Wesson cooking oil
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|Product type||Cooking oil|
Southern Oil Company|
Wesson cooking oil is a brand of vegetable oil manufactured in Memphis, Tennessee and sold by ConAgra Foods. Historically, Wesson was cottonseed oil, but as of 2009 the products sold under the Wesson brand were oil mixtures that may include canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil or sunflower oil.
Wesson was originally a trademark of the Southern Oil Company, named after David Wesson (1861–1934), a food chemist at the firm who, in 1899 developed a novel process for deodorizing cottonseed oil, producing the first commercial all-vegetable shortenings from cottonseeds. This new product was marketed as Snowdrift. The Savannah, Georgia factory was erected in 1911 and torn down in 2004. In the 1920s, the vegetable oil division was spun off as the Wesson Oil & Snowdrift Company. In 1960, this firm merged with Hunt's Foods, Inc. to become Hunt-Wesson Foods, later merged with Norton Simon and later merged with Beatrice Foods. The brand was sold to ConAgra Foods along with many other former Beatrice brands in 1990.
In July 2011, two lawsuits were brought against ConAgra, arguing that it misrepresented Wesson as being "pure and natural" when it used genetically modified corn and soy in its oils. They argued that ConAgra "engaged in this misleading and deceptive campaign to charge a premium and take away market share from other similar products".
After an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in early March of 2018, Conagra Brands Inc. and J. M. Smucker Co. cancelled a deal for Smucker to purchase the Wesson brand. The FTC claimed that Smucker would have controlled at least 70 percent of the market for branded canola and vegetable oils.
Wesson logo and jingle
The longtime spokeswoman for Wesson cooking oil was actress Florence Henderson, Although she sang the jingle, the word "Wessonality" was actually coined by a copywriter named Mark Itkowitz at BBDO New York in 1976. His initial concept was to use the Sam Cooke version of the song "Personality". It was Jim Jordan, who was BBDO's Creative Director who suggested using the version by Johnny Mercer as the basis for the campaign. Florence Henderson would appear in television commercials for Wesson from 1976 until 1996.
- "ConAgra Lawsuit: Cooking Oil Giant Sued Over Fishy 'All-Natural' Claims". 25 August 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2017 – via Huff Post.
- Reuters, Thomson. "Practitioner Insights - Westlaw Legal Research - Legal Solutions". newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- Armental, Maria (March 6, 2018). "Smucker, Conagra Call Off Wesson Oil Deal After FTC Challenge". The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times, New York City, United States. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wesson Oil.|
- Wesson Oil - brand page