Keebler Company

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Keebler Company
Industry Food processing
Founded Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (1853; 164 years ago (1853))
Founder Godfrey Keebler
Headquarters Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S.
Area served
Products cookies
ice cream
Parent United Biscuits (1974–1995)
Flowers Industries
Kellogg's (2001–present)

The Keebler Company is the largest cookie and cracker manufacturer in the United States. Founded in 1853, it has produced numerous baked snacks.[1] Keebler has marketed its brands such as Cheez-It (which have the Sunshine Biscuits brand), Chips Deluxe, Club Crackers, E.L. Fudge Cookies, Famous Amos, Fudge Shoppe Cookies, Murray cookies, Austin, Plantation, Vienna Fingers, Town House Crackers, Wheatables, Sandie's Shortbread, Chachos and Zesta Crackers, among others. The Keebler slogans are "Uncommonly Good" and "a little elfin magic goes a long way". Tom Shutter and Leo Burnett wrote the familiar jingle.[1]

Company history[edit]

Keebler Chips Deluxe Rainbow cookies

Godfrey Keebler, of German descent, opened a bakery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1853. In 1927, this bakery and others formed the United Biscuit Company of America.[2]

United Biscuit operated regional bakeries which included not only Keebler, but also Hekman Biscuit Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan,[3] the Strietmann Biscuit Company of Mariemont, Ohio[4] and the Bowman Biscuit Company of Denver which used the Supreme brand name.[5][6] By 1963, United Biscuit introduced the Kitchen Rich brand nationally while still utilizing the regional brand names.[7] In 1966, United Biscuit decided to adopt a uniform brand name and chose Keebler as the national brand and the name of the company.[8] Keebler did adopt Streitmann's Zesta saltine brand as Keebler's national brand of saltine crackers.[9]

Keebler-Weyl Bakery became the official baker of Girl Scout Cookies in 1936, the first commercial company to bake the cookies (the scouts and their mothers had done it previously). By 1978, four companies were producing the cookies.[10] Little Brownie Bakers is the Keebler division still licensed to produce the cookies.

Keebler was acquired by United Biscuits in 1974,[11] headquartered in West Drayton, Middlesex, England.[12] In 1995, United Biscuits sold Keebler to a partnership between Flowers Industries and Artal Luxembourg, a private equity firm.[13] Artal Luxembourg sold its holdings in Keebler in an IPO in 1998.[14]

In March 2001, The Keebler Company was acquired by the Kellogg Company.[1] At that time, headquarters were located in Elmhurst, Illinois.[15] Currently, Keebler has manufacturing plants in the United States, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.[citation needed]

Keebler Elves[edit]

The animated Keebler Elves, led by "Ernest J. Keebler", or "Ernie", rank among the best-known characters from commercials.The elves have appeared in countless television advertisements throughout the years, shown baking their unique products. In the commercials, The Keebler tree logo is often turned into the tree in which the elves reside.

Leo Burnett Worldwide, an advertising agency, created the elves in 1968, calling the bakery "The Hollow Tree Factory."[12]

J.J. Keebler was the original "head elf" in 1969 and was featured in a classroom film about how animated commercials are made, "Show and Sell", with J.J.'s voice done by Alan Reed Sr. Ernie Keebler became "head elf" in 1970.[16] White-haired Ernie wears a green jacket, a white shirt with a yellow tie, a red vest, and floppy shoes.[16]

Ernie Keebler was first voiced by Walker Edmiston, and then later by Parley Baer. and then Andre Stojka.

Other elves were Fryer Tuck (who promoted "Munch-ems"), Zoot and J.J. (known for pizzerias), Ernie's mother Ma Keebler, young Elmer Keebler, Buckets (who threw fudge on the cookies), Fast Eddie (who wrapped the products), Sam (the peanut butter baker), Roger (the jeweler), Doc (the doctor and cookie maker), Zack (the fudge shoppe supervisor), Flo (the accountant), Leonardo (the artist),[12] Elwood (who ran through the dough),[16] Professor, Edison, Larry and Art.[12] Many of the Keebler commercials were narrated by the announcer Danny Dark. The first Keebler elves were drawn by children's author/illustrator and commercial artist Roger Bradfield.

