Jiffy mix

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Grain elevators at the Chelsea Milling Company, manufacturer of Jiffy mix products, in Chelsea, Michigan

Jiffy is a brand of baking mixes marketed by the Chelsea Milling Company in Chelsea, Michigan, that has been producing mixes since 1930.[1][2] The company was previously named Chelsea Roller Mill.[3] They are known for their products being packaged in a recognizable, small box with the brand's logo in blue. Jiffy was created as the first prepared baking mix in the United States by Mabel White Holmes.[1]

The company is now run and managed by her grandson, Howdy Holmes, a former Indianapolis 500 and CART driver.[1] Holmes became the company's CEO in 1995.[1] In March 2013, the company had around 350 employees,[2] and in 2015 employs about 300 workers[1] and produces 1.6 million boxes of its products each day.[4] Its corn muffin mix accounts for 91 percent of the company's retail sales, and the company's retail market in October 2013 was $550 million.[3]

History[edit]

Various Jiffy mix products, date unknown

Chelsea Milling Company is a family-operated company[1] with roots in the flour milling business dating back to the early 1800s. Originally a commercial operation that sold only to other businesses, its first baking mix designed for sale to consumers was created in the spring of 1930 by then-owner Mabel White Holmes.[5] At the time, it was marketed as a way to make biscuits that was "so easy even a man could do it."[1]

Operations[edit]

Most of the company's products are handled, processed and produced in-house, which includes grain storage, the grinding of grains into flour, product mixing and box manufacturing.[3][6] Equipment repair is typically performed by company personnel.[3] A significant amount of product ingredients are sourced from Michigan-raised crops, including "most of the wheat and some of the sugar."[3] Some sugar and shortening is imported from the states of Illinois and Indiana.[3] The company began offering free tours of its facilities and operations to the public in the 1960s, and continues to do so today.[3]

Expansion[edit]

Boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix

In 2008, the company began expansion into the food service and institutional industries due to a decline in the home-baking products market.[1] In 2015, this expansion effort was significantly increased, in order to better-enable the company to fulfill the needs of these industries and markets.[1] Expansion plans were in part based upon company projections predicting that many company employees will be retiring between 2006 and 2018.[1] In 2015, 173 of the company's employees are qualified for retirement.[1] Expansion plans include the introduction and implementation of more modern equipment, which requires fewer personnel to operate, and an increased capacity for storage.[1] In 2013, as part of the plans to keep the company moving forward into the future, a new research and development facility was built that cost over $6 million.[2] The company plans for the expansions to conclude by fall 2017.[1] In 2013, Chelsea Milling Company produced 180 million boxes of Jiffy mix during their busy season, which runs from September through January.[3]

Today[edit]

As of 2015, Chelsea Milling Company produces and markets 19 mixes, which are distributed to all 50 U.S. states and 32 other countries.[1][3] In 2015, the company embarked upon a significant expansion.[1] As of 2015, the company has around a 65 percent market share in the prepared muffin mix category in the United States, and a 90 percent share of the corn muffin mix market, per industry estimates and estimates by Howdy Holmes.[1] The company avoids all advertising for its products,[1] and spends no money on advertising.[2][3] Holmes has stated that the company's employees earn more pay compared to the industry standard, and also enjoy better benefits compared to the average in the industry.[1] In March 2013, production worker salaries averaged $47,000 annually.[2] The company also offers various resources and classes for its employees.[3] It has been reported that Holmes is on a first name basis with most of the company's employees, and that it is a friendly work environment.[2]

Chelsea Milling Company has received offers from debt-financing companies and also from corporations that are interested in taking over the company.[2] Holmes has stated that he prefers to maintain local control of the company, stating in an interview, "I didn't want a 28-year-old brat from Wall Street telling me how to run my company."[2] Holmes also stated that the company's local nature contributes to their customer loyalty.[2]

Products[edit]

Jiffy corn muffin, baking and pie crust mixes

The company's main products are muffin mixes, including those for corn muffins (including a vegetarian variety), banana muffins, chocolate muffins, and several others.[7][8] Additional products include brownie mix, cake mixes, pie and pizza crust mixes, frosting mixes, and multi-purpose baking mixes.[8] The vegetarian corn muffin mix uses a mixture of palm and soybean oil in place of lard.[9] Multi-purpose mixes purveyed by the company are a pancake and waffle mix, buttermilk biscuit mix and a general "baking mix".[8] The company's corn muffin mix is its most popular brand, and has around a 90 percent market share in the corn muffin mix category in the United States.[1] In 2013, 14 of the company's products were also manufactured in institutional-sized packaging,[3] which is sold to institutions such as hospitals and schools, among others.[10]

Publications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Happy 85th birthday, Jiffy mix". The Detroit News. April 30, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Suter, Cory (March 29, 2013). "7 Reasons This Muffin Mix Can Save America". Mic. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Seguin, Nichole (October 31, 2013). "Made in Michigan: Chelsea's Jiffy expansion means a lot more muffins". Chelsea Standard. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  4. ^ Marti Attoun. "Making Baking a Jiffy". Retrieved June 1, 2007. 
  5. ^ "History". 2011 Chelsea Milling Co. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ Karol, Gabrielle (August 19, 2013). "Jiffy Mix Recipe: If it Works, Leave it Alone". Fox Business. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  7. ^ ""Jiffy" Mix". Jiffymix.com. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Our "Jiffy" Mixes". Jiffymix.com. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  9. ^ Seguin, Nichole (November 1, 2014). "Jiffy Mix launches vegetarian version of famous corn muffin mix". Chelsea Standard. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ Hall, David (July 11, 2014). "For the love of corn muffins: Tech upgrades boost Jiffy Mix production at Chelsea Milling (video)". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

External video
"Jiffy mix maker changes with the times". The Detroit News.