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is peanut butter spread the same as peanut butter?

  • m

have a jar of Skippy with the words peanut butter spread on the label. what does spread imply.?

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  1. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a product must be 95% peanuts to be labeled peanut butter. Any peanut butter product with less than 95% peanuts must be called peanut butter spread.

    1. No.

      Probably means they added extra ingredients to make it more "spreadable", even if stored in the fridge.

      1. The two first answers seem right to me.

        You could ask at source:


        As I dont live in America, the form filling defeated me.

        1. If you check the ingredient list on the label, you can see the list of ingredients listed in order of predominance. Most peanut butters and pb spreads have some sort of sugar as the second or third ingredient. I would be leery of this product if sugar is the first ingredient! You can buy natural peanut butter that is nothing but peanuts. The oil in the "natural" product is peanut oil, not cottonseed oil, which oil I understand is probably not the best food oil. (If I am wrong about the cottonseed oil, someone here will correct me, I am sure.)

          1. I use Skippy peanut butter spread which is the low fat version. I think it contains soy filler.

            9 Replies
            1. re: calliope_nh

              Yep. The only products from Skippy that are "spreads" are the 2 reduced fat products.

              In the spread:
              Roasted Peanuts, Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar, Soy Protein

              In the regular:
              Roasted Peanuts, Sugar

              So, the differences are the addition of corn syrup solids and soy protein. I find it funny that they put emphasis on the 25% less fat part. Ultimately, the difference is only 10 calories. But, I can definitely see how some would prefer an easier spread, since the regular stuff can tear apart some of the more delicate vehicles.

              Oh, organic peanut butter is crap. Commercial peanut butter is one of those things (like ketchup) that just cannot be improved upon and going organic or other nonsense just makes for an inferior product. Finally, something for all the fear mongers: Regular Skippy has 3g of sugar. The spread has 4g of sugar. PANIC!

              1. re: ediblover

                Does everything have to be sweetened? Not in my book - I only use Adams, just peanuts and salt.

                1. re: ediblover

                  Completely disagree with organic peanut butter being crap. Which organic peanut butters have you tried? And I don't like sugar in my peanut butter not because I'm afraid of sugar but because for me it detracts from the flavor of the peanuts.

                  1. re: debbiel

                    I don't like sugar in it, nor do I like pesticides and fungicides in my food. You pays your money, you takes your chances. :-)

                    1. re: debbiel

                      I've tried just about all the common brands.

                      Natural peanut butter can't be better than the familiar brands like Skippy. It's impossible. It's culinary 101. Everything tastes better with salt. If something isn't good, throw salt, fat and sugar at it. Sugar isn't as essential as the other two, but it's still important. In many dishes, it isn't meant to dominate, but accentuate. That's the role of sugar in peanut butter, and it succeeds. It's not meant to be sweet and it isn't (I've no idea how one can claim 3 or 4g of sugar can be a distraction). It's meant to add a small layer of sweet flavor on top of the strong peanut flavor. The other aspect is arguably bigger - Texture. Natural peanut butter absolutely fails with its sticky, oily mouthfeel. There's no getting around this with the natural stuff. It's like some poor broken sauce. It kills the dish. The smoothness that comes with the commercials type is just better (It's hard not to be better than sticky). It's still sticky, but has that smooth feel and cohesive flavor.

                      Roasted peanut flavor with just a bit of salt and sugar? Yes, please. It has a strong central flavor with 2 enhancers. Smooth mouthfeel. Awesome. Those factors completely KILL natural peanut butter with its single flavor (Well, not single, since roasting does add a layer, but still) and inferior texture.

                      Finally, if this is the standard for "pesticides" and whatnot... I'd also have to breathe out of a tank and wear a full chemical suit. Because, last I checked, the air is full of harmful chemicals. Oh, and I'd also have to drink/use only distilled (multiple times) water. I can never eat seafood, since they all contain trace amount of mercury. And I'm fairly sure I can't eat any produce that wasn't grown in a completely sealed bio-sphere. Not the lifestyle for me.

