In the United States, approximately three million people report allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, accounting for 0.9% of the overall population. While this figure suggests a minor, yet growing footprint, Rich's "Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey" outlines how broader demographic segments are affected by a single individual suffering from the allergy.
"In the spirit of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, we wanted to take a closer look at the significant influence one individual with a peanut or tree nut allergy can have on others around them," said Lauren Lopez, senior marketing manager of desserts at Rich Products. "From anyone involved in children's playdates and extracurricular activities, the allergy ecosystem extends to parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, neighbors and relatives who have regular contact with individuals suffering from nut allergies."
Consumer awareness around nut allergies has become crucial, with 90% of fatal food anaphylaxis resulting from peanut and nut allergies. Rich's "Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey" polled 1,024 mothers in the U.S., identifying the prevalence of nut allergy concerns. More than half of the participants (56%) indicated they have received warnings or guidelines from their child's school regarding nut allergies.
The rise of nut allergies in children presents a growing concern for many parents and caretakers alike. In fact, the fears families have when it comes to providing snacks for children's activities is demonstrated by nearly one-third (30%) of survey respondents acknowledging that a nut allergy has influenced a food product they have purchased. Additionally, more than 25% were stopped from providing snacks at an event due to nut allergies.
Additional survey findings include:
- Nut allergies affect food purchases. 1 in 3 mothers (33%) who know someone with an allergy reported purchasing a food product for someone with a nut allergy, and 67% consider children's potential nut allergies when deciding which snacks to provide for an event involving their children.
- Kids are missing out on snacks due to fear of nut allergies: 17% of survey respondents have been reluctant to provide snacks for an event in the past due to concerns over nut allergies. Young mothers (under the age of 35) are particularly affected, with 22% being reluctant to provide snacks at all.
- Nut-free labels matter. Clear food labeling is important, as evidenced by 1 in 4 mothers checking labels thoroughly when purchasing food products that meet school requirements. Additionally, 27% of survey responders check food labels as their first act in evaluating food products that meet school guidelines (second only to asking teachers).
"With many parents reluctant to provide snacks for events, Rich's recognizes the importance of producing peanut- and tree-nut-free cookies for consumers," added Lopez. "Rich's spent approximately two years developing a line of 100% peanut-free and tree-nut-free Frosted Sugar Cookies to ensure a high-quality, great-tasting cookie that families can enjoy. We take this commitment seriously and built an entirely nut-free facility from the ground up, using only raw ingredients from suppliers that do not process peanut and tree nuts in those facilities. This is to ensure we deliver a complete 100% nut-free product."