In its modern form, it became popular right at the end of the 1800s, and it’s been popular ever since.
Here, look back at 14 brands and varieties of crunchy and smooth vintage peanut buttery goodness from the last 120-plus years, including popular favorites as well as once-famous spreadables that are now gone./box]
1. The new “peanut butter” is not a fad food (1899)
Excerpted from the San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) December 27, 1899
Washington Post: “Peanut butter is not a fad, but is rapidly becoming an important commercial product,” said Charles B. Fancher, of Philadelphia, at the National last night.
“Peanut butter is made by grinding peanuts very fine and reducing the mass to a pasty substance, a portion, at least, of the large amount of oil contained being removed.
“Some salt is added for flavoring, and the result is a cheap and nourishing ‘spread’ for crackers or bread, the nutritious value of which is now recognized by many physicians…
“Another value added to peanut butter is its absolute purity, there being no likelihood of germs as in the case of butter made from cream, and moreover the product is an excellent one for the poor, in that it can be made at a fraction of the expense of cream butter.
“The industry is growing rapidly, and peanut butter is extensively used in the large cities today.”
2. Vintage Beech-Nut peanut butter (1926)
26 slices can be spread by one medium-sized jar of Beech-Nut Peanut Butter
You actually spread the bread with flavor. Delicious Spanish and Virginia peanuts are blended — a necessary step to Beech-Nut flavor.
They’re roasted evenly, until the kernels are a rich, warm brown. They’re crushed smooth and creamy. And finally they’re lightly salted — to bring out the full, enticing flavor.
One medium-sized jar will cover 26 slices. Youngsters make many trips to the Beech-Nut Peanut Butter jar when they’re hungry between meals. And by always keeping an extra jar on hand, you can make a whole pile of popular sandwiches in a few minutes — enough for everybody.
Beech-Nut Peanut Butter is healthful, nourishing, easy to digest. It sets off the flavor of other sandwich-fillings by its own captivating flavor. Spread one slice with Beech-Nut and the other with cream cheese, olives, jam, bananas. A pleasantly different taste. Beech-Nut Peanut Butter comes in vacuum-sealed clear glass jars only — never sold in bulk.
3. Heinz peanut butter (1926)
When Grandmother was a little girl “her own self”, she knew the Heinz label always meant the most delicious flavors. Then when she grew up and children of her own came to ask her for something good to eat, she confidently turned to Heinz. Now that still another generation of hungry little folks has come to make the same demands upon her, she still turns confidently to Heinz…
For 57 years the Heinz label to her and millions of others has been a symbol of freshness, purity, cleanliness and flavor — and utmost value for the money.
4. Holsum Peanut Crunch Peanut Butter (1950s)
“Look Mommy! We left some for you!”
Peanut Crunch Peanut Butter is a great thrill for kiddies… a great treat for mom and pop! With meals — or in-between, everybody likes Peanut Crunch Peanut Butter, the blended combination of crispy, toasted peanut bits and smooth, delicious peanut butter. Contains essential vitamins that help build strong bodies. Look for Peanut Crunch Peanut Butter on your grocer’s shelves.
5. Beverly Peanut Butter (1950s)
Out of this jar comes the peanut butter that tastes like fresh roasted peanuts!
Why is our new stabilized Beverly so wonderfully good? Beverly’s famous flavor comes from the finest eating peanuts: U.S. 1st Grade. We roast them a special way, grind fresh daily, pop into jars and hustle to stores for you and your family to enjoy.
Taste Beverly at our risk. Buy a jar of our Chunk Style or our Regular Grind with this guarantee: You agree Beverly is the freshest, best-eating peanut butter you ever tasted — or the grocer will give your money back.
6. Swift’s peanut butter (1950s)
New wham in your slam!
Only Swift’s Peanut Butter gives you a smartly styled crystal plastic coaster with every jar you buy. In choice of four beautiful colors — and just the right size to fit nearly any glass.
There’s a powerhouse of energy in Swift’s Peanut Butter — the sensational new energy food you’ve heard so much about. It’s the one and only that gives all the nourishing wealth of plump, rich peanuts. Abounds in top-quality vegetable protein plus Vitamins B12 / B2 and Niacin, plus the essential minerals Iron, Calcium and Phosphorus.
Truly a “Gold Mine” of nutrition. So easily digested everybody can eat his fill. Delicious. Super-smooth. Get it by name — Swift’s Peanut Butter — The one with restored Vitamin B, values.
7. Youngsters prefer Peter Pan Peanut Butter (1950)
Here’s Why Peter Pan stays fresher and smoother:
1. Packed fresher! Just seconds from grinder to jar. None of its delicious just-made flavor is lost!
2. Fresher when you buy it! It’s vacuum-sealed to keep all the fresh flavor in. The only leading peanut butter with the flavor-guarding vacuum-sealed cap.
