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Aw, Nuts!

Employee
Employee

As a member of the PR Team, I do have the chance to work with several different groups in the Company.  One of those groups just happens to be Provisioning!  Now, what is exciting about that you ask, well…I get the chance to taste energy drinks (we went with Monster), look at all different kinds of coffee cups, taste snacks that might go into our snack trays, and discuss the most important thing of all on board—our peanuts!

It’s such a fun group to work with and you can imagine my excitement when they invited me to tour King Nut, our peanut packaging and distribution company.  I couldn’t wait to take the trip (never been to Ohio!) and I was dying to see what goes on at the factory.

Our group of eight headed to Cleveland to meet with the top management of King Nut and get a full tour of the factory.  I had never been to a factory before, so I was making tons of mistakes right off the bat.  After I put on my tennis shoes (had on open toe shoes!), put all of my jewelry in my purse, and donned a hairnet, I was ready for my tour.

We walked into the first warehouse and all I can say is…WOW!  The smell of peanuts was so thick that I think I was coated in thin coating of “eau de peanut.”  We were greeted with King Nut employees wearing “I Love SWA” t-shirts! 

What a welcome.  They were working hard, making sure our Hispanic Heritage peanuts were getting packed and ready to ship (I was very jealous of their tape gun machine—our events would rock with that thing!).  It was amazing watching all of those tiny packages being stuffed with peanuts

and sealed in their little orange sacks—mesmerizing in fact!

We ventured on to view the roasting room, the giant one ton bags of peanuts that were waiting to be roasted, and to the shipping area where our Hispanic Heritage peanuts were awaiting their departure to a Southwest city! 

It was amazing!

Later, as we were enjoying a Cleveland Indians baseball game with Marty Kanan, King Nut’s President and Chief Executive Officer and his family, I dug a little deeper into the story.  King Nut was started by Marty’s dad, Michael Kanan.  He was living in Detroit when one of his friends brought him the opportunity to purchase the factory.  Mr. Kanan sat his family down and asked what they would think of moving to Cleveland and running a nut company!  After the shock wore off and they realized he was serious, they made the move and Mr. Kanan began King Nut. 

It was a while before King Nut began servicing airlines, but once they did…the company “took off.”  King Nut now employs more than 175 folks and ships out 400-450 million bags of product per year!  The company produces 1,600 cases of peanuts a day for Southwest which breaks down to 720,000 bags of peanuts (a DAY) for Southwest.  And we’re not their only airline Customer!  Whoa!

So think about it next time you crack open your peanut bag on board a Southwest flight.  That little fella took a long trip from Solon, Ohio to be in your hands and there’s lots of love and care that go into packaging them just for you! 

Thanks to King Nut and thanks to our Provisioning Team!  It was an adventure!

15 Comments
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Thanks so much for getting an energy drink on board. I've had at least 4 Monsters on my last 6 flights. Now, if you can work on that wine. It's only okay... Seriously, thanks for all you do for us business travelers!
New Arrival
Do you have any idea how scary those little bags are to those of us with peanut allergies? Yeah I know that most people love them and I am not saying you shouldn't give them out but they do make me pretty uncomfortable.
Not applicable
Stop talking about nuts and figure out how to let your customers actually email you.
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Did you happen to spy any honey roasted peanuts being packaged in Southwest bags? 🙂 I am eagerly awaiting their return.
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Dear anonymous, We hear your pain about e-mail, but as you know (and I realize you are venting), peanuts and e-mail are independent of each other. E-mail is on the way, but several system changes have to take place first before that can happen. We are working on those changes, and we know we are late coming to the e-mail "table," but we will get there. Brian
Not applicable
Alfred, be sure to notify Southwest before your next flight so they can accommodate your allergy by not serving peanuts. They won't be able to control what other passengers bring on board, but your specific concern can certainly be addressed with adequate notice.
Not applicable
I have a question that I'm hoping someone can answer: Recently I heard a rumor that Southwest Airlines is going to begin airline service to Mammoth Lakes California from LA and other Southern California airports. Any truth to this information?
Not applicable
Is Southwest ever going to start service to Minneapolis? I have seen about 50 posts here in the past year or so as well as an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/business/26937084.html last week about Minneapolis wanting Southwest to enter the market here. The airfare here is way to high anywhere you fly to and Southwest could really help the travel in and out of here. Here is an example: Minneapolis to Chicago (300 miles) is $510 per person. I could drive it in 6 hours and use about $100 in gas round trip. Southwest the same weekend from Philadelphia to LAX (2500 miles) is $308 round trip We aren't asking for 100 flights a day but I think you could enter the market here with 2 or 3 planes by going to a couple cities that have hubs. Please help us from getting ripped off all the time. Thank you
Not applicable
Lol! Hispanic heritage peanuts? You've got to be kidding. I'm eagerly awaiting Irish heritage peanuts. I'm sure those will be right after the Italian heritage ones, right? More hispandering. *rolls eyes*
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I can't BELIEVE that you're cutting Nashville service in January AGAIN. This is incredibly disappointing and a real turn off to see Southwest letting Nashville down over time just American did. I can't wait for the day when we see an airline come to Nashville that is really willing to commit to and sustain reliable air service into our city. Too many other cities our size have this for us not to be able to enjoy it as well.
Not applicable
I go NUTS trying to open some of those little bags.........
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Obviously nobody is going to respond to the cruddy schedule cuts that are being put in place. Typical airline response. That just increases the level of disappointment and the appeal of other airlines.
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Anonymous - Please see today's post at http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blog/whoopsjanuarys-hereand-i-forgot-blog for details on the new schedule changes. Paula Berg Southwest Airlines
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oh boo-hoo to the whiners. this is a blog posting about PEANUTS. stick to the topic. find the proper channels to complain about your particular subject. jeeeez. you sound like PASSENGERS...nothing but complaints. run a business in this industry, THEN you can complain about SWA's business decisions.
Not applicable
Maybe somebody from Orange County or Burbank could shed some light on my question: Why do most of you all hate peanuts? Pretzels please, pretzels please. Is there a ban on peanuts in the OC or Hollywood that I don't know about? In 10 years of flying, I've never served more pretzels to any other destination than Orange County and Burbank. If you are all trying to be "healthy", here's an interesting tid bit of info: chomping on pretzels is like chomping on sugar! Peanuts have protein. Ding! I just changed most of your minds didn't I. 🙂