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Peter Pan Peanut Butter (Swift & Company, 1920; now produced by ConAgra Foods)

The Peter Pan brand of peanut butter was first introduced by Swift & Company’s Derby Foods subsidiary in 1920, but was indeed named after the J.M. Barrie character. Originally, Peter Pan Peanut Butter came in a tin can with a turn key and re-closable lid. During metal shortages from World War II, it was packaged in glass jars. In 1988, Peter Pan Peanut Butter was the first brand to be packaged in plastic jars. For most of its life, Peter Pan was represented as a woman in a Peter Pan costume. In August 2007, Disney allowed the boy version of Peter Pan alongside other characters (most notably Tinkerbell) from their 1953 animated movie to be used as the peanut butter’s mascot. The only other time Peter Pan Peanut Butter was able to use boy Peter Pan as a mascot was during the mid-1950s when the peanut butter cosponsored ABC’s Disneyland TV series.

There are over a dozen varieties of Peter Pan Peanut Butter: Original Creamy, Original Chunky, Honey Roast Creamy, Honey Roast Crunchy, Reduced-Fat Crunchy, Whipped Creamy, Plus Creamy (contains added vitamins and minerals), Natural Creamy, Natural Crunchy, Natural Honey Roast Creamy, Simply Ground Original and Simply Ground Honey Roast.

In February 2007, Peter Pan and Great Value (Wal-Mart’s store brand) of peanut butter were linked to 425 cases of salmonellosis across the U.S. and were recalled. (This was believed to be the first time a Salmonella outbreak occurred involving peanut butter in the U.S.) In January 2009, another peanut butter recall occurred when the Peanut Corporation of America recalled 21 lots of peanut butter from their Blakely, Georgia plant over another possible Salmonella contamination. Peter Pan responded by confirming that no ingredients they use to make their peanut butter come from any location operated by the Peanut Corporation of America, though the recall did effect some Peter Pan jars.

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