Back in 2018, when Margaret Taylor first started her business, Nudemarket, in Alberta, she decided to create a single product designed with zero-waste packaging. That single product? An all-natural peanut butter.
“Everyone has a relationship with peanut butter,” says Taylor. “It’s a pantry staple, and if I can connect with people through something everyone knows and understands, then I can start a conversation. That’s why peanut butter came into play.”
That ‘conversation,’ explains Taylor, is all about the impact our choices as consumers can have on the environment and how even just a few simple changes can make a positive difference.
“At Nudemarket, we make peanut butter for people who care about what they put into their bodies as well as care about making socially responsible choices for the planet. So, we care about not just the consumer. We also care about making a difference in the supply chain so that the consumer can feel good that they’re making a difference on a larger scale. So, one of our sayings is: ‘People, Planet and Peanut Butter.’ It’s that simple.”
Taylor explains how even the design of her company’s peanut butter jar plays a role in that critical conversation.
“My design symbolizes the circular economy; nothing leaves, and nothing enters. I try to reuse things as much as possible to give more than one life to products, so that’s why it’s in glass jars. Until a couple of months ago, I was even making the tamper seals out of old labels that I couldn’t use anymore because they’ve been updated. That’s the whole foundation of why Nudemarket exists – it’s to change consumers and big business behaviours to become more circular and less linear.”
However, Taylor’s peanut butter isn’t just about contributing to ecologically friendly consumer behaviours. In addition to being delicious and hugely popular with everyone who tries it, her peanut butter is also unique and innovative in the way it’s produced.
“When you look on the shelf, you’re going to see peanut butter that is probably a lot less expensive than mine, and you’re going to see organic peanut butter and a lot of natural peanut butters. But instead of peanut oil, most of them are using soy or canola or other oils.”
Taylor only uses dry roasted peanuts in her peanut butter, and the peanuts come from the United States. Unfortunately, Taylor is unable to source from Canada because of limited supply of Canadian-grown peanuts.
“A lot of the natural peanuts you’ll find here are from China; they’re from South America, they’re not from the US. Especially the organic ones. You won’t find organic peanut butter in a jar if those peanuts are from the US. It’s way too expensive. I also don’t add fillers on top. I’m totally honest about what’s in here. It’s peanut butter. Just peanut butter.”
When asked about lessons learned along the way, Taylor admits there’s a lot of red tape and challenges that come with trying to make an important difference with your product.
“When you’re trying to be a business that makes a difference in people’s lives and their health and the health of the planet, you face so much red tape. Especially when you’re trying to work with your supply chain to make those differences and if it doesn’t work with their profit margin, so they’re not going to do it.”
Taylor is proud of what she’s still been able to accomplish in such a short time.
“I’m proud that I’ve come this far. I’m also proud of making a difference in people thinking about what their products come in. They used to think – plastic or glass – it doesn’t matter. But now the conversation is that glass is better. So, I’m proud of being able to start this conversation about reusing instead of just putting the container right into their recycling bin or even the garbage.”
Taylor currently has one full-time employee and several contractors who do occasional work for her. Her goals for the future include major expansion across the country.
“I want to be selling across Canada and into the United States. I want to see my peanut butter on every grocery store shelf because if I can grow big enough, I can make a difference, a real difference, in the supply chain.”