Peter Pan (peanut butter)

Peter Pan is a brand of peanut butter produced by ConAgra Foods and named after the J.M. Barrie character. The product was introduced by Swift & Company (originally through their "Derby Foods" subsidiary) in 1920 under the name "E. K. Pond". The product was renamed in 1928. Originally packaged in a tin can with a turn key and reclosable lid, packaging was changed to glass jars because of metal shortages during World War II, again to plastic jars in 1988, and was the first brand of peanut butter to start selling in plastic jars.[1][2]

Peter Pan Peanut Butter is sold in more than a dozen varieties: Original Creamy, Original Crunchy, Honey Roast Creamy, Honey Roast Crunchy, Reduced-Fat Creamy, Reduced-Fat Crunchy, Whipped Creamy, Plus Creamy (with added vitamins and minerals), Natural Creamy, Natural Crunchy, Natural Honey Roast Creamy, Simply Ground Original, and Simply Ground Honey Roast.

The product was the main ingredient in Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company's now-discontinued product, Peter Pan Peanut Butter Cups.

Past spokesmen for Peter Pan have included actor Sterling Holloway,[3] actor Mark Linn-Baker,[4] comedian Alan Sues,[5] and game-show host Art James.[6]

In late August 2007, it was announced that Disney's version of the Peter Pan character would become the mascot for Peter Pan Peanut Butter, alongside many other characters from Disney's 1953 animated film version to appear in their new advertising campaign, possibly in 2009. This would not be the first time: in the mid-1950s, when Peter Pan cosponsored ABC's Disneyland TV series, Tinker Bell often appeared in their ads during the program.

In earlier versions of the product, Peter Pan was clearly pictured as a woman in a Peter Pan costume, rather than as a boy.[7] This would have fit very nicely into the then-usual tradition of having the character played by an actress in J.M. Barrie's play or the musical made from it, were it not for the fact that the model used for the peanut butter label appeared very feminine, with long hair and a green skirt, unlike the actresses who had played Peter onstage. All of them had had their hair cropped short for the role and wore green pants rather than a long green skirt.

The "Say When!!" Incident

During a 1964 episode of the NBC game show Say When!!, host Art James performed a commercial for Peter Pan Peanut Butter during which he unintentionally broke the glass jar he used as a prop. Before air time, James did a series of run-throughs, dropping a table knife into the near-empty Peter Pan jar, each time without incident. But when he did the actual commercial live on the air, the knife broke out the bottom of the jar and fell through onto his podium. Amid scattered laughter from the audience, James continued the spot as the bottom part of the jar came "unglued" from the peanut butter. At the end of the commercial James finally lost his composure and stated that "It's great peanut butter; the jar is something else".[8] The incident has been replayed on many TV blooper specials through the years.


Recalled jar of Peter Pan with "2111" product code

In February 2007, Peter Pan and some Great Value (Walmart's store brand) peanut butters were linked to 425 cases of salmonellosis across the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials believe this is the first Salmonella outbreak involving peanut butter to occur in the United States.

The recall involved both Peter Pan and some Great Value peanut butter with a product code starting with the digits "2111."[9] The recall included all ConAgra-produced peanut butter sold in the United States since October 2004.[10] Peter Pan products returned to stores in late August 2007.[11]

During the January 2009 peanut butter recall, the Peanut Corporation of America recalled 21 lots of peanut butter from their plant in Blakely, Ga. over the possibility of Salmonella contamination.[12] Although this initially caused concern among consumers, Peter Pan has confirmed that no ingredients used to make its peanut butter have come from any location operated by Peanut Corporation of America.[13]


External links

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