|Founded||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (July 19, 1853 )|
|Headquarters||Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S.|
|Parent||United Biscuits (1974–1995)|
Ferrero SpA (2019–present)
The Keebler Company is an American cookie and former cracker manufacturer. Founded in 1853, it has produced numerous baked snacks. Keebler had 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 cookie and cracker lines were separated when Kellogg's sold the cookie line and the rights of the Keebler name to Ferrero SpA. The cracker lines are now marketed under the Kellogg's or Sunshine names. The Keebler slogans are "Uncommonly Good" and "a little elfin magic goes a long way". Tom Shutter and Leo Burnett wrote the familiar jingle. The Kellogg Company sold Keebler cookies to Ferrero SpA.
Godfrey Keebler, of German descent, opened a bakery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1853. His bakery networked with several other local bakeries around the country over the years, and in 1927 they merged into the United Biscuit Company of America.
United Biscuit operated regional bakeries which included not only Keebler, but also Hekman Biscuit Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Strietmann Biscuit Company of Mariemont, Ohio and the Bowman Biscuit Company of Denver which used the Supreme brand name. By 1963, United Biscuit introduced the Kitchen Rich brand nationally while still utilizing the regional brand names. In 1966, United Biscuit decided to adopt a uniform brand name and chose Keebler as the national brand and the name of the company. Keebler did adopt Streitmann's Zesta saltine brand as Keebler's national brand of saltine crackers.
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. Little Brownie Bakers is the Keebler division still licensed to produce the cookies.
Keebler was acquired by United Biscuits in 1974, headquartered in West Drayton, Middlesex, England. In 1995, United Biscuits sold Keebler to a partnership between Flowers Industries and Artal Luxembourg, a private equity firm. Artal Luxembourg sold its holdings in Keebler in an IPO in 1998.
In March 2001, The Keebler Company was acquired by the Kellogg Company. At that time, headquarters were located in Elmhurst, Illinois. Currently, Keebler has manufacturing plants in the United States, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
On April 1, 2019, Kellogg announced that it was selling Keebler cookies and other related brands to Ferrero SpA for $1.3 billion. The acquisition is a part of Ferrero's strategy to buy brands which have been neglected within broader food companies' portfolios. Kellogg retained the rights to other Keebler products, such as crackers and salty snacks, either under the Kellogg's or Sunshine names. The acquisition closed on July 29, 2019.
The animated Keebler Elves, led by "Ernest J. 'Ernie' Keebler", rank among the best-known characters from commercials. Ernie is the head elf and the most friendly of the bunch. 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.
J.J. Keebler was the original "king elf" in 1969, and was featured in a classroom film about how animated commercials are made, "Show and Sell," with J.J.'s voice performed by Alan Reed, Sr. Ernie Keebler became "head elf" in 1970. White-haired Ernie wears a green jacket, a white shirt with a yellow tie, a red vest, and floppy shoes.
Other elves were Fryer Tuck (who promoted "Munch-ems"), Ernie's nephews Zoot and J.J. (known for Pizzarias Pizza Chips), 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), Elwood (who ran through the dough), Professor, Edison, Larry and Art. 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
Examples of Keebler products include:
- 100 Calorie Right Bites
- Chips Deluxe Chocolate Lovers cookies
- Chips Deluxe Rainbow cookies
- E.L. Fudge
- Export Sodas
- Frosted Animals cookies
- Fudge Shoppe cookies
- Fudge Stripe Cookies
- Krunch Twists
- Keebler® Ice Cream Cones
- Magic Middles
- O’Boisies Potato Chips*Sesame Sticks
- Pizzarias Pizza Chips* Rich 'n' Chips
- Ready Crust® pie crusts
- Sandies® cookies
- Scooby Snacks
- Simply Made cookies
- Sweet Spots
- Tato Skins
- Vienna Fingers cookies
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