JIF SAMPLES FLAVORED PEANUT BUTTER: LINE CONSISTS OF CINNAMON, BERRY, CHOCOLATE BLENDS

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Procter & Gamble Co. is testing a line of flavored peanut butter under the Jif Smooth Sensations label, an attempt to broaden the brand's usage as a snack food.

The line, testing in Midland, Texas, and Grand Junction, Colo., consists of three blended varieties: Chocolate Silk, Apple Cinnamon and Berry Blend. It's positioned as a topper for warm waffles, muffins, toast and pancakes, or to spread on apple slices and raisin bread.

WIDE-MOUTH JAR

The product is packaged in a wide-mouth jar to facilitate easy dipping with fruits or other snacks.

Grey Advertising, New York, handles the campaign, which consists of TV and radio. The TV spot shows a child hurrying home from school only to find an empty Jif Smooth Sensations jar; to his delight, his mom provides a fresh one.

Ads are connected to Jif's national campaign by adapting the brand's theme line as "Three exciting new ways choosy moms choose Jif."

In addition to the advertising, P&G dispatched mobile interactive sampling exhibits called "Sensation Stations" into the test markets, offering recipes, free samples and a kids coloring contest.

P&G food consultant Marilyn Harris also is touring the markets with Jif Smooth Sensations recipes.

ONE OF A KIND

Although some regional players market peanut butter and jelly combinations in one jar, it's believed P&G's line is the only product of its kind currently on the market. An executive of Bestfoods, marketer of rival Skippy, wouldn't comment on whether it plans a similar line.

According to Information Resources Inc., Jif is the leading creamy peanut butter in food stores, with $186.5 million in sales, down 0.3%, and a 33% category share for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 16. Skippy was No. 2 with $117.8 million, up 2.9% and a share of 20.9%.

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