Homeplate Peanut Butter Offers A Tasty Baseball Connection
It isn’t so much that Homeplate Peanut Butter is only about baseball, it is more that baseball helped create Homeplate Peanut Butter.
Tightly linked with America’s pastime, and loaded in every clubhouse from the minor leagues to Major League Baseball, peanut butter was a key ingredient in the lives of a group of former ballplayers who had an idea. This group of former professional players grew up eating a ton of peanut butter, whether to get them through a long day in the minors, during a break between workouts, or a boost between innings.
But for this group—Danny Peoples, Josh Beckett, John McDonald, Marco Scutaro, Mike Lowell and Brooks Kieschnick—when the playing days were done and it was time to feed their own families, they wanted to find a happy medium between the sugary, chemical-laden big-brand creations and the uber-organic stir varieties void of taste. That love of peanut butter birthed Homeplate Peanut Butter.
With the idea formed in 2014, the group brought on Clint Greanleaf as CEO and by December 2015, they had launched Homeplate Peanut Butter with what marketing director Caleigh Bressler called a great taste and texture, but with the ingredients and nutritional benefits that a pro team nutritionist approves.
And approve they did. Homeplate Peanut Butter is now in every MLB clubhouse.
“They wanted to make a peanut butter that still had that smooth, creamy texture,” Bressler said. “With a little bit of salt and sugar to make it taste nostalgically delicious, just with a cleaner profile. It wasn’t this whole demographic not being marketed to, it was giving the existing consumer something the market was lacking.”
With baseball the backstory of a brand trying to go mainstream, making it into MLB clubhouses didn’t hurt, either in telling the product’s story or helping Homeplate gain credibility.
“When people hear the story of baseball players and peanut butter, when we compare it to college students and ramen noodles, people say they never knew it was that important to baseball,” Bressler said. “Whenever we talk about the competitive landscape of peanut butter, we can say we are the only brand backed by an entire major sports league.”
Having that tie to baseball has helped Homeplate reach beyond baseball, with NFL and NBA teams now ordering. Homeplate started in Texas and has since moved into retail chains across 25 states, selling nationally through Amazon distribution.
“It is that fun piece of the brand story to show we were born in baseball and are still rooted in baseball,” Bressler said. “It is a way to prove ourselves for the athletic, active lifestyle.”
More than just a baseball story, Homeplate makes a quality, tasty product. Sourcing peanuts exclusively from Georgia, Homeplate manufactures all its peanut butter—they make creamy, crunchy and honey varieties—outside of Atlanta.
Creamy remains the company’s top-seller, but Bressler said when people do sampling, honey almost always wins out for that, “added extra sweetness that isn’t artificially sweet.” For MLB teams, the order depends on the team and the chef. Some teams opt for honey for use on sandwiches, while others mix creamy or crunchy into smoothies, energy bites or other recipes.
No matter the final destination of Homeplate Peanut Butter, the origin of the product came from baseball.
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.