Pic’s Peanut Butter has recently started showing up in our local supermarkets. Shopping for a family for whom peanut butter is a major food group, I was immediately attracted to the large jars Pic’s came in. Glancing at the label, I found it was made with Australian peanuts by a small company in Nelson. That appealed to my social and environmental conscience, and I thought I had to try it.
It wasn’t until we had the first jar sitting on the kitchen table that one of the kids noticed the nutrition information. After the usual list of energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fibre, and sodium was…
Poems: quantity per 100 g—1.
And, sure enough, on the inside of the label was a poem. It wasn’t about peanuts; it was just a poem. There purely for our enjoyment.
And not all jars have the same poem, we have discovered. It’s a mystery until you’ve used enough peanut butter to be able to read the inside of the label (because we’re not nearly patient enough to wait until the jar is empty and soak the label off).
The poem is reason enough to spend a little extra for this peanut butter (though it is delicious peanut butter, too, and worth the money).
It is the sort of creativity I like about small businesses—the sort of creativity that is all too rare in this day of giant multi-national corporations that stamp out cookie-cutter products for the lowest cost possible in order to maximise profit to shareholders. It recognises that peanut butter is not just peanut butter, and consumers aren’t just units sold. It recognises the humanity of those making the peanut butter, and those eating it. It recognises that whimsy and wonder are critical parts of what it means to be human.
Okay, maybe the folks at Pic’s didn’t think all that when they were trying to work out how to make their peanut butter stand out among the cheaper products on the shelf. Maybe they just wanted to sell more peanut butter. Maybe they just have a desperate poet on staff who can’t publish otherwise. Either way, they’ve created something joyful from an ordinary food, and I, for one, am happy to support that.