                      1. re: ediblover

                        In case you weren't aware, some natural peanut butter has salt and sugar in it. Also, I want that sticky, oily mouthfeel. It's something I that is fundamental to my conception of peanut butter.

                        Different strokes for different folks.

                        1. re: ediblover

                          I simply disagree about added sweeteners. A top grade peanut butter is perfect without them. If you want sweet, add jam to your sandwich.

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            I've never seen a natural PB with sugar, and I always buy it with salt. I just don't want a mouthful of fungicide and pesticides with it.

                          2. re: ediblover

                            "Natural peanut butter can't be better than the familiar brands like Skippy. It's impossible." I hope you said this tongue and cheek, as you are clearly stating an opinion.

                            I was wondering what your complaint was about organic peanut butters. I'm not sure what that has to do with salt. Most, not all, organic peanut butters I have seen have salt included in them. I'm fine with salt in mine. I am not fine with sugar in mine because I prefer the taste without. Much more. And I can't stand the mouthfeel of skippy.

                            I think I'll just back away from the "all or nothing" talk on pesticides.

                    2. I use organic peanut butter. I don't trust all the chemicals they put in peanut butter "spread". It's like the difference between "chocolate candy" and "chocolate FLAVORED candy".

                      1. It implies that they've doctored it up to the point where they're not legally allowed to call it 'peanut butter' any more! The low-fat ones have less peanut and more other stuff...

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Kajikit

                          I believe this is accurate. You can buy Smucker's all natural peanut butter in my area. I believe Addams peanut butter is the same, and is found on the West Coast. I am sure it is not organic, but the Smuckers has only 2 ingredients: peanuts and salt. I appears they don't even add peanut oil, but use the oil from the peanuts as they are ground. And, crazily, many people object to having to stir it. You can also, at some high end grocers, buy peanuts and put them directly into a grinder. It would be really fresh then.

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            I have never tasted a better PB than Smucker's natural creamy. They have it organic, too. And in glass, not plastic!

                            1. re: mcf

                              I love the glass jars. I save them and reuse them. However I prefer chunky!

                              The best thing--opening a fresh jar.

                              1. re: sueatmo

                                Yes, and the next best thing is this, which I learned about on CH, my PB addicted husband got it for Xmas: http://www.google.com/products/catalo...

                                Now it's not all dry and cakey at the bottom, and the whole jar seems creamier.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  Oh my goodness I need this! Does it work well?

                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                    Yes, a LOT better than a knife or spoon, and a lot neater with no splooshing over. The whole jar has better texture after using this upon opening. It's so totally worth it.
                                    Finding it is worth the whole price of admission to CH. ;-)

                          2. I'm late to this party, having just googled "what is peanut butter spread?" having found a jar of SKIPPY NATURAL (big letters on label, with much smaller 'peanut butter spread') in our cupboard. I like the first reply, since it begins "according to the USDA...". Remember that USDA controls what the label says, otherwise Skippy would promise me that this stuff will make me irresistible to women. If you google "USDA requirements for peanut butter" you will find that they do indeed require that it contain at least 95% peanuts. However, also note that they require that any added oils will be from other than a tropical source as coconut or palm oil.
                            Skippy Natural contains palm oil.
                            Does everyone know that an orangutang is dying for a cookie? Palm oil contains no trans fats, handy for marketing cookies and other junk foods, yet remains stable better than most vegetable oils and gives a desired fatty consisitency. So...rainforests in southeast asia are getting chopped down to grow palms, and orangutangs are losing their habitat.
                            Gotta love those Keeble elves.
                            I much prefer the taste of Smucker's peanut butter to Skippy and Jif, etc, but I submit that this is only my preference, not something God handed me on a stone tablet. My kids like the 'normal' products.
                            I'm puzzled that they would call it natural and brag on the lable 'no need to stir.' Of course, natural doesn't mean much ( cobra venom is natural; so is botulism) but sells product. I don't need to stir Skippy or Jif, either. It seems to me that they have created a 'better product' where better means 'new niche, bigger sales, higher profit margin.' It doesn't taste even as good as good old regular creamy Peter Pan.
                            So: the peanut butter spread label is required because skippy natural contains palm oil.