With things already nuts right now, one can only imagine how it could get worse. Yet a small business in Arlington, Texas, now has 1.7 million pounds of nuts on their hands, and they are not sure what to do with them.
Forbes.com revealed that American Airlines, without prior noticed, cancelled their order of 1.35 million bags of nuts from GNS Foods, co-owned by couple Don Milroy and Kim Peacock.
The beloved pack of mixed almonds, cashews, pecans, and pistachios has been served on their flights for over 30 years, and now, close to one million dollars' worth of nuts will remain with GNS Foods—with no customers for them. The company has a small retail store in front of the manufacturing and warehouse facility and also sells nuts through their website. However, greatnuts.com was not prepared to have to sell and ship over 1.7 million pounds of nuts separated into such small quantities.
The couple explained how some of the nuts were already toasted and even bagged up for delivery to American Airlines.
"What are we going to do with all these extra nuts, now?" Peacock said. "Well, we're having a big sale on nuts. And we're selling more nuts through the website and our retail store than I ever imagined we would or could. But even at this new rate, which we know won't last past Christmas, it'll take us a very long time to sell all the product we've been stuck with in our warehouse."
Milroy explained how American Airlines has bought 1.35 million 20-ounce bags of mixed nuts from GNS. He predicted to top that record this year, but Covid had other plans.
"People have been very supportive of us, and that's wonderful," Peacock says. "Especially American employees: the flight attendants, the flight crews, the airport staff, the headquarters staff. They have loved our nuts for years and years, and when they heard we've been stuck with all these nuts, they've come to help us out and to get a good deal on the nuts they love."
But she and her husband have been disappointed in the airline's official interactions with them. The airline has refused to compensate by placing an ad in their communications with staff and dedicated customers.
To make matters worse, "American attorneys sent GNS a cease-and-desist letter, threatening action against the little nut company if it didn't stop using American's name or symbols in its retail nut sales channels," the website read. This forced GNS to edit their website and the thousands of bags that were ready to be shipped to the airline.
GNS initially had to pay for all the nuts intended for American Airlines, who stopped paying them in March. "We went four months or more without being paid by American," Peacock said. American did end up sending them a check in July and also promised two more payments.
"Still, we were stuck with close to $1 million in inventory that will be very difficult for us to sell at even a break-even price, while they still owe us half a million dollars," she said.
GNS Foods has been faced with a problem they never saw coming. It is sad to hear that an airline loved by many handled the situation poorly, leaving the couple with a heap of nuts and financial problems.