The J.M. Smucker Company Goes Beyond Jam With Its New Corporate Identity

The CPG manufacturer wants people to know it makes more than just strawberry jelly

The new J.M. Smucker Company logo
The company’s portfolio includes brands that compete in the coffee, snacks and pet food categories. The J.M. Smucker Company
Headshot of Paul Hiebert

The J.M. Smucker Company is closely associated with its namesake line of jellies and jams. Its longstanding corporate logo, which features two red strawberries under a Smucker’s banner, only reinforces the connection.

In an effort to remind investors, consumers and potential employees that it is much more than just its signature fruit spread, today the company behind Jif, Folgers and Meow Mix is introducing a new corporate identity.

The new branding features a slightly abbreviated name, The J.M. Smucker Co., adorned with a colorful, slightly abstract image that resembles berries and leaves, meant to accentuate the company’s diverse portfolio of brands and intent to continue evolving in the future.

That portrayal of the company has become particularly relevant over the past two decades. The J.M. Smucker Company was founded in 1897 and was almost exclusively a jam and jelly business for the first century of its existence, according to Mark Smucker, president and CEO of the J.M. Smucker Company. In the last 20 years, it’s expanded to compete in a number of other categories, acquiring brands in coffee, snacks and pet food.

The J.M. Smucker Company

“Around 2000, we did some serious strategic soul searching and came to the recognition that though we thought we were a company built around fruit-based products, we realized we really were a marketing and sales organization, and that we are good at marketing brands,” Smucker said.

But while the company itself had changed, its identity still reflected its past. The new identity is a nod to the company’s fruity history, updated for its modern era. Smucker’s worked alongside the brand strategy and design agency CBX on the new logo, its first major update in more than four decades.

“The new identity uses the familiar strawberry to anchor the mark, a pivot point to convey change and the movement of shapes to express the future,” Rick Barrack, chief creative officer and co-founder of CBX, said in a statement. “We think it captures the essence of their organization, while giving a nod to their heritage.”

Smucker’s new corporate identity, which has been in development for over a year, will appear on the company’s website, campus, investor communications and corporate social channels.

In recent years, Smucker’s has also altered its approach to advertising. The company consolidated all creative and media responsibilities under Publicis Groupe and restructured its marketing teams to focus on one of its three U.S. retail segments: coffee, pet foods and consumer foods. The new arrangement has resulted in less bureaucracy, quicker turnaround and bolder creative ideas, according to the company.

“From a marketing perspective, that transformation has gone exceptionally well,” Smucker said.

An increase in people shopping at grocery stores and sticking close to home during the pandemic has boosted revenue for much of the CPG industry, including Smucker’s. The company reported last month that net sales rose 11% to $1.97 billion for the quarter ending July 31, beating Wall Street’s expectations, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Smucker’s currently expects revenue to grow between 0% to 1% for its 2021 fiscal year—an upgrade from a prior estimated decline of -2% to -1%.

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@hiebertpaul Paul Hiebert is a CPG reporter at Adweek, where he focuses on data-driven stories that help illustrate changes in consumer behavior and sentiment.