Which all-American food is helping consumers avoid eating up their finances?

Jan 14, 2013

“Creamy & Crunchy” by John Krampner

Creamy, crunchy, salty or plain – how do you like your peanut butter? Although  it’s not popular in other countries, more than 75% of the American population consumes over one billion pounds of it annually. However, peanut butter has not been immune to social and economic trends. Sales dropped when it got a bad rap for being unhealthy, and risen again when recession-strapped families rediscovered it as a high-protein and cost-effective food.  

This prompted Hormel Foods to purchase Skippy for $700 million dollars earlier this month; the company forecasts sales of $370 million this year.  “Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the all-American Food.” claims to be the first comprehensive history of peanut butter.  

The book covers the history of the humble peanut, peanut butter’s affect on Third-World hunger, how “Choosy mothers choose Jif” made Jif number one in peanut butter sales, proper peanut butter eating etiquette, and how a salmonella scare almost ruined the entire industry.

In what ways has peanut butter influenced the American economy or society?   Has the recession boosted your family’s peanut butter habit? Is there a PB&J in your lunchbox right now?  What do you think are all-American foods? And of course, do you prefer creamy or crunchy?

Jon Krampner discusses and signs Creamy & Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena


Jon Krampner, author of Creamy & Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food (Perseus)

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