wee jar for Dad, who’s a fellow peanut aficionado, and forgot all about it until last week when he pulled out the jar and we decided to have a taste comparison with a random supermarket peanut butter.
Naturally, Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter had Random Supermarket Crap over a barrel, and when I went back to my own jar of nasty Woolworths ‘Why Don’t We Just Poo In A Jar And Call It Peanut Butter’, I found myself close to calling Ralph on the big white phone.
What’s the story? Well, Pic’s goodies are made with just peanuts and salt. Back in the day, he was conned into eating some American “Health Style” peanut butter only to discover it had a buttload of added sugar.
Seeing the writing on the wall, he thought to himself, the day will come when all peanut butter will be loaded with sugar. And so it came to pass. Not only is a lot of peanut butter made in China, but it contains sugar, emulsifiers, antioxidants, litres of unspecified oils, and ground up midgets. (Midget claim may not be grounded in truth.)
So he decided to make his own and sell it – and now Pic the Peanut Man is a Nelson institution.
But wait – there’s more.
Feeling sympathetic to punters who would taste his peanut butter and then still have to work their way through the “ghastly Chinese or Australian-made muck” that they had in their pantry, he ran a Peanut Butter Amnesty. Consumers could bring their nasty slime (half a jar or more) and swap it for a 200g jar of Pic’s peanut butter.
And in turn, he would donate the rejected peanut butter to the Brook Sanctuary for their rat traps. Ha!
Pic ran the “terrifyingly successful” amnesty for a month and scored himself a front-page story on the Nelson Leader for his trouble. (Check it out, including a photo of the good man himself, here.)
Great PR. And in a neat twist of packaging joy (which we all know I’m a great fan of), he puts poems by Bill the Peanut Butter Lover under the label. (Have a nosey parker at it here.)
So there you have it. From an idea that bucked the trend, to a successful business, to his first front-page newspaper story. Next: world peace via peanut butter.
In the meantime, I’m stuck with my almost-full jar of Woolworths Poo. So let’s see how good their online reputation management is. Woolworths, we’re timing you from the posting of this blog until someone emails firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Peanut Butter Should Not Taste Like Poo”. (Record for prompt ORM response currently held by Tip Top.)
To see the embedded links see original article by H. Phillips.