How Smucker's Is Investing In The Classic PB&J

When you think about school lunches it probably doesn't take long for the perennial classic, the PB&J to come to mind. Despite regular new product introductions in the packaged lunch category and the prevalence of childhood peanut allergies, the PB&J remains a lunchroom favorite. Perhaps it is no surprise then that Smucker's, the most popular purveyors of jams, jellies, and preserves in the U.S. (per Statista) is doubling down on its commitment to the lunchbox staple.

According to Food Business News, during a presentation at the Barclays Consumer Staples Conference on September 6, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Smucker Company, Mark T. Smucker, stated that despite the brand's recent expansion of its popular Uncrustables frozen sandwich line to savory options, they continue to be "really focused on peanut butter and jelly."

For those who are unfamiliar, Uncrustables are individually wrapped, pre-made, frozen sandwich pockets containing, mostly, peanut butter and jelly combinations and crimped around the round edges so the sandwich is left with no crusts. They were introduced in stores by the brand in 2000 and are sold as an ideal school lunch solution because they can be put in a lunchbox in the morning and will defrost and be ready to eat by lunchtime (per In their first year of sales, the freezer-section snacks made the company $10 million, a sum which has ballooned to up to $511 million in 2021, with sales continuing to grow even through the pandemic and continued inflation.

Uncrustables could soon be a $1 billion brand

So how is Smucker's asserting its commitment to the PB&J? It's putting its money where its mouth is. Food Business News notes that while the brand made the move to introduce savory options, including selections with meat and cheese, in the last year, the company's manufacturing focus is still on the classic, sweet lunch sandwiches, which include peanut butter and honey as well as a chocolate-hazelnut spread variety in addition to the classic strawberry and grape PB&J versions. 

According to Food Manufacturing, the company announced last November that it would be building a $1.1 billion factory in Alabama, which will be dedicated exclusively to the manufacturer of Uncrustables when it opens in 2025. Currently, Smucker's has two facilities dedicated to the sandwiches, and the third plant, along with expansions to the existing two, is expected to double the production of Uncrustables. While some of these facilities will be dedicated to the newer flavors, the majority is expected to be used for PB&Js. said the brand anticipates sales growth of the popular sandwich line to continue, with company officials projecting the brand to soon be worth $1 billion annually, a benchmark only one Smucker's-owned brand — Folgers Coffee — has attained.