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Pre-sliced peanut butter:
July 18, 2001 12:31 AM   Subscribe

Pre-sliced peanut butter: "It's all about convenience." Is this the ultimate in excessive packaging? Or is it a hoax (peanut butter culture not so ingrained in the UK, so I might have missed the clues)?
posted by jonathanbell (38 comments total)

 
Not a hoax, but god, it should be. Eeeew.
posted by dong_resin at 12:59 AM on July 18, 2001


What about pre-sliced tunafish? And egg salad? I want a convenient BLT!
posted by Bixby23 at 1:08 AM on July 18, 2001


Peanut butter culture? What the hell is that? Some of us eat peanut butter, but I wouldn't think there's an actual cultural movement about it, except maybe at the house of George Washington Carver's descendants. (Yes, I know it was only an SNL skit, but it was a funny one.) Seriously, I don't think there's a peanut butter culture, and if there is, it sure as Jif isn't ingrained.
posted by Ezrael at 1:09 AM on July 18, 2001


> is it a hoax...?

It doesn't look like one. People buy bottled water and think that it and they are normal, and I'm sure there's an American born at least once a minute, so this will be easy to sell. "Say, Mom! Are you tired of having to spread messy peanut butter on bread every morning? [video of mother up to her ears in peanut butter] Don't you hate it when the bread falls apart? [mom holding up crumbling sticky bread and frowning] And then you have to wash the knife! And do your kids complain when you give one more than the other? [show unhappy brats pestering mother] Well, all of your worries are over..."

"Their biggest hurdle was to get the peanut butter so it wouldn't stick to the wrap. But don't ask them how they did that."

That's what I was thinking: don't ask, because you don't want to know.

"Institutional customers, such as school cafeterias, also have expressed interest in uniform portions, he added."

I'm sure they have.

Sliced jelly is next.
posted by pracowity at 1:10 AM on July 18, 2001


Here's my invention: little tablets resembling tic tacs. You chew a couple, the foam in your mouth, you brush your teeth. Now you can take toothpaste on the road without having to pack a full tube of it.
posted by perplexed at 1:10 AM on July 18, 2001


Someone should invent jellified bread to spread on our new peanut butter.
posted by Doug at 1:25 AM on July 18, 2001


How much you want to bet they'll co-opt "The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread"?
posted by nathan_teske at 1:36 AM on July 18, 2001


Some of our Brits can answer, but I suspect peanut butter is as hard to find in the UK as Nutella and marmite are here. In France they often put peanut butter in the luxury food aisle of the supermarkets, sometimes in metal cans.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:25 AM on July 18, 2001


Peanut butter isn't at all hard to find in Britain - it's just that the 'peanut butter sandwich' doesn't seem to have the cultural resonance in the UK as it does in the US - perhaps because it's an American invention?
posted by jonathanbell at 4:40 AM on July 18, 2001


Well, the PB&J definitely hasn't made it to the UK; and it took a triip to the down-town Sainsbury to find a PB that Herself said "looks right". (They sell 'American style' Skippy.)

Nor, as Cybercandy points out, does the peanut play such a large part in British confectionery.

But ugh. Ugh. And how does the "sliced" model work for crunchy-style? It'd be like shrink-wrapped monkey turds.
posted by holgate at 5:10 AM on July 18, 2001


How do you dip a spoon in to the slices?

Mo N. brings to mind the idea of slices of Nutella. That would be a great compliment to the slices of pb.
posted by vanderwal at 5:17 AM on July 18, 2001


There was German exchange student who stayed with an ex-girlfriends family. We hung out quite a bit, and we introduced him the the PB&J sandwich. Here was a 16 year old guy- never had a PB&J. (He didn't know the truth about the Holocaust either, but we didn't get into that!)

I never realized that it was so American. I hate to imagine a life without PB&J it most definately is one of my favorite cheap-o foods!!
posted by TuxHeDoh at 5:38 AM on July 18, 2001


I have a prediction that this is going to be marketed in the same way Oscar Mayer markets its plastic-wrapped salt products called Lunchables -- it's the latest thing for moms too busy with everything else in the world. No more interrupting your hostile takeover or your quality assurance audit to have to spread peanut butter for your kids, now they can just unwrap a slice and make the simplest of foods for themselves! Bothersome knives and cleaning fly away, it's just peel, slap and trash! Eventually, peanut butter slices will be marketed (like Lunchables) with kids showing dismay that their moms actually did something to make a healthy meal for them, because they wanted some chemical-laden, processed slice o'peanut-flavour fat. Gah.
posted by Dreama at 5:47 AM on July 18, 2001


This isn't just being tested, it's on shelves now. In Chicago, at least. I just heard on the radio yesterday, an add for some product (can't remember the name) that comes in one slice, but made of PB&J. One side is peanut butter, other side is jelly. They're advertising it as a new convenience--"no messy clean up, no knives!" It comes in the CHEESE section of the supermarket, because it has to be refrigerated.

