Jif (peanut butter)
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|Product type||Peanut butter|
|Owner||The J.M. Smucker Co.|
|Markets||United States and Canada|
|Previous owners||Procter & Gamble|
|Tagline||"That Jif'ing Good"|
In 1955, Procter & Gamble bought Big Top peanut butter and its manufacturing facilities in Lexington, Kentucky from William T. Young. In the ensuing years, the company reformulated and rebranded it to compete with Skippy and Peter Pan. P&G named its product Jif, used oils other than peanut oil in its hydrogenation process, and sweetened the recipe, adding sugar and molasses. The new product was publicly announced in April 1956, as tests of the product began in select markets. The original Creamy and Crunchy style Jif peanut butters both made their nationwide debut in 1958. In 1974, Extra Crunchy Jif was introduced, followed in 1991 by Simply Jif, a peanut butter variant with low sodium and less sugar than regular Jif. Reduced Fat Jif was introduced three years later in 1994. In 2014, Jif Whips was released as the first whipped peanut butter.
Since 1981, Jif has been the largest peanut butter brand in the United States. On May 20, 2022, their peanut butter products which were manufactured in their Lexington KY plant (only) were recalled in the USA and Canada due to potential salmonella contamination. The J.M. Smucker Company estimated a loss of $125 million as a result of the 2022 recall. On July 19, 2022, a class-action lawsuit was filed against J.M. Smucker Co. over the contaminated peanut butter.
As of July 27, 2022, 21 people in 17 states had fallen ill after consuming Jif peanut butter.
In 1958, the brand rollout in the U.S. involved a heavily publicized house-to-house distribution of free sample jars from special trucks emblazoned with the then Jif mascot, the "Jifaroo", a blue kangaroo. An early slogan was "Jif is never dry; a touch of honey tells you why." Early advertising also emphasized the beveled edge of the jar base, meant to make it easier to get the last bit of Jif out of the corner. For many decades, TV commercials for the product ended with the tagline, "Choosy mothers choose Jif", and, in the 1990s, "Choosy moms choose Jif." From 1998 to 2000, there was a musical jingle that accompanied many Jif ads, which used the lyrics, "Moms like you choose Jif, choose Jif!"
In February 2020, Jif announced a planned media campaign that uses the Jif brand to try to settle the GIF/Jif pronunciation debate. The company partnered with Giphy to release a special jar of Jif peanut butter that replaces the classic Jif branding on the label with 'Gif.' The advertisement tries to settle the debate by showing two jars of peanut butter with the labels Jif and Gif, with the implication of pronouncing GIF with a "hard G".
There are 9 different kinds of Jif Peanut Butter:
- Extra Crunchy
- No Sugar Added Creamy
- Simply Jif Creamy (low sodium and sugar)
- Omega-3 Creamy
- Reduced Fat Creamy
- Natural Creamy
- Natural Honey Creamy
- Natural Crunchy
Jif is also available in a three-pack and an eight-pack of 1.5-ounce individual servings of Jif peanut butter, sold under the name "Jif to Go". In 2014, Jif introduced a peanut butter-flavored breakfast cereal (manufactured under license by Kellogg's), which met with positive feedback.
Jif also makes almond butter and cashew butter. All variants of Jif are produced at a facility in Lexington, Kentucky, which is the largest peanut butter production facility in the world, and a smaller facility in Memphis TN whose products were not affected by the 2022 recall.
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