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Planters is an American snack food company, a division of Kraft Foods, best known for its processed nuts and for the Mr. Peanut icon that symbolizes them. Mr. Peanut was created by grade schooler Antonio Gentile for a 1916 contest to design the company's brand icon. His design was perfected by a commercial artist and has changed over the years.
Planters was founded by ItalianimmigrantAmedeo Obici in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He started his career as a bellhop and fruit stand vendor in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Obici later moved to Wilkes-Barre, opened his own fruit stand, and invested in a peanut roaster. Obici turned peddler within a few years, using a horse and wagon, and calling himself "The Peanut Specialist". In 1906, Obici entered a partnership with Mario Peruzzi. Peruzzi had developed his own method of blanching whole roasted peanuts, doing away with the troublesome hulls and skins; and so with six employees, two large roasters, and crude machinery, Planters was founded. Amedeo Obici believed that prices and first profits were as important as repeat business, focusing his operation on quality and brand name for continued success. Two years later, the firm was incorporated as Planters Nut and Chocolate Company. It was acquired by Standard Brands in 1960. In 1981, Standard Brands merged with Nabisco Brands, which was acquired by Kraft Foods in 2000.
While used under license from Kraft Canada, Planters in Canada is actually made by JVF Canada. Some Planters items, such as the cookies under the 100 Calorie packs line from Nabisco, do not use the Planters name, but are under Kraft Peanut Butter in Canada. Corn Nuts, though, are owned by Kraft Canada.