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article image'Oh Nuts' — Hormel stops selling Skippy Peanut Butter in Canada

By Karen Graham     May 3, 2017 in Food
Last week, it was learned that Dad's chocolate chip cookies had been discontinued in Canada. Now, it's been learned that Skippy peanut butter, both the chunky and smooth version, will no longer be available in Canada.
After CBC Canada ran the story about Dad's chocolate chip cookies being discontinued last week, consumers were bitter, and rightly so. U.S.-based Mondelez International, the makers of the cookie, insisted the brand was still being sold in Canadian stores on their Facebook page.
But CBC Canada talked to a company spokesperson who confirmed the chocolate chip cookie had been discontinued, saying that its customer relations team had mistakenly misled people because it didn't have full information about the discontinuation. The company says the reason for stopping production of the chocolate chip cookie was poor sales.
So now, it has been learned that U.S.-based Hormel Foods discontinued their Skippy peanut butter brand in Canada several months ago, and didn't notify consumers, even as the brand slowly disappeared from store shelves. MSM News quoted Jim Hazzard in Alliston, Ont. who said, "I'm really mad at Skippy." He was lucky to grab his local store's last two jars. "I'm very careful how much I use," he said.
Hormel says they made the decision to stop selling Skippy peanut butter in Canada because of competition and pricing factors that have hurt the brand's profitability. "It was an incredibly difficult decision to withdraw Skippy peanut butter from the Canadian market," said spokesperson Brian Olson in an email to CBC News.
It is no wonder that Canadian shoppers feel singled out, after all, Skippy is sold in 60 countries, as well as in the U.S. So, what gives? Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at Dalhousie University specializing in food distribution and policy, may have a good explanation.
"We're a vast country with only 36 million people. The distribution costs are really high," Charlebois said, pointing out that the additional cost of required French labeling may also be a factor. "If the economics doesn't make sense, multinationals like Hormel often decide just not to exploit certain markets."
More about Hormel, skippy peanut butter, Competition, distribution costs, Canada
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