3. Stays fresher in your pantry, after you open the jar! The oil never separates — so Peter Pan doesn’t get rancid, never gets dry or lumpy.
It stays fresh-tasting and smooth — keeps all its energy value and vitamins. No waste — it’s smooth and creamy right down to the bottom of the jar!
Try both kinds of delicious Peter Pan smooth Peter Pan in the Red Top Jar — the smoothest peanut butter made… and Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter (with crisp peanut bits mixed all through) in the Green Top Jar. The youngsters love ’em both!
8. Old-fashioned Planters peanut butter (1955)
For fall parties… fall good eating… of course you’ll want the peanuts the whole world loves. Only Planters gives you this top quality — the very biggest, selected Virginia peanuts, toasted and salted to crisp, delicious perfection.
Planters Peanut Butter: Now in 12 oz. refrigerator-freezer jar. Super-smooth… chill-packed for the truest, old-fashioned, rich peanut flavor you ever tasted… spreads so easily! Also in vacuum packed tumblers.
9. Retro Big Top Peanut Butter with Early American glassware you can collect (1957)
The peanut butter with the fresh-roasted flavor of peanuts at the circus!
Big Top’s Roto-roasting — that’s the secret that brings out all the golden goodness of the peanuts… gives Big Top Peanut Butter its delicious fresh-roasted flavor.
Get this exclusive Early American Glassware every time you buy Big Top Peanut Butter.
10A. Skippy: The peanut butter that melts in your mouth (1966)
The result? Extra flavor… true, fresh-roasted peanut flavor. That’s why Skippy is different. It’s specially made to melt in your mouth.
You’ve noticed how the flavor of some foods is increased as they melt? Like chocolate or cheese? Well, the same thing is true of peanut butter.
Skippy, thanks to its exclusive patented process, melts easily and quickly at body temperature. That’s why Skippy releases so much more true peanut flavor.
‘Course, if you’re running a fever of 107 degrees, or grabbing a snack in your sauna bath, there are other peanut butters that will melt for you.
But any other time, if you are a normal human being, with a normal temperature and a normal hankering for the full, fresh-roasted flavor of U. S. Grade No. 1 peanuts, may we suggest Skippy — the peanut butter made especially for people.
DON’T MISS THESE STARS: Celebrities sell out for Skippy Peanut Butter (1960)
10B. Put love in lunch with Skippy peanut butter (1985)
Serving Skippy is a loving way to give your kids the good nutrition they need. Because it’s the only leading national brand to give them both high protein and less sugar.
And kids really go for the taste of Skippy. Now that’s a combination any mother can love!
For good nutrition straight from the heart.
1985 Skippy Peanut Butter commercial
(This TV ad features Mickey Mouse Club member/actress Annette Funicello)
11. Laura Scudder’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter: Cool it. (1977)
Ever wonder why we recommend that you keep Laura Scudder’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter in the refrigerator? Here’s the story, in a nutshell.
Not too long ago, all peanut butters were made the old-fashioned, natural way: freshly roasted peanuts and a little salt were ground together to make a delicious, creamy mixture.
You got great-tasting peanut butter, one that was full of rich, natural peanut flavor. And you also got oil that would separate from the mixture and rise to the top of the jar.
The advent of stabilizers changed all that. Most peanut butters changed from using only natural ingredients to also using stabilizers to prevent oil separation. The taste wasn’t exactly the same as before, but lots of people liked the results.
Laura Scudder’s didn’t change. We make ours the same old-fashioned, natural way — just peanuts and salt — nothing else!
We think it’s still the best-tasting peanut butter there is, because there’s nothing to get in the way of the rich, full natural peanut flavor. And, you guessed it, the oil can still come to the top. That’s why we suggest that you stir it up and keep it in the refrigerator. Then it won’t separate.
Next time, get Laura Scudder’s Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter. Then, cool it.
12. Comic book food: Vintage Superman Peanut Butter (1983)
The first action-packed Superman adventure! Free with two labels from Superman peanut butter.
13. Vintage Jif and Simply Jif peanut butter (1992)
Simply Jif: It has less added sugar and salt than any leading regular peanut butter. But can anything this wholesome taste really good? One taste will tell you, Simply Jif is simply delicious.
Original Jif: It’s bursting with fresh-roasted peanut taste and aroma. More than any other leading regular brand. In fact, it’s America’s best-selling peanut butter.
Two Wholesome Choices for Choosy Moms.
14. Reese’s creamy & crunchy peanut butter (1992)
May the bologna sandwich rest in peace.
Reese’s Peanut Butter. Creamy or Crunchy. Spread the word. Hershey Foods Corporation.