The J.M Smucker Company was founded in 1879 when Jerome Monroe Smucker built a steam powered cider mill in Orville, Ohio. Smucker soon realized that his state-of-the-art mill has the ability to produce lot more apple cider than he could sell.
J.M Smucker used a family recipe for apple butter to expand its product line instead of discarding the excess cider. Luckily for Smucker, his apple butter became a hit within the local community, and by 1920 the company began building a complete line of Jams, Jellies, and preserves to capitalize on the success. Smucker’s began to distribute its products nationally in 1942 and it expanded its products line again to include ice cream toppings in 1948.
Paul Smucker also led the company to introduce fruit flavored breakfast syrups, low sugar preserves, and natural peanut butters during the 1970s and began acquiring other food companies to diversify beyond spreads, peanut butter, and condiments in the 1980s.
The company acquire Magic Shell (the maker of an ice cream topping that hardened as soon as it was cooked by the ice cream). In 1982, Knudsen & Sons ( a leading producer of fruit and vegetable juices)
In 1984 when Paul Smucker retired from active management of the company, his two sons, Tim and Richard Smucker became responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations.
The 2002 acquisition of P&G brands Jif and Crisco transformed J.M Smucker. Jams, Jellies and preserves historically made up more than 50 percent of the company’s sales, following the transformation. approximately 25 percent of Smucker’s revenues came from the sale of fruit spreads, 25 percent from peanut butter sales, 25 percent from the sale of shortening and edible oils and the remaining 25 percent from the sale of natural beverages condiments, ice cream toppings, Snacks and Sandwiches.
In June 2004, Smucker acquired International Multifolds for $840 million which gave Smucker such products as Pillsbury baking mixes and ready to spread frostings.
Since 2002, The J.M Smucker company has been wheeling and dealing by numerous acquisitions. Several of the acquisitions were unsuccessful and as a result J.M Smucker had to change their strategy and divestify.