ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW) – CBS 11 News first reported on an Arlington small business who was stuck with $1 million worth of mixed nuts after two major airlines dropped their nuts from their first class cabins in March due to COVID-19.
Now, seven months later, President of GreatNuts.com, Kim Peacock is still left with more than 200,000 pounds of ingredients to make into mixes. The nut mixes were served in ramekins, and the airlines wanted to reduce transactions between flight crews and passengers. And there’s the question of contracts, too.
“Nut markets are volatile,” said Peacock. “To guarantee a locked-in price for a year, we had to sign contracts with brokers, who in turn sign contracts with growers. We were only about three months into the new contracts when the airlines pulled the nut mixes, so we were left with nine months of contracts at huge quantities and nowhere to go with them.”
Initially, Peacock used “American Airlines” in branding the nuts she sold online, but removed it.
After the mention of American Airlines was quickly dropped, the airline sent CBS 11 News the following statement earlier this year saying the issue was resolved.
“American removed certain products from our onboard catering service earlier this year in response to the pandemic. This, as well as the fact that we are operating a significantly reduced schedule, has unfortunately led to a surplus of certain items, including nuts. The product American has ordered from GNS Foods is currently in a warehouse in Illinois. We understand this is a difficult situation for everyone involved, and we of course hope to be in a position where our onboard service is back to normal in a post-COVID-19 world. In the meantime, American is more than happy for GNS to sell the nuts at its facility in Texas. We simply asked GNS not to use American’s name to market or brand that product, as it was never ordered by American, and they gladly agreed. We are pleased to have this matter resolved and we appreciate GNS responding so promptly.”
The other airline that quit offering the nuts to customers was United Airlines.
“It would be helpful if United Airlines would pay us for the almost $100,000 for the nut mixes that have been sitting in their distributor’s warehouse since March. But though we’ve been appealing, begging and encouraging them to pay us, we’ve yet to be paid,” said Peacock.
GNS Foods, Inc. is the corporate name for GreatNuts.com and is a nut, snack, and candy processor. The plant and its retail store are located at 2109 E. Division St in Arlington 1990.