What could be more universally loved than pure and simple almond butter? Vegan by its very nature, almond butter seems to be beloved by all kinds of eaters who put it on their toast, in their porridge, on fruit, or eat it plain with a spoon.
My favourite almond butter is the raw stuff sold at Trader Joe’s. Alas, being in the UK, I am not privy to this nutty delight. So when I bought my Vitamix, I was especially looking forward to recreating Trader Joe’s almond butter miracle in my very own kitchen.
The Vitamix did not disappoint. I made two batches: raw almond butter and toasted almond butter. The toasted almond butter came together in less than one minute. The raw almond butter took a bit longer (more processing is required to release the oils of raw almonds).
My favourite is the raw almond butter. Or is it the toasted? I simply can’t decide. Both are delicious and are near replicas of the Trader Joe’s stuff I know and love.
So it got me thinking – is there a business here?
I did a quick run of the numbers.
- Biona’s Organic Almond Butter sells for nearly £5 per 170g jar at the shops.
- You can buy six 170g jars of Biona Almond Butter for £19.95 online – that’s £3.33 per 170g jar (this is likely the rate at which smaller health food shops buy their almond butter).
- I can buy almonds is bulk for £7.96 per kilo, or about £1.35 per 170g jar.
- Then I need jars and labels, which I estimate cost £0.30 and £0.10 respectively per jar.
- Total cost for me to produce one 170g jar of organic almond butter is about £1.75.
- If I sold these to health food shops and wanted to make £1 per jar, that’s £16.50 per six jars.
Put this way, £1 profit per jar seems pretty sweet. Even if I only sold 1000 jars per month, that’s £1000 in my pocket, and £12,000 per year. Soon enough I’d have enough to buy a house.
But there are practicalities to consider.
- How will I deliver all this nut butter? How much will it cost?
- What about wages? I can’t make 1000 jars of nut by myself.
- How much do jars and labels really cost?
- Regulation – can I even do this realistically from my own home?
- How does it scale?
- Is there even a market for almond butter in the UK?
- How will compete against the big brands? On price? On branding?
The list goes on, and makes me feel a bit pessimistic. But I woke up this morning thinking, “do I really need almond butter to take over the world?” What if I kept it as a small scale project. Perhaps I could sell to a handful of places in my area, and the rest in London. And perhaps I could sell lots online and push the delivery cost onto my buyers.
Why am I so gung ho on this?
- I really like nut butter.
- It would be fun to have a project that isn’t related to the computer.
- Marketing nut butter would be really fun, creating the story (much like Fage Greek yogurt has) about why nut butter rocks, and of course, swooning over nut butter with my customers.
My guess is that this is the most math a VeganMofo post has ever seen in its life, ever. Now, time for breakfast, but alas, I’m out of toast. A nut butter crisis! Which gives me an idea…
Bread and toast are huge here, maybe I could get bakeries and restaurants to push my nut butter?