This is just one in a long list of things that plain pisses me off about America. It's up there on the wasteful scale from packaging and processing with the likes of Lunchables. Shudder. I used to ask my mom to buy them. Thank God she knows how to tell her child no.

The worst I've seen so far, however, is the epitome of laziness and wastefulness. It's a pre-packaged one-serving plastic cup for cereal. It comes with a cereal compartment, a mini-milk container, and a spoon. Anybody else seen these?
posted by gramcracker at 5:47 AM on July 18, 2001


France they often put peanut butter in the luxury food aisle of the supermarkets.

Damn right! PB is incredible stuff.

On a related note...I'm still waiting for the "pudding skin singles" that Kramer was working on. Sign me up!
posted by davidmsc at 6:08 AM on July 18, 2001


The overpackaging is just plain wrong. My vote for the worst is those "daily facials" by oil of olay or some such. It's a moist towlette, individually wrapped and you're supposed to wipe your face with one and then throw it away. Ridiculous. If you have to do this, just get some damn baby wipes. At least they're not individually wrapped, so you're just wasting the paper they're made of. Much cheaper too.

an aside: In France they often put peanut butter in the luxury food aisle of the supermarkets, sometimes in metal cans.

Thanks for the info Mo Nickels, I've been looking for PB here for months.
posted by hazyjane at 6:11 AM on July 18, 2001


Sliced jelly is next.

I think it's been called "Fruit Roll-ups" for years.
posted by harmful at 6:11 AM on July 18, 2001


My vote for the worst is those "daily facials" by oil of olay or some such. It's a moist towlette, individually wrapped and you're supposed to wipe your face with one and then throw it away.

Actually, they're not individually wrapped, nor moist. They're actually pretty thick and impregnated with a cleanser. You have to wet them under running water, and the fabric of the cloth is integral to the work that they do, kind of like big Oxy 10 or Stridex pads that aren't pre-soaked in goo, really. They come in a tub like baby wipes and you can refills.

Not that I use 'em, or anything. Just sayin'.
posted by Dreama at 6:49 AM on July 18, 2001


I keep a pack of baby-wipes in my car & at me desk. Great for after-lunch clean up. Refreshing!
posted by davidmsc at 6:55 AM on July 18, 2001


It's wrong, just wrong. Most of all because it doesn't have whole peanuts in it. Smooth peanut butter? Yuck.
posted by owillis at 7:24 AM on July 18, 2001


My invention is a wet-nap with a chemical warmer in the package. crack it over your knee and it's like the hot towels you get when you fly first class.

I shall call it a WarmWad!
posted by Mick at 7:29 AM on July 18, 2001


Seriously -- this product is never going to make it. Maybe 20 years ago it would have. Now there are too many children who are severly allergic to nuts and peanuts (a very airborne allergen), that schools are trying to cut down on PB&J and/or creating peanut-free zones.

I am deathly allergic to both peanuts and nuts, and I remember being the only little girl in my county who had such an allergy. But now (due to pesticides? drug interactions? who knows?) the number of children and adults with allergies to nuts has exponentially risen.

And yes, I am the reason you can't have peanuts on airplanes anymore. Send all hate mail to me.
posted by jennak at 8:03 AM on July 18, 2001


And yes, I am the reason you can't have peanuts on airplanes anymore. Send all hate mail to me.

Funny, I thought it was my sister-in-law's fault. I send all my hate mail to her...guess I need to change that.

Actually, people with peanut allergies may be a factor in the success of the product, because it would let people make peanut butter sandwiches without worrying about cross-contaminating other food prep tools. You wouldn't have to worry if that knife you're using for the jelly had just come out of a jar of PB.
posted by briank at 8:08 AM on July 18, 2001


Someone needs to just come up with an extrusion machine that can spit out wholly-formed PB&J sandwiches, bread and all, in one realistic-looking hunk of processed food substitute.

Shouldn't be too hard, I'm pretty sure McDonald's uses these for their "hamburgers".
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:16 AM on July 18, 2001


The quote in the article said "it's all about convenience."

Yes, and yet another attempt to suck just a little bit more of the fun out of childhood for "convenience." For the kid who is multitasking maybe?