List of Keebler Snacks[edit]

Examples of Keebler products include:

  • 100 Calorie Right Bites,
  • Vienna Fingers Reduced Fat cookies,
  • Chips Deluxe Chocolate Lovers cookies,
  • Chips Deluxe Rainbow cookies,
  • Animals Frosted cookies,
  • Grahams Cinnamon,
  • Ice Cream Cups,
  • Grahams Original,
  • Club® variety, including Original, Reduced,
  • Fat crackers, Multigrain, minis,
  • Zesta saltine crackers
  • Export Sodas
  • Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies
  • Pizzerias
  • Simply Made cookies
  • Munch'Ems[17]
  • Sandies cookies
  • Krunch Twists
  • Tato Skins
  • E.L. Fudge

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the Angel season 5 episode "Power Play," Spike says to Drogan, a hero who lives in a fortress that is entered through a hole in a tree, "Oh, so you tacked up a sign on your tree, waved bye to the Keeblers, hopped the puddle and somehow managed to sniff me out in a city of ten million?"
  • In the Simpsons season 27 episode "Simprovised", Marge dumps a tray of cookies on the front yard next to Bart's newly built treehouse, and storms inside the house, after overhearing Milhouse and Bart's conversation in which Bart says there is "no need to thank her" for all the time she spent building the treehouse, "she's only doing her job." Shortly after, Homer approaches the cookies, looks at the tree, gets down on his knees, and shouts "the Keebler elves are real!"
  • In the Simpsons Season 5 Episode "Lisa Vs. Malibu Stacy" Marge asks Lisa if she plans to throw red paint on the Executives behind the talking Malibu Stacy doll while on a factory tour, reminding her that the "Keebler people were very upset" hinting that she did so to either staff or more likely, high profile executives of the cracker and cookie manufacturer.
  • In Agents of Shield season 3 episode 8 "Many Heads, One Tale" Lincoln Cambell cracks a joke about the agents "living on top of one another like Keebler Elves" in reference to the tight living quarters of Shield's secret base.


  1. ^ a b c "Keebler Brilliant Marketing Pte Ltd Keebler". Archived from the original on 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  2. ^ "History of Keebler Foods Company – FundingUniverse". 
  3. ^ "Made In Grand Rapids". Pinterest. 
  4. ^ "the history". The Strietmann. 
  5. ^ "Home - Denver Public Library". 
  6. ^ Inc, Time (10 May 1963). "LIFE". Time Inc – via Google Books. 
  7. ^ Inc, Time (18 January 1963). "LIFE". Time Inc – via Google Books. 
  8. ^ "The Keebler Company". 
  9. ^ "Historic OTR building to get big solar installation". 
  10. ^ Girl Scout Cookies bake up tasty treats for community, business skills for girls, Kathryn DeVan, Fall 2008
  11. ^ Vartan, Vartanig G. (26 January 1974). "Specialty Items Dominate A Lackluster Stock Market.; A.M.C. Up 2 1/2 Over Week STOCK PRICES DIP IN SLOW TRADING". Retrieved 3 March 2017 – via 
  12. ^ a b c d "Advertising Mascots > Keebler Elves (Kellogg's)". Tv Acres. Archived from the original on 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  13. ^ Feder, Barnaby J. (7 November 1995). "United Biscuits Sells Keebler for $500 Million". Retrieved 3 March 2017 – via 
  14. ^ "Keebler shares gobbled - Jan. 28, 1998". Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  15. ^ "Elmhurst, IL". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  16. ^ a b c "Ernie" (PDF). Kelloggs. Retrieved 2013-03-19. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2014-11-24. 

External links[edit]