The Crisco brand was introduced in 1911 by Procter and Gamble. The brand was created for the purpose of marketing the company’s all-vegetable shortening product.
In January 1912, Crisco’s first advertisement came out through a women’s magazine. The Crisco advertisement emphasized the benefits of using an all-vegetable based shortening as compared to those shortenings made out of butter or animal fat. Basically, the advertisement encouraged consumers to give Crisco a try.
To emphasize Crisco’s difference and advantages over conventional butter and animal fat shortenings, Procter and Gamble created a cookbook that featured a number of recipes and cooking methods where Crisco can be used. In addition, Procter and Gamble even hired economists who traveled around the country with the purpose of teaching consumers on using vegetable shortening.
In 1923, Crisco began to be advertised in radio stations and soon after, radio programs featuring Crisco recipes were created as a method of promoting the product.
At the start of the 1920s, Procter and Gamble began to promote Crisco to different ethnic groups. As part of the product’s promotion, the company again published cookbooks written in each ethnic group’s language. In 1933, Procter and Gamble began producing Jewish cookbooks in order to promote Crisco as being a kosher product (not made from animals).
During World War II, Crisco’s packaging underwent a major change. After being packed in tin cans for thirty years, Procter and Gamble decided to change its packaging to glass. The glass containers were then slid into a cardboard box that had been printed with Crisco’s familiar label of blue and white.
Over the years, Procter and Gamble introduced oil varieties under the Crisco brand (vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil). It also added a butter-flavored variety to its all-vegetable shortening. Other products introduced under the Crisco brand included stick shortening, natural blend oil, and cooking sprays.
In recent years, Crisco has also adapted to the popularity of the Internet as it launched its own website Crisco.com. The website features Crisco products and recipes. The brand merged with J.M. Smucker Company in 2002. Under its new ownership, the Crisco brand has continued to prosper with the introduction of new products and innovations under its label.
Headquarters: Orrville, Ohio
Ownership Type: owned by the J.M. Smucker Company (Public)
No. of Employees: 4,850 (J.M. Smucker Co., 2011)
Demography: bakeries and other foodservice companies, consumer baking and cooking products