Nerdy Nuts - how a peanut butter business got from $7k to $1M in sales within 4 months (12 min read)
Nerdy Nuts - founded by Craig Mount and Erika Peterson a small Peanut Butter, family business that has grown crazy fast due to the quirky product and witty marketing
Strategy & Tools
- Apr 2020 - $8,412 in sales
- May 2020 - $7,199 in sales
- Jun 2020 - $26,875 in sales - Nerdy Nuts introduced product drops + Instagram campaign
- Jul 2020 - $165,201 in sales - drops + Instagram campaign
- Aug 2020 - $505.862 in sales - drops + TikTok campaign
- Sep 2020 - $266k in sales - drops
- Oct 2020 - On track to surpass August - “Cookies and Scream” flavor drop netted the company $115k in one day, pushing its 2020 sales total over $1m.
Butter Bear, Fluffernutter, Pumpkin Spice - these are just the examples of flavors Nerdy Nuts is serving.
And you can't get them anywhere else.
Quirky Copywriting & Storytelling
People eat with their eyes.
That's why Nerdy Nuts' products are so appealing.
Each name of the product is carefully selected to make your stomach go nuts just from reading their names.
Each peanut butter has a small story added to its description.
They even created a jar, straight out of a fantasy land and added it to their shop - Unicorn Dust Peanut Butter
Unicorn Dust is the best tasting peanut butter in the entire world and it's not even close. A literal rainbow shoots out of the jar when you open it. When you eat it, you'll have the best day of your entire life after. It's delicious; it's magic. It has 0 calories.
Nerdy Nuts took a note from the Supreme brand and started product dropping - limited-edition peanut butter flavors.
They've started the "drops" with 3 new flavors - Monster Cookie, Oreo Cookie, and Circus Cookie and turned to Instagram to market them.
Later on, they made drops to be available for sale only one day per week.
When that happened, and they opened the site on that first Sunday, they had to shut it down again after 2 minutes - they made $80k in sales that day.
At first, Craig and Erika tried out Instagram in June. They collaborated with 18 influencers.
After that they moved to TikTok, where the couple reached out to two cooking TikTok influencers Ali Grace Morsell and Hailey Peters - both had 500k followers at the time.
They choosed them, because their audience fit their product perfectly.
And the feature of their product would look natural.
Craig and Erika shared a 10% cut with the influencers.
Videos posted on TikTok got millions of views, and resulted in creating a snowball effect.
The results from both campaigns:
- 18 Instagram influencers = 108 sales
- 2 TikTok influencers = 5,947 sales
Exclusivity & FOMO
People went crazy about Nerdy Nuts!
Demand exploded, the FOMO blew up, and the stock started to vanish within minutes after the release.
The drops with limited supply made Nerdy Nuts a trendy brand with exclusive products.
Even the price was exclusive - regular Nerdy Nuts peanut butter jar costs $11.99, while the regular price for the other brands in a store is $5 - $8.
When the demand started to hugely exceed the supply customers' emotions began to shift to extremes.
People who got a jar felt exceptionally special.
People who weren't that lucky got highly irritated.
Hundreds of emails poured in with messages like: "My family member just died and I NEED this," or "All I wanted in life was to share a jar with my newborn niece!”.
This kind of reaction started to create a feedback loop.
People were sharing their Nerdy Nuts experiences online, sparking the conversation around the brand.
Small, family business beats huge corporations in terms of the trust.
And Nerdy Nuts is good at communicating their values and their story.
That's what you can see on their website:
We focus on family, fun, and most importantly—flavor. Our peanut butter is hand-made fresh upon order. We're still working with the FDA to allow us to put love as an ingredient on the label.
Nerdy Nuts was created when Craig and Erika saw the opportunity in the peanut butter market. Or rather the opportunity to unbundle peanut butter products.
Nearly 60% of the $1.9B US peanut butter market is controlled by 2 companies: J.M. Smucker (Jif) and Hormel Foods (Skippy).
The rest of ~127 smaller players, rode on a “healthy” or “keto-friendly” trend.
That's when they decided that Nerdy Nuts would focus more on flavor and fun.
This Wasn't Their First Virality
June 2019 - Nerdy Nuts created election-themed peanut butter, inspired by Airbnb cereals story.
Craig and Erika spent 40 hours cold-emailing 200+ reporters.
Finally Fox Business caught the bite.
After being featured on the national talk show 'The Five", Nerdy Nuts went viral.
They got $20k in sales within the next 48 hours.
Window of Opportunity
TikTok > Instagram
Instagram is saturated. It's been already 10 years on the market, while TikTok (before musical.ly) only 4 years.
Instagram's audience reach plummets every few months, while people on TikTok seem to go viral every second day.
On TikTok, there's a huge, undervalued disproportion between the number of viewers and content creators.
Because of this disproportion creators can go viral beyond any possibility on any other platform.
TikTok influencers are undervalued BIG time!
TikTok influencers are new to fame and money. The money they slowly start to earn from the platform can be life-changing for them.
While Instagram influencers with 10k followers can be arrogant, have their own assistants, high prices, and small reach, TikTok influencers with over 500k followers can be flabbergasted by the simple offer of receiving a $100 freebie.
The other TikTok's advantage over Instagram is the topic of influencer's authenticity.
Instagram is famous for professional, photoshopped photos, providing unreal lifestyle expectations for people.
TikTok's videos seems to be more spontaneous thereby authentic.
But TikTok isn't a perfect answer to all your marketing problems.
To hit the jackpot on TikTok, your product has to be a good fit for the influencer and his audience.
Craig, from Nerdy Nuts, mentioned that there were also other food products (a candy company and a BBQ joint) trying their luck with the same TikTok influencers they used, and didn't get the same results.