The JM Smucker Company advertising & marketing assignments

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Family-run JM Smucker is traditionally 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' packaged coffee products under license, as well as other brands. 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. More recently it added Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, makers of Rachael Ray Nutrish, becoming the local #3 in pet food. Its more traditional food brands (for humans) include the main Smuckers preserves brand, Uncrustables frozen sandwiches and several other acquisitions including Knotts Berry Farm preserves (also bought in 2008, from Conagra), and market-leading peanut butter Jif (acquired from P&G). Another P&G add-on, Crisco cooking oils, was sold on in 2020 to B&G Foods. A deal with Conagra to acquire Wesson cooking oils was blocked by regulators in 2017. Despite its expansion into new segments, Smucker's revenues have remained more or less flat for several years. Revenues for the year to April 2020 were $7.8bn, marginally below the previous year and essentially unchanged since 2016 (though sales dropped to $7.4bn for two years in-between). Net income for ye 2020 was $780m. 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. Mark Smucker - great-great grandson of founder Jerome Monroe Smucker - is CEO, and his father Richard is executive chairman. The family now holds less than 10% of equity. Former P&G executive John Brase joined the group in 2020 as its first COO.

Capsule checked 23rd October 2020

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 5th Jan 2021: "Gladiator School". For this viewer especially, the new spot for JM Smucker's Jif peanut butter arrives with perfect timing. How on earth did agency PSOne know that 'Gladiator' was my New Year's Day movie treat? After years of bland and mostly uninspiring advertising, Smuckers have at last found their mojo with PSOne, a bespoke agency at Publicis New York. This has delivered a succession of mostly very funny spots for the client's diverse collection of coffees, spreads and pet foods. In truth, the pay-off here doesn't quite live up to the set-up, but it's still plenty of fun. Are you not entertained?

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].


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