The Keebler Company is an American cookie and former cracker manufacturer. Founded in 1853, it has produced numerous baked snacks,[1] advertised with the Keebler Elves. Keebler had marketed its brands such as Cheez-It (which have the Sunshine Biscuits brand), Chips Deluxe, Club Crackers, E.L. Fudge Cookies, Famous Amos, Fudge Shoppe Cookies, Murray cookies, Austin, Plantation, Vienna Fingers, Town House Crackers, Wheatables, Sandie's Shortbread, Pizzarias Pizza Chips, Chachos and Zesta Crackers, among others. Keebler slogans have included "Uncommonly Good" and "a little elfin magic goes a long way". Tom Shutter and Leo Burnett wrote the familiar jingle.[1]

Keebler Company
IndustryFood processing
FoundedPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (July 19, 1853; 170 years ago (1853-07-19))
FounderGodfrey Keebler
HeadquartersBattle Creek, Michigan, U.S.
Area served
Ice Cream Cones
ParentUnited Biscuits (1974–1995)
Flowers Industries
Kellogg's (2001–2019)
Ferrero SpA (2019–present)

The cookie and cracker lines were separated when Kellogg's sold the cookie line and the rights of the Keebler name to Ferrero SpA in 2019.[2][3][4][5] The cracker lines are now marketed under the Kellogg's or Sunshine names.

Company history edit

Keebler Chips Deluxe Rainbow cookies
Keebler Delivery Truck, US 23, Michigan

Godfrey Keebler, of German descent, opened a bakery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1853. His bakery networked with several other local bakeries and others around the country over the years, and in 1927 they merged into the United Biscuit Company of America.[6]

United Biscuit operated regional bakeries which included not only Keebler, but also Hekman Biscuit Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan,[7][8] the Strietmann Biscuit Company of Mariemont, Ohio[9] and the Bowman Biscuit Company of Denver which used the Supreme brand name.[10][11] By 1963, United Biscuit introduced the Kitchen Rich brand nationally while still utilizing the regional brand names.[12] In 1966, United Biscuit decided to adopt a uniform brand name and chose Keebler as the national brand and the name of the company.[13] Keebler did adopt Streitmann's Zesta saltine brand as Keebler's national brand of saltine crackers.[14]

Keebler-Weyl Bakery became the official baker of Girl Scout Cookies in 1936, the first commercial company to bake the cookies (the scouts and their mothers had done it previously). By 1978, four companies were producing the cookies.[15] Little Brownie Bakers is the Keebler division still licensed to produce the cookies.

Keebler was acquired by United Biscuits in 1974,[16] headquartered in West Drayton, Middlesex, England.[17] By the 1980s, Keebler had expanded into the bagged salty snack market, launching a string of successful and innovative snack chips such as Tato Skins, O'Boisies, and Pizzarias. In 1995, United Biscuits announced plans to spin off the snack chip business,[18] but ended up selling the entire company to a partnership between Flowers Industries and Artal Luxembourg, a private equity firm.[19] Artal Luxembourg sold its holdings in Keebler in an IPO in 1998.[20]

The Keebler Company purchased Sunshine Biscuits in 1996.[21]

In 2000, the Keebler Company acquired a license to produce snacks based on the popular children's show Sesame Street.[22]

In March 2001, The Keebler Company was acquired by the Kellogg Company.[1] At that time, headquarters were located in Elmhurst, Illinois.[23] Currently, Keebler has manufacturing plants in the United States, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.[citation needed]

On April 1, 2019, Kellogg announced that it was selling Keebler cookies and other related brands to Ferrero SpA for $1.3 billion. The acquisition is a part of Ferrero's strategy to buy brands which have been neglected within broader food companies' portfolios.[24] Kellogg retained the rights to other Keebler products, such as crackers, either under the Kellogg's or Sunshine names. The acquisition closed on July 29, 2019.[25][26]

Keebler Elves edit

The animated Keebler Elves, led by "Ernest J. 'Ernie' Keebler", rank among the best-known characters from commercials.[citation needed] Ernie is the head elf and the friendliest of the bunch.[27] The elves have appeared in countless television advertisements throughout the years (most of them animated at FilmFair), shown baking their unique products.[28] In the commercials, the Keebler tree logo is often turned into the tree in which the elves reside.

Leo Burnett Worldwide, an advertising agency, created the elves in 1968, calling the bakery "The Hollow Tree Factory."[17]

J.J. Keebler was the original "king elf" in 1969, and was featured in a classroom film about how animated commercials are made, "Show and Sell", with J.J.'s voice performed by Alan Reed, Sr.[29] Ernie Keebler became "head elf" in 1970.[30] White-haired Ernie wears a green jacket, a white shirt with a yellow tie, a red vest, and floppy shoes.[30]

Ernie Keebler was first voiced by Walker Edmiston, later by Parley Baer, then Frank Welker in 2007, then from 2016-2023 by Chicago actor Richard Henzel also known as the "Rise and Shine Campers" DJ Voice in the film Groundhog Day.

