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Planters is an American snack food company, a division of Kraft Heinz based in Chicago, Illinois, best known for its processed nuts and for the Mr. Peanut icon that symbolizes them. Mr. Peanut was created by grade schooler Antonio Gentile for a 1916 contest to design the company's brand icon. The design was modified by a commercial artist and has continued to change over the years.
Planters was founded by Italian immigrant Amedeo Obici in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He started his career as a bellhop and fruit stand vendor in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Obici later moved to Wilkes-Barre, opened his own fruit stand, and invested in a peanut roaster. Obici turned peddler within a few years, using a horse and wagon, and calling himself "The Peanut Specialist". In 1906, Obici entered a partnership with Mario Peruzzi, the soon to be owner of Planters. Peruzzi had developed his own method of blanching whole roasted peanuts, doing away with the troublesome hulls and skins; and so with six employees, two large roasters, and crude machinery, Planters was founded. Amedeo Obici believed that prices and first profits were as important as repeat business, focusing his operation on quality and brand name for continued success. Two years later, the firm was incorporated as Planters Nut and Chocolate Company. By 1913, Obici had moved to Suffolk, Virginia, the peanut capital of the world, and opened Planters' first mass production plant and facility there. It was acquired by Standard Brands in 1960. In 1981, Standard Brands merged with Nabisco Brands, which was acquired by Kraft Foods in 2000. Kraft subsequently merged with the H.J. Heinz Company to form Kraft Heinz in 2015.
On January 22, 2020, Planters released a teaser for its Super Bowl LIV commercial featuring Mr. Peanut with Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh. The trio were shown hanging onto a branch after accidentally driving the Nutmobile off a cliff, with Mr. Peanut electing to let go and fall to his presumed death, and the Nutmobile on the ground suddenly exploding. The company's social media outlets declared Mr. Peanut to have died, although a company spokesperson told Advertising Age that they had not ruled out the scenario being a comic book death. However, Planters pulled the ad and the marketing for it five days later after the death of Kobe Bryant.
Advertising taglines have included:
- "The Nickel Lunch!" – peanuts/peanut bars (1930s–1940s)
- "Planters is the word for (good) Peanuts." (Various products – 1950s)
- "Peanut butter with a crunch." (P.B. Crisps – 1992)
- "Relax. Go Nuts." (Deluxe Mixed Nuts – 1997)
- "Put Out the Good Stuff." (Various Products – 2003)
- "Instinctively Good." (Various Products – 2007)
- "Naturally Remarkable." (Various Products - 2011)
- "Deliciously NUT-RITIOUS." (UK range - 2016)
- "Harness the Power of the Peanut"
While used under license from Kraft Canada, Planters in Canada is made by JVF Canada. Some Planters items do not use the Planters name, but are sold under the Kraft brand name in Canada. As of 2015, Planters Peanut Butter and Kraft Peanut Butter are both available.
As of 2016 Planters has launched into the UK with a range of 14 products under the tagline Deliciously NUT-RITIOUS. Planters in the UK is made by Trigon Snacks Trading Ltd at their factory in Aintree in Liverpool.
Planters Peanut store in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1950s
- "Planter's History of the Planter Nut". Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- History of Planters Peanuts
- "Kraft Heinz Co (KHC) Announces Completion of Merger; Updates on Next Steps; Announces Dividend". streetinsider.com. July 2, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- "Planters Pauses Mr. Peanut Funeral Ad Campaign After Kobe Bryant Death". NBC News. January 27, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
- Molina, Brett. "Planters Cheez Balls and Cheez Curls are coming back". URL. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
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