Peanut Types

types of peanuts

There are 4 types of peanuts grown in the United States and around the world:

Virginia Peanuts  

Virginia Peanuts

Contrary to the now standard state naming trend, a “Virginia” peanut does NOT mean it was grown in the state of Virginia.  Virginia used to be the primary state which the largest peanuts were grown, so the big peanuts, most people are used to seeing in the shell, became known as “Virginia’s”.   Virginia peanuts are now grown around the world. 

  • North Carolina currently grows the largest number of Virginia peanut acres.  In the US, they are also grown in VA, SC, FL, GA, OK and west Texas.
  • Only 17% of the 2013 peanut crop was Virginia Peanuts.
  • The Hampton Farms brand of in-shell peanuts is 100% US grown Virginia peanuts and is now the #1 brand in the US, while also being exported to Canada and other countries outside the states.
Runner Peanuts  


Runner type peanuts are the largest volume of peanuts grown in the US.  This type peanut usually yields the highest pounds per acre at the farm.  Runners are a great tasting type, with a small consistent round shape.  This generally makes these peanuts a great value, and preferred by many candy and peanut butter manufacturers.

  • Georgia dominates growth of Runners, growing far more than any other state.  Runners are also grown in NC, SC, FL, MS, AL, TX and OK.
  • 80% of the 2013 crop was Runner type.
  • Runners are smaller in size than Virginia type peanuts. Therefore, we take them 100% out of the shell and roast the kernels. 
Valencia Peanuts  

Valencia Peanuts

The exclusive Valencia’s are grown in the dry sandy soils of eastern New Mexico.  This type yields a long peanut, frequently with more than 2 kernels inside each shell.  The kernels are smaller and come with a natural sweeter flavor than other varieties.  This makes this peanut the preferred type of many natural peanut butters. 

  • New Mexico grows almost all the Valencia type peanuts.  A few are grown in Texas each year.
  • Only 1% of the 2013 peanut crop was Valencia type.
  • The Valencia type has a thinner shell than other varieties.  This makes it a great choice for boiling, a popular practice in the Southern United States.
Spanish Peanuts  

Spanish Peanuts

This type peanut is grown primarily in Texas and produces a small reddish brown kernel.

  • Around 2% of the 2013 crop was Spanish peanuts.
  • Their consistent shape, size and color make them popular with candy and brittle manufacturers.
  • A naturally high oil content, makes Spanish peanuts ideal for extracting peanut oil.

Learn more about different grades of peanuts.