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Bermuda is a “nutter” world

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"A Nutter World" Bermuda peanuts. (Photo by Akil Simmons) May 31,2012

“Bermuda is another world” or so go the lyrics to the Island’s unofficial national anthem. Or is it: “Bermuda is a nutter world”? According to some new cleverly packaged peanuts promoting Bermuda, it’s the latter.The tongue-and-cheek. ten-ounce tins of nuts come adorned with labels that look like vintage Bermuda postage stamps and say “A Nutter World” over a picture of the Islands laid out in legumes. Ink stamped on it is the flavour, which states Salted or Island Fever Hot ‘n Spicy Blend.Along with satisfying slackers, these savoury new nibbles are raising money for WindReach Bermuda, a local charity that serves people with a wide range of physical and intellectual disabilities.Selling the nuts as a way to promote and give back to Bermuda all at once is the brainchild of BGA Wholesale Distributors and its marketing team.Bethany Butcher, a buyer for BGA, said the idea came about when she met a peanut farmer from Georgia last year at America’s Food and Beverage Show in Miami.“I kept seeing people going over to him, so it kind of caught my eye and I was interested so I said well, let me just try the product,” Ms Butcher said. “When I tried it, I was like whoa, it tasted just so fresh, plus the size of them caught my attention as well.”When BGA CEO, John Tomlinson arrived at the trade show a couple days later, Ms Butcher took him to the peanut farmer’s booth.“BB [Ms Butcher] said, we’ve got to have these in Bermuda,” Mr Tomlinson said.He said that right away, he could tell these nuts were different.“They’re bigger than Planters and crisper, tastier. They’re very fresh there’s no sort of dullness to them at all. The spicy ones — they’ll knock your socks off — they’re perfect for bars,” he said.According to the farmer, the peanuts, while grown in Georgia, are of the “Virginia” variety and are considered to be “the Rolls-Royce of peanuts” and are “prized by gourmets everywhere for their impressive size and incredible flavour.” They’re cooked in pure peanut oil and have no additives or preservatives.“The farmer, David, provides the nuts and he said what you can do when you go home is you can create your own label,” Ms Butcher said. “John and I talked about it and John was all over it — he thought the idea was just great.”To come up with the perfect label, Mr Tomlinson decided to hold a friendly competition in the marketing department. The one with the winning idea would see their label on the tins sold at all major retailers on the Island.Employee Lindsay Philpott, came up with the winning design.“We had decided that we were going to have a portion of the proceeds go to a charity, so we wanted to make sure that the consumer would automatically relate these nuts directly with Bermuda,” Ms Philpott said. “We wanted to brand them in a way that they would know that they are linked to the Island. I started doing some research online and I found pictures of some old, vintage Bermuda stamps and I thought those were kind of cool so I used that as my initial inspiration and then brainstormed the slogan.”“I didn’t come up with it right away, but I took the expression, ‘Bermuda Is Another World’ and changed it to a ‘nutter’ world. It’s simple but I think it reflects what we wanted the nuts to portray and the Island (logo) is made out of peanuts,” she said.Five percent of the tins, which will sell for anywhere from $6 to $6.50 at leading retailers like Arnold’s, Lindo’s, Marketplace, Mile’s and Phoenix Stores, goes to help WindReach.“WindReach is very excited to be a part of this,” said Jenika McKinnie, a marketing brand manager for BGA. “They really love the design as well — they think it’s so creative. So they’re very excited to be a part of it.”“WindReach is just a great organisation. They do a lot with special needs people, not just children but also they hire special needs people as well. It’s a great facility,” Ms McKinnie said.“And it’s not a populist charity either,” Mr Tomlinson added. “You know you do get those sort of division one charities that always seem to get funding and WindReach isn’t necessarily a part of that elite club.”“If people get behind it, and chose this over other nuts, then the community will determine how much WindReach gets and how quickly they get the money,” Mr Tomlinson said. “So if they adapt this as a nut of choice, then they can help influence the contribution to WindReach.”As for the farmer, he’s reportedly delighted with the deal.“It was his first time actually being at a trade show, so you could tell he was a bit green. He was a bit nervous. And he had never exported before — we’re his first export market,” Ms Butcher said. “We sent him the label design and he gets them printed and put together then sends them back.”Along with “A Nutter World” gourmet peanuts, BGA is promoting another new product that may have local appeal: Apple Beer.Apple Beer first came on the scene in the US when founder, Larry Stillman was introduced to a German drink called Fassbrause, a non-alcoholic drink that had been in Germany for more than 100 years. He started making it in Utah in the ‘60s — now it’s known as the state’s original gourmet soda. Sold in Whole Foods stores around the US, its unique taste appeals to thirsty children, college kids and calorie-counting adults, alike.While Apple Beer has had a successful export business to the Caribbean, where the drink it popular at special events, such as weddings, it’s only just now making its way to Bermuda.“It’s non-alcoholic beer like root beer or ginger beer, but when you pour it in a glass, it actually foams up like beer,” Ms Butcher said. “It tastes absolutely fantastic. Slightly carbonated — better than a cider.”“It’s not exactly Holsten Lager, but it’s sort of there,” Mr Tomlinson said. “It’s delicious.”“I just find it so refreshing, especially when it’s nice and cold,” added Mr Butcher.At 160 calories a bottle, the all-natural version of the drink is available in bottle or cans and is caffeine-free, non-alcoholic and gluten-free.“It’s made of pure cane sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup — that’s why it tastes so good,” Ms Butcher said.There’s also a low-calorie version that’s not only a hit with those watching their weight. At just five calories a bottle, Apple Beer Five smells and tastes just like a Granny Smith Apple and young children apparently love it. Mr Tomlinson said in a very unscientific taste-test, the children were gaga for it.“I took it to a couple of parties when it first arrived and that’s how we got some children to taste it,” he said. “What was interesting was how very responsive the children were to it. They really love it. I think part of it may be the fact that it’s in a bottle because most children drinks are not in a bottle.”Mr Tomlinson said the children seemed to prefer the low-cal version to the full-sugar version. He says the drinks are a great alternative to sugary drinks often blamed for obesity problems. And, he says they’re a great alternative for adults, too.“I would quite like bars to stock it because sometimes when you’re out on the town and you’ve had two or three beers and you think, OK I better be careful now, this is actually quite a refreshing drink and you can soak this back and you don’t feel too girlie maybe,” he said. “You’re not pretending it’s a beer, but it’s actually quite a nice drink out of a bottle.”It will soon be on store shelves retailing for $1.50 per can and $2.40 per bottle.“It is a unique product and there is a void in this market because the ‘beers’ that are out there — ginger beer and root beer, I think has a very narrow demographic appeal. This on the tastings that we’ve done, has a very wide-ranging demographic appeal. From young children all the way through to adults and old people like me.”

A Nutter World: Left- Lindsey Philpott and Bethany Butcher both hold the new "A Nutter World" Bermuda peanuts. (Photo by Akil Simmons) May 31,2012
A Nutter World: Left- Lindsey Philpott and Bethany Butcher both hold the new "A Nutter World" Bermuda peanuts. (Photo by Akil Simmons) May 31,2012