Parkay was made and sold by National Dairy Products Corporation from 1937 to 1995, then Nabisco Brands, Inc. from 1995 to 1999 and then ConAgra Foods, Inc. since 1999.
The product label states that the product contains 0g trans fat. Yet the ingredients listed on the package include hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. The Food and Drug Administration allows food manufacturers to claim "0g of trans fats," so long as each serving of the product has less than half a gram of trans fat.
Ingredients for Parkay Margarine Sticks
- liquid soybean oil
- partially hydrogenated soybean oil
- vegetable mono- and di- glycerides
- soy lecithin
- potassium sorbate
- sodium benzoate
- artificial flavor
- phosphoric acid
- vitamin A palmitate
- beta carotene (color and source of vitamin A)
As cited on FoodServiceDirect.com web site.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Parkay was the long-time sponsor of the radio program The Great Gildersleeve.
Starting in 1973, a long-running advertising campaign was introduced for Parkay featuring a mechanically animated "talking tub" of the product. A typical ad depicted a sort of humorous verbal sparring match between a character mentioning Parkay, and the talking package (its lid flipping up in imitation of a mouth) correcting him by saying "butter" in a deadpan voice. The tagline: [announcer] "Parkay Margarine from Kraft--the flavor says..." [package] "...butter." Along with the TV ad, there was a "PARKAY" radio jingle, :30 seconds, written by David Grober and with a variety of performers; the most famous of these performers was Thurl Ravenscroft, who was also the voice of Tony the Tiger.
A famous 1975 commercial featured a laughing Latino man argued with a square box of margarine because when he opened up the Parkay lid, it would say to him "mantequilla" (butter) and he did know it is or was margarine. But when he finally tasted it, he would momentarily or then say "butter" or "mantequilla" right before the box says "Parkay" in Spanish.
A famous 1976 commercial featured Todd Bridges from Diff'rent Strokes and a white male kid would laugh when one of us could open up a regular pound bowl of margarine that would say "butter" until they have decided to taste it, then one of us would say "butter" right before the bowl says "Parkay".
A famous 1989 commercial featured a man who compared his Parkay to his Country Crock. A male voice asked the man which spread tasted more like real butter, and he thought it was the Country Crock. Suddenly, the Parkay tub began saying "Parkay" and the man was questioned, only to know that his Country Crock tub was not talking at all. He then tastes the Parkay, claiming it tastes more like real butter than Country Crock, telling his Country Crock tub "No wonder you're so quiet!".
- FDA. Food Labeling Guide. Revised October 2009. Section 7-L48
- Link text, as viewed 15-Feb-2012.