Mrs. Butterworth's

Mrs. Butterworth's is an American brand of syrups and pancake mixes owned by Conagra Brands. The syrups come in distinctive bottles shaped as the character "Mrs. Butterworth", represented in the form of a matronly woman. The syrup was introduced in 1961.[1] In 1999, the original glass bottles began to be replaced with plastic.[2] In 2009, the character was given the first name "Joy" following a contest held by the company.

Mrs. Butterworth's
Product typeSyrup and baking mixes
OwnerConagra Brands
CountryUnited States
Introduced1961 (1961)
MarketsWorldwide
Previous ownersMrs. Butterworth's
Websitewww.mrsbutterworths.com

Advertising

One of the main voice actresses for Mrs. Butterworth was Mary Kay Bergman.[3] she was also voiced by Hope Summers during the early to late 1970s.

Kim Fields appeared in a commercial for the product during the late-1970s.

In 2007, Mrs. Butterworth was used in a series of ads for GEICO, in which she helped an actual customer with her testimonial.[4]

In 2019, she appeared along with an actor playing Colonel Sanders in a KFC commercial spoofing a scene from Dirty Dancing, promoting chicken and waffles using Mrs. Butterworth's syrup.

Controversy

A limited edition bottle

In 2020, following protests over systemic racism, Conagra Brands announced that it would review the shape of their bottles, as critics viewed them as an example of the "mammy" stereotype.[5] A competing brand, Aunt Jemima, revamped its brand and advertising following the attention on negative black stereotypes. In ads, Mrs. Butterworth's voice has evoked a grandmotherly white woman, and she has been portrayed by white voice actresses.[3][6][7] Despite this, some reports had claimed, without citing any sources, that the character was originally modeled on Butterfly McQueen, a black actress who appeared as the maid in Gone with the Wind (1939).[6][8]

In 2005, Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco made reference to the brand on Kanye West's "Touch the Sky," with the lyric "bottle-shaped body like Mrs. Butterworth".

In 2009, then-parent company Pinnacle Foods held a "first name contest" for the product's spokesperson; the winning name was "Joy", making the full name Joy Butterworth.[9][10] The character appears in the 2012 American film Foodfight!.[11]

See also

References

  1. "Our History". Pinnacle Foods. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  2. "Plastic pleases Mrs. Butterworth's". Packaging World. 1999-08-31. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  3. Lemmerman, Kristin (1999-11-17). "Mary Kay Bergman, voice-over actress, dead". CNN. Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  4. Geico Mrs. Butterworth, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2022-02-12
  5. Durbin, Dee-Ann (18 June 2020). "Cream of Wheat, Mrs. Butterworth confront race in packaging". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  6. Morona, Joey (June 17, 2020). "Mrs. Butterworth's syrup is considering changing up its branding and famous bottles". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  7. "Mrs. Butterworth's® | Thick, Rich, Deliciously Sweet Syrup". www.mrsbutterworths.com. Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  8. Silvey, Janese (2012-05-04). "Mrs. Butterworth award raises ire at MU". Columbia Daily Tribune. Archived from the original on 2020-05-24. Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  9. "Mrs. Butterworth Has a First Name, It's . . ". Food Channel. 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  10. "Mrs. Butterworth's first name is . . ". Los Angeles Times. 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  11. Hawkes, Rebecca (2017-08-02). "Forget The Emoji Movie: discover Foodfight!, the worst children's animation of all time". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2020-06-17.


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