Isn't making a mess part of the fun of making your own pb and j? Let's face it: it's not just food, it's an individual art. I put the peanut butter on one slice, and then the grape jelly on the other (I was never one of those "put the pb and j on the same slice" people). Oh, and don't use Wonder Bread. It tears easy and doesn't hold up too well when you pick the sandwich up.

I agree that it will be aimed at busy moms and dads with their busy lifestyles, Palm Pilots, and SUVs. Maybe the slogan will be "Busy Mothers Choose Sliced?"
posted by sassone at 1:33 PM on July 18, 2001


And yes, I am the reason you can't have peanuts on airplanes anymore. Send all hate mail to me.

I just returned from a trip to Pittsburgh, and I was really suprised to see that the stewardesses were offering little packages of peanuts on the flight. It happened both when I was going and when I was returning. I kept looking around to see if someone was swelling up and turning red or something....
posted by skwm at 1:40 PM on July 18, 2001


And where the hell is the convenience of unwrapping a slice of peanut butter, what with the mess of discarded slice-wrappers, and the potential for the PB to get everywhere? I mean, at least cheese is of the consistency to stay sliced...
posted by holgate at 2:21 PM on July 18, 2001


Oh, and don't use Wonder Bread.

If only I could...during my tenure on this planet, you see, I have lived in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, California (N & S), Washington (State), Oklahoma, and for the last 9 years in Texas...and here in South Texas, THEY DON'T HAVE WONDER BREAD. WTF? How could a place not have Wonder Bread? I thought it was universal...? I miss it. (sniff) So soft, so fluffy...

And by the way...some of you are doing it wrong.

Step 1 is to smooth a thick layer of PB on bread slice #1.
Step 2 is to place bread slice #2 on top of the PB.
Step 3 is to smear another thick layer of PB on top of
bread slice #2.
Step 4 is to add one final bread slice.

Ta-da! A double-decker PB sandwich! (drool)
posted by davidmsc at 3:04 PM on July 18, 2001


Attention waxpancake: nor have I ever had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:53 PM on July 18, 2001


We have Wonder Bread in Houston. Why on earth you would want it, I don't know.
posted by fidelity at 7:04 PM on July 18, 2001


Now if they'd just individually package Marshmallow Fluff slices, I might eventually succumb to the decadent American consumer within in me.
posted by johnnyace at 9:34 PM on July 18, 2001


I'm surprised no one has mentioned the possibility of a delicious "Peanut Butter & Cheese Variety Pak".
posted by jjg at 10:47 PM on July 18, 2001


We got some of these slices at work. Somebody sent them for review or something. I ate 2 slices sans bread, and the product resembles a gummy version of PB&J. It is just as stable as a slice of Canadian Cheese, and not having eaten it with bread, I would never make the association with the sandwich if it were not pitched as such. As believable as a gummy bottle of coke.

Editorial. Smooth is superior. Why do people like peanut butter loaded with gravel?
posted by thirteen at 11:45 PM on July 18, 2001


Gravel is GOOD.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:17 AM on July 19, 2001


Someone needs to just come up with an extrusion machine that can spit out wholly-formed PB&J sandwiches, bread and all, in one realistic-looking hunk of processed food substitute.

Visit your grocer's freezer. Smuckers, I believe, is selling pre-made PB&J sandwiches - crustless, no less - which are individually frozen (perhaps wrapped) and are to be prepared in a fashion similar to Eggo waffles. $3.39 for a box of ten.
posted by Dreama at 7:45 AM on July 19, 2001


Now if they'd just individually package Marshmallow Fluff slices

Or even better, make a combined Fluff-PB "Fluffernutter" slice
posted by briank at 7:50 AM on July 19, 2001


(I can't believe I'm admitting this) In college I had a jar of that PB & J in one jar stuff (Goober I believe the name was) but had no real bread, just some croutons... so smashed 'em up in there and ate it w/ a spoon. It actually wasn't too bad.

Luckily my parents came up to visit later that week and saw that that and half of a pint of milk was all that was in the fridge.
posted by tj at 8:14 PM on July 19, 2001


pbslice.com is the company site. In the picture it looks like chocolate.

And by the way...some of you are still doing it wrong.

Step 1 is to smooth a thick layer of crunchy PB on bread slice #1.
Step 2 is to place bread slice #2 on top of the PB.
Step 3 is to smear another thick layer of crunchy PB on top of bread slice #2.
Step 4 is to add one banana sliced lengthwise.
Step 5 is to add one final bread slice, also covered with a thick layer of crunchy PB.

Elvis Variation: if using two slices of bread, put butter on the outside and grill like grilled cheese sandwich.
posted by riley370 at 8:16 PM on July 19, 2001


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