Claussen pickles are a brand of pickled cucumber. The brand is based in Woodstock, Illinois, an exurb of Chicago, and is sold by Mondelēz International outside the United States. Like many other brands, Claussen pickles are uncooked, and are typically found in the refrigerated section of grocery stores.
Claussen is advertised as having superior crunchiness to other brands. In a 1992 television commercial, Claussen pickles were shown to snap under pressure, whereas unidentified competing brands merely bent without snapping. In response, Vlasic Foods Inc. submitted a complaint to an advertising industry tribunal, claiming that the commercial was unfair and misleading. Ultimately, however, the claims of Claussen were upheld by the tribunal.
Claussen pickles come in several varieties:
- Kosher Dills (whole, halves, spears, mini dills, and sandwich slices)
- Bread 'N Butter (chips and sandwich slices)
- Deli Style Hearty Garlic (sandwich slices and wholes)
- New York Deli Half Sours (wholes)
- Burger Slices
- Hot & Spicy (spears and chips)
The company C.F. Claussen & Sons was founded by Claus Claussen Sr. in Chicago in May 1870. Claussen was a vegetable farmer on land that today is in the Chicago city limits at 51st and South Western Blvd. He had a surplus crop of cucumbers one year, and so he decided to pickle them. Claussen pickles were produced on the same piece of land until 1976 when the plant moved to Woodstock, IL.
Claus Claussen Sr. was succeeded by his son Claus S. Claussen, who was serving as president of the company when he died following an automobile accident on December 20, 1932.
For some years, William C. Claussen (b. 1890) served as president of the Claussen Pickle Company.
The company was sold to Oscar Mayer in 1970 and moved to Woodstock in 1976. Oscar Mayer was later acquired by General Foods in 1981, who in turn merged with Kraft, Inc. in 1990 to form Kraft General Foods, renamed Kraft Foods in 1995.
In 2002, the investment group that owned Vlasic Pickles sought to acquire the Claussen brand as well. The Federal Trade Commission blocked the proposed merger on the grounds that it would have severe anticompetitive effects, leading to a monopoly in the refrigerated-pickle market.
- "After Years of Trial and Error, A Pickle Slice That Stays Put". The Wall Street Journal. 1998-10-06.
- Claussen ad
- Shapiro, Eben (1992-05-30). "Hold the Pickles; Counsel Adds a Twist To Vlasic vs. Claussen". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- "Chew on This: Crunch Comes To Foods from Soup to Pickles". The Wall Street Journal. 1997-04-02.
- Pickle Varieties
- "Taster's Choice: Claussen wins raves in relish challenge". The San Francisco Chronicle. 2008-06-18.
- Barnes, Dave (1995-05-26). "No Gherkin Around At Claussen Picnic". Chicago Tribune.
- "Dobbin's Future is Secure With Pickle Company". Chicago Tribune. 1950-04-13.
- Food engineering, Volume 4 (Chilton Co., 1932)
- "Federal Trade Commission Votes to Challenge Hicks, Muse's Proposed Acquisition of Claussen Pickle Company". U.S. Federal Trade Commission. 2002-10-22. Retrieved 2011-06-22.