Nothing says a day at the ballpark like hot dogs and cracker jacks. Well, until now.
Former major league players are now hoping to capitalize on the peanut butter industry with their new startup called HomePlate Peanut Butter—connecting America’s favorite pastime with America’s favorite peanut spread.
Mike Lowell, who played in the major leagues for 13 years for the New York Yankees, Florida Marlins, and Boston Red Sox, says he jumped in on the idea because he knows how much peanut butter played a role in his training—especially in the minor leagues.
“It was kind of a big staple of survival. Most guys are six feet, over 200 pounds. Meal money in the minor leagues was around $12 dollars a day. So, if you do that math that’s a lot of fast food and I think when you get into those clubhouses, you will see a lot of saltine crackers and peanut butter,” Lowell, a founding partner at HomePlate tells FOXBusiness.com.
Other MLB players like Danny Peoples, Josh Beckett, Brooks Kieschnick, Marco Scutaro, and John McDonald have all signed on as investors of the brand as well.
“I think the story is kind of neat and when it was presented to us, we got together and said hey, I like the game plan. I like the people behind it and I especially like the product,” says Lowell. “Also, I think it’s kind of a cool story that guys are realizing how much peanut butter you actually ate going through the different steps into the minor leagues to achieve your dream as a professional baseball player.”
And, the company’s CEO Clint Greenleaf says from a business standpoint the brand has the potential to be a major player and is already seeing a lot of sales momentum for being just over one year old.
“I think we can be a top five peanut butter brand. We’ve been able to capture at least in Texas as we’re growing the beginning stages of a marketing tool that gets people excited from the little leagues all the way to the major leagues,” Greenleaf tells FOXBusiness.com.
Greenleaf says the idea was to create an option that is great tasting without all the sugar and processed ingredients.
“I think big major peanut butter brands focus a lot on having the cheapest volume play and there are also a lot of major brands heading towards the big organic footprint so I think there is a middle ground that we can find because if you go too far on one side it ends up tasting “chemically” and not very good for you and if you go too far on the other side it’s just hard to eat,” adds Greenleaf.
HomePlate is an all-natural, no-stir peanut butter that is currently the official peanut butter of the Professional Baseball Clubhouse Manager’s Association. Jars sell for around $4 dollars each and they are currently in all 30 major league clubhouses in the U.S. as well as 300 stores. The company hopes to hit 1,000 stores by the end of this year.
Lowell, who admits he’s not a PB&J “kind of guy” says he does use the honey flavor in his smoothies and hopes people and especially players can benefit from the healthier ingredients.
“I just think that the game has evolved so much to understanding how much nutrition and fitness equate to success on the field and I think this alternative shows that we can still eat something that you use to eat when you were a little kid but this alternative is much healthier and better for you.”