Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter is spreading across the world and the Nelson company behind the brand is making smart use of GS1 Standards to keep export growth smooth, rather than crunchy. The same jars of the tasty, nutritious nut spread sell in Australian, British and American supermarkets with the ease that they do at home.
In fact Picot Productions Ltd is exporting to 12 countries this year, building on the extraordinary success of its products in New Zealand since founder Pic Picot launched his then artisan business in 2006.
The brand has firmly established itself as market leader in this country with a range that includes smooth and crunchy peanut butter (salted and unsalted), almond and cashew nut butters, and peanut oil.
Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter continues to excite consumers here and around the globe for its taste, lack of additives and inclusion of “healthy fats” (unsaturated fatty acids) from the Australian grown nuts which are used in simple manufacturing processes. Distinctive visual branding and the unrelenting enthusiasm of Pic as “brand ambassador” certainly help.
The company has big plans for future growth based at its new site in the Stoke area of Nelson, where a larger factory is now under construction. At a distribution centre already operating on the site, every jar sold in this country and across the world, 3.5 million of them in 2017, is filled, labelled and packed.
Numbers and barcodes
Manufacturing Manager Heath Bowman says jar labels carry the barcoded Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) for that particular product, encoded in an EAN-13 barcode. Cartons are coded with a GS1-128 and leave the centre on pallets, each of these identified with a Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC)1. All products for export leave through the Port of Nelson.
Heath says GS1 Standards are of tremendous help to the business in every market. “I can’t imagine what it would be like exporting a product such as our’s without the globally standardised numbers and barcodes.”
He says there have certainly been no supply chain issues supplying Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter onto the shelves of major supermarket chains in Australia, the UK and the US.
Last year saw another leap forward for the company across the Tasman when Woolworths (with 900 supermarkets) became a customer, in addition to Coles which had been taking Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter since 2014. Apparently Australians love the fact that Pic settled, back in 2006, on high oleic nuts grown in Queensland as the fundamental ingredient in all his peanut based products: These nuts have an especially rich flavour, never go rancid and have high nutritional value.
Early this year the company launched exports into China, selling through the m.tinydeal.com online platform. Heath says sales growth is high with two container loads of palletised cartons leaving for China each month and consumers with buying entirely online at this stage. “If we move to selling through Chinese grocery stores, we’ll be ready for that,” he says.
The sales growth into Australia and China, and also South East Asia, has set the basis for enlarged Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter operation in Stoke. The new factory, replacing two existing smaller facilities in use now, is due for completion in late 2018. In fact, New Zealand sales continue to grow rapidly as well and the company is planning for XX % growth in its total turnover over the next five years.
Pic’s use of GS1 Standards has come a long way since he joined in 2010 for numbers and barcodes to support his first peanut butter sales to the big New Zealand grocers. Heath came on board in 2013 and quickly saw the advantages of using GS1’s ProductVault for systematic GTIN allocation and digital data storage. “Having all our data in one spot is definitely a blessing … there’s no worry about duplication of barcodes and allocating a new number is easy.”
Today the company also has master data and digital images for 53 of its products loaded into the National Product Catalogue (NPC), with only a handful not yet included. This provides supermarket chains in New Zealand and Australia with anytime access to all the data they need to their trading relationships with Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter. Heath welcomes the much simplified interface between NPC and suppliers like him since GS1 launched the Product Flow service in 2015. “It’s become a much simpler system to use, requiring less effort to upload data and making it quicker to release product changes onto the market.”
Heath is also a supporter of ProductRecallNZ where the company went live in 2015. Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter has never been subject to a real life withdrawal or recall notice (although there have, of course, been practice runs). “It’s good to have at our fingertips if and when needed … I have to say the updated version of this service is better as well”
Picot Productions: NZBN 9429000076418