Parkay was made and sold by National Dairy Products Corporation from 1937 to 1969, then Kraftco Corporation from 1969 to 1976, Kraft, Inc. from 1976 to 1989, Kraft General Foods, Inc. from 1989 to 1995, Nabisco Brands, Inc. from 1995 to 1999, and ConAgra Foods, Inc. since 1999.
The product label states that the product contains 0g trans fat. Yet the ingredients listed on the package include hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. The Food and Drug Administration allows food manufacturers to claim "0g of trans fats," so long as each serving of the product has less than half a gram of trans fat.
Ingredients for Parkay Margarine Sticks
- liquid soybean oil
- partially hydrogenated soybean oil
- vegetable mono- and di- glycerides
- soy lecithin
- potassium sorbate
- sodium benzoate
- artificial flavor
- phosphoric acid
- vitamin A palmitate
- beta carotene (color and source of vitamin A)
As cited on FoodServiceDirect.com web site.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Parkay was the long-time sponsor of the radio program The Great Gildersleeve.
Starting in 1973, a long-running advertising campaign was introduced for Parkay featuring a mechanically animated "talking tub" of the product. A typical ad depicted a sort of humorous verbal sparring match between a character mentioning Parkay, and the talking package (its lid flipping up in imitation of a mouth) correcting him by saying "butter" in a deadpan voice. The tagline: [announcer] "Parkay Margarine from Kraft--the flavor says..." [package] "...butter." Along with the TV ad, there was a "PARKAY" radio jingle, :30 seconds, written by David Grober and with a variety of performers; the most famous of these performers was Thurl Ravenscroft, who was also the voice of Tony the Tiger.
The 1973 commercial featured a voice over claiming Parkay tastes like butter. An argumentative housewife looks at a square box of Parkay in her kitchen and says "Parkay". The box of Parkay responds "butter", and they go back and forth until she tries a taste of it and she says "butter". At that point, the margarine says "Parkay!" This was possibly the first Parkay Margarine commercial that featured the phrase "the flavor says butter".
The 1975 commercial featured a laughing Latino man argues with a square box of margarine because when he opens up the Parkay lid, it says to him "mantequilla" (butter) and he did know it is or was margarine. But when he finally tastes it, he then or momentarily says "butter" or "mantequilla" right before the box says "Parkay" in Spanish.
The 1976 commercial featured Todd Bridges from Diff'rent Strokes and a white male kid laughs when one of us opens up a regular pound bowl of margarine that says "butter" until they decides to taste it, then one of us says "butter" right before the bowl says "Parkay."
- FDA. Food Labeling Guide. Revised October 2009. Section 7-L48
- Link text, as viewed 15-Feb-2012.