Other elves were Fryer Tuck (who promoted "Munch-ems"), Ernie's nephews Zoot and J.J. (known for Pizzarias Pizza Chips), Ernie's mother Ma Keebler, young Elmer Keebler, Buckets (who threw fudge on the cookies), Fast Eddie (who wrapped the products), Sam (the peanut butter baker), Roger (the jeweler), Doc (the doctor and cookie maker), Zack (the fudge shoppe supervisor), Flo (the accountant), Leonardo (the artist),[17] Elwood (who ran through the dough),[30] Professor, Edison, Larry and Art.[17] Many of the Keebler commercials were narrated by the announcer Danny Dark. The first Keebler elves were drawern by children's author/illustrator and commercial artist Roger Bradfield.

List of Keebler snacks edit

Examples of Keebler products include:

  • 100 Calorie Right Bites
  • Chips Deluxe Chocolate Lovers cookies
  • Chips Deluxe Rainbow cookies
  • Dunkin Delights
  • E.L. Fudge
  • Grasshopper Mint and Fudge cookies
  • Frosted Animals cookies
  • Fudge Shoppe cookies
  • Fudge Stripe Cookies
  • Krunch Twists
  • Keebler® Ice Cream Cones
  • Magic Middles
  • Munch'Ems[31]
  • O’Boisies® Potato Chips
  • Sesame Sticks
  • Pizzarias® Pizza Chips[32]
  • Rich 'n' Chips
  • Ready Crust® pie crusts
  • Sandies® cookies
  • Simply Made cookies
  • Sweet Spots
  • Tato Skins®
  • Vienna Fingers cookies

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Keebler Brilliant Marketing Pte Ltd Keebler". Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Kellogg Company Closes Sale of Keebler Cookies and Related Businesses to Ferrero" (Press release).
  3. ^ Reddy, Arjun. "Kellogg has agreed to sell its Keebler and Famous Amos businesses to Ferrero for $1.3 billion". Business Insider. Insider Inc. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Yu, Douglas. "Ferrero Enters U.S. Snack Aisle With $1.3 Billion Acquisition Of Kellogg's Brands". Forbes. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  5. ^ "Kellogg gets out of cookie business by selling Keebler, Famous Amos brands". WXIN. April 1, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  6. ^ "History of Keebler Foods Company – FundingUniverse".
  7. ^ "Made In Grand Rapids". Pinterest.
  8. ^ "Company History". Archived from the original on August 6, 2012.
  9. ^ "the history". The Strietmann.
  10. ^ "Home - Denver Public Library".
  11. ^ "Life". Time Inc. May 10, 1963 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "Life". Time Inc. January 18, 1963 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ "The Keebler Company".
  14. ^ "Historic OTR building to get big solar installation".
  15. ^ Girl Scout Cookies bake up tasty treats for community, business skills for girls Archived 2010-06-10 at the Wayback Machine, Kathryn DeVan, Fall 2008
  16. ^ Vartan, Vartanig G. (January 26, 1974). "Specialty Items Dominate A Lackluster Stock Market.; A.M.C. Up 2 1/2 Over Week STOCK PRICES DIP IN SLOW TRADING". Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via
  17. ^ a b c d "Advertising Mascots > Keebler Elves (Kellogg's)". Tv Acres. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  18. ^ "Keebler's Elves Lose Appetite for Salty Snacks". Chicago Tribune. June 23, 1995.
  19. ^ Feder, Barnaby J. (November 7, 1995). "United Biscuits Sells Keebler for $500 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  20. ^ "Keebler shares gobbled - Jan. 28, 1998". Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  21. ^ Elliot, Stuart (August 20, 2008). "Those Shelved Brands Start to Look Tempting". The New York Times.
  22. ^ "Keebler Elves, Muppets Stroll Down Snack Aisle". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  23. ^ "Elmhurst, IL". Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  24. ^ Hirsch, Lauren (April 1, 2019). "Kellogg announces plans to sell Keebler and Famous Amos to Nutella-owner Ferrero for $1.3 billion". CNBC. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  25. ^ "Kellogg Company Closes Sale of Keebler Cookies and Related Businesses to Ferrero". Cision (Press release). July 29, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  26. ^ Schultz, Clark (July 29, 2019). "Kellogg closes on Keebler sale". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  27. ^ Dotz, Warren; Morton, Jim (1996). What a Character! 20th Century American Advertising Icons. Chronicle Books. p. 56. ISBN 0-8118-0936-6.
  28. ^ Coyle, John J.; Bardi, Edward J.; Langley, C. John (1996). "15". The management of business logistics (6th ed.). Minneapolis/St. Paul: West Pub. Co. ISBN 9780314065070. OCLC 33280849.
  29. ^ Cerny, JoBe (May 11, 2015). "Icons of Advertising". Screen Magazine. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  30. ^ a b c "Ernie" (PDF). Kelloggs. Retrieved March 19, 2013.[dead link]
  31. ^ "Keebler Munch'Ems". Archived from the original on November 24, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  32. ^ "1991 Keebler Pizzarias Commercial". YouTube.

External links edit