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Move over hot chocolate, here comes Peanut Hottie!

It’s been a long time since hot beverages had some real innovation, and a new British concept that’s starting to make waves is Peanut Hottie, a peanut butter hot drink.

Born and flourishing in the UK, and now hitting US shelves in time for the change of seasons, the drink is similar to hot chocolate, combining powdered, de-fatted peanut flour and no artificial colours in an 83-calorie serving. It is said to have a strong peanut flavour and subtle peanut aroma. It is also available in chocolate-peanut butter flavour.

The big question – why has no one thought of this before? That was the first thought Lisa Gawthorne, co-creator of Peanut Hottie, had when she thought of the idea and went on to create it with business partner, Karl Morris.

Gawthorne, who is also the joint MD of London-based Bravura Foods, came up with the product after a late-night gym session: “I wanted a protein-rich snack, so I took a spoon of peanut butter out of the jar and washed it down with a cup of tea. It created an amazing taste sensation and I knew right then, we had to launch this product.”

Eighteen months of research ensued, involving more than 52 taste tests, multiple package designs and collaboration with a test group of 100 females ages 25-45. Peanut Hottie was launched in the UK in October 2013.

Gawthorne and Morris have been amazed to see the emotional connection to the brand, with social media streaming with fan accounts of how the beverage has been their comfort for low times, like going through a break-up or studying for exams.

In the UK, the original flavour launched in Sainsbury’s last October and, thanks to strong sales, was picked up by Waitrose and Booths in February. This September, it’s also debuting in Tesco, at which point it will be in approximately 1 200 stores, which “is huge, within the UK market,” says Gawthorne.

Now, a year later, Peanut Hottie has will make a grand American debut, and has just launched in more than 2,499 Wal-Mart stores across the US.

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