Marshmallow Fluff is still produced by the same batch process developed over 75 years ago – it’s the only marshmallow creme made in this manner. It also serves as the perfect ingredient in your fudge recipe–might we add “Never Fail Fudge” to this statement? As you may have experienced fudge made with Marshmallow Fluff is deliciously rich and difficult to mess up!
Would you believe that Marshmallow Fluff started out of the kitchen of two war veterans? Well, as the story goes, two men named H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower did just that in 1920 after acquiring the recipe from Archibald Query of Somerville, MA. Mr. Query had begun the business of fluff in 1917, but the strains of wartime shortages left sales dwindling. He was however willing to sell, and did so for $500. (Bet he wished he kept it!) During the evening, Durkee and Mower would cook that sugary confection in the kitchen and sell door to door during the day. At that time the men had chosen the name of “Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff” – that name did not last for long, as we all know to refer to the magical sweet stuff as “Marshmallow Fluff” but the sales did last!
A quote from Durkee emphasizes their success: “Ten years ago we started out with one barrel of sugar (at 28 cents per pound) a few tin cans: two spoons: one second hand Ford, and no customers, but plenty of prospects. Today (after a short span of only ten years) we have thru the fine cooperation of the wholesale grocers, the largest distribution of marshmallow cream in New England, and no Ford.”
Selling door to door built Durkee and Mower a reputation among local housewives that ultimately helped land them on the shelves of nearby grocery shelves. According to www.MarshmallowFluff.com, their next move was to begin advertising in Boston newspapers. They were able to open of a factory in East Lynn, Massachusetts and expanded their business to 10 employees.
Bad times took, on the onset of World War II decreased the sugar supply so much that the corporation had no choice but to cut back on production. Distributers only received a predetermined quota based on the percentage of sales pre-war. A portion of the factory was “converted to wrap war critical electronic and optical parts in special water proof packages.” Patriotically, Durkee-Mower contributed their advertising budget to promote victory gardens and the armed forces.
In 1947, they started to redesign the packaging. New England housewives were the target of their surveys. Durkee-Mower was able to find out two main things their costumers were looking for:
- The jar should be short enough to fit in the refrigerator to store leftovers
- Wide enough to fit a tablespoon in it
These changes were made along with adding a “stippled surface” below and above the label for easy gripping. That same design of the jar is still used today.
Another aspect that has not changed since the 1950’s is the fudge recipe, cleverly placed on the outside of the package. This quick and easy to make fudge was a result of Durkee-Mower campaigning with Nestle and their product, Chocolate Bits.
Over the years Durkee-Mower has made improvements in packaging and efficiency as well as to keep costs down. In 1969, a big change was switching to plastic. This version contains 16 ounces of Marshmallow Fluff, a wider opening, and straight sides for better access. The bright red lid has an air tight seal and snaps on—also allowing for a better container for leftovers!
Check out their famous fudge recipe!
Never Fail Fudge
5 cups of sugar
2 small (5oz.) cans evaporated milk
1/4 lb. butter or margarine
1 jar (16oz.) marshmallow fluff
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup walnuts (Optional)
2 large semi-sweet chocolate pieces
Combine first 5 ingredients in 5 quart sauce pan. Stir over low heat until blended.
Bring to boil over moderate heat, being careful not to mistake escaping air bubbles for boiling. Then boil slowly, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in chocolate and vanilla (and nuts if used) until chocolate is melted. Pour into 2 buttered 9×9 inch pans and cool.
Wondering where to buy Marshmallow Fluff? You can purchase it right from our website!