“But Is It Still Peanut Butter?”
This chapter charts the history of the Jif brand of peanut butter. In 1946 William T. Young, who served stateside as an officer in the ordnance branch of the U.S. Army during World War II, started his own peanut butter company called Big Top. Twelve years later, this company would give birth to Jif. During the postwar period, the peanut industry was revolutionized by new equipment. In 1950, the Lilliston Company of Albany, Georgia, successfully demonstrated a fully mechanized peanut combine. Peanut farmers' ability to harvest their crops more efficiently contributed to the postwar boom in peanut butter sales. The increase in production of peanut butter in the postwar period made it a good business for Young. On August 22, 1955, his company, W. T. Young Foods, was bought by Procter & Gamble. On July 2, 1959, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a standard of identity for peanut butter that would set the stage for hearings involving the industry.
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