VALENTINE’S DAY DRIVES ALABAMA FARMERS NUTS
Alabama peanut farmers have a sweet spot for Valentine’s Day. Consumers love to commemorate the “holiday of love” with the gift of candy, and the sweet and salty flavor combination of chocolate and peanuts remains America’s favorite treat.
|Chocolate and peanut candy bars fly off the shelves on holidays like Valentine's Day. The salty and sweet combination is America's favorite kind of candy. (Photo courtesy Lee Zalben)|
That’s good news for farmers because nearly 20 percent of peanuts harvested are used in candy production. According to the Alabama Peanut Producers four of the top 10 selling candy bars contain peanuts or peanut butter. Many candy lovers would insist no box of chocolates is complete without turtles, a traditional confection made of chocolate, caramel and nuts.
Candy is one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts, second only to greeting cards, according to a survey from StatisticBrain.com.
Peanuts are an important crop in Alabama, contributing $211.4 million to the state’s economy and employing 2,046 people. Nearly half of national peanut production is located within 100 miles of Dothan, Ala. Peanuts are hardy and can withstand drought conditions, making the plant a great fit for southeast Alabama.
Some advice for a perfect Valentine’s Day: use your payday to treat your baby Ruth to a candy craze. She’ll snicker and fall to pieces when you call her your little peanut butter cup.
Too much? Okay, take 5 then, Mr. Goodbar.