Family-run JM Smucker is best-known as the US leader in preserves and spreads, but in recent years the company has widened its offering dramatically with two major acquisitions. The purchase of Folgers from P&G in 2008 made Smucker's the #1 coffee business in North America, and it also markets Dunkin' Donuts packaged coffee products under license. Seven years later, the group added a leading role in petfoods with the purchase of Big Heart Pet Brands, previously part of the old Del Monte business. As a result it is also now the local #3 in pet food. Its more traditional food brands (for humans) include the main Smuckers preserves brand, which is accompanied by several other acquisitions including Knotts Berry Farm preserves (also bought in 2008, from Conagra), and two other purchases from P&G: market-leading peanut butter Jif and Crisco cooking oils. Another deal with Conagra to acquire Wesson cooking oils was blocked by regulators in 2017. Revenues for the year to 2018 were $7.8bn, with net income of $514m. The company was founded at the end of the 19th Century by Jerome M Smucker to sell apple butter, and has been led by a Smucker family member ever since. Several family members still work within the business and Mark Smucker is CEO, but the family now hold less than 10% of equity. Former P&G executive John Brase joined the group in 2020 as its first COO.
Capsule checked 30th October 2018
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Social Media 15th Aug 2019: "Bunker". The first work from Publicis Groupe's dedicated team servicing JM Smucker has been unveiled and it's really strong. Indeed, one significant benefit of the Groupe's concentrated Power of One methodology has been a significant improvement in Publicis New York's previously patchy creative output. In this case, the core team from the New York office is supported by executives from Digitas and Moxie as well as Zenith and MSL. Looks like that joint effort lifts everyone's game. The ads are a bold move also from Smucker's which in the past has not necessarily been known for the creativity of its advertising. Out this week are two ads for Jif peanut butter, and two also for Smucker-brand preserves. They're all good, but this is our favourite. What a great tag line! "That Jif'ing Good You'd Brave the Apocalypse for It". Classic. We look forward to seeing what the same team can do for Smucker's flagship brand, Folgers coffee.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Nov 2018: JM Smucker - owners of Smuckers spreads, Folgers coffee and America's third largest petfoods business - consolidated all marketing duties with Publicis Groupe. The assignment covers creative, media, digital and technology. Publicis already handled digital via SapientRazorfish, and is assembling a new cross-group team to handle the consolidated business moving forward. Reportedly, Publicis didn't tell Smucker which agencies its pitching team came from in order to emphasise the group approach. The assignment represents significant losses for WPP's Grey and IPG's FCB, who had handled creative; and for Dentsu-owned media agency Carat. Combined billings are around $170m.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Jul 2018: JM Smucker, best known for its preserves and Folger's coffee, is to exit the US baking products business with the sale of its Pillsbury license as well as a collection of other brands and licenses including Martha White, Hungry Jack, White Lily and Jim Dandy. The business is being acquired by investment firm Brynwood Partners for $375m.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Jun 2017: Conagra continued to prune its brand portfolio with a deal to sell the Wesson cooking and salad oil brand to JM Smucker for around $285m, about the same as the brand's annual sales. Conagra will continue to manufacture the product under contract for the first year of the deal. [The deal was subsequently blocked by regulators].
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Feb 2015: In a significant expansion of its existing business, spreads and coffee company JM Smucker has agreed to acquire America's third-biggest pet food marketer Big Heart Pet Brands for $3.2bn (or $5.8bn including Big Heart's debt). The target company was known as Del Monte Foods until it sold its fruit and veg operations last year. Brands include Meow Mix, Milk-Bone and Natural Balance. "With approximately two-thirds of US households having at least one family pet, we will now be able to serve the mealtime and snacking needs of the whole family," said Smucker CEO Richard Smucker. It is the second transformational acquisition for what was once a small family-owned jam-maker. In 2008 it added Procter & Gamble's mammoth Folgers coffee business.
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