Log Cabin syrup has been a popular pancake and waffle topping in American households for over 100 years. With its distinctive red tin and frontier-style label, Log Cabin is one of the most iconic brands in the syrup aisle. But with so many new syrup brands on the market, some people wonder if this classic pantry staple is still being produced. The quick answer is yes – Log Cabin syrup is still widely available today. However, the history and current status of America’s original flavored syrup is a bit more complex. This article will examine the origins, ownership changes, availability, and market position of Log Cabin syrup over the past century or so to definitively answer the question: Is Log Cabin syrup still made?
History of Log Cabin Syrup
Log Cabin syrup first originated in 1887 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Patrick J. Towle & Company created the brand as a molasses-based table syrup. The name was meant to evoke imagery of American pioneer life in simple log cabin homes. This was part of a marketing strategy to associate the syrup with traditional family values and wholesome breakfasts. The company packaged Log Cabin syrup in distinctive tin cans shaped like log cabins to further establish the brand identity.
This nostalgic branding was a great success. By the early 1900s, Log Cabin had become the country’s leading brand of table syrup. The company tagline “Makes Pancakes Taste Like Flapjacks” was widely recognized across America. Over the next several decades, Log Cabin consolidated its position as the #1 national syrup brand on grocery store shelves.
Acquisition by General Foods
In 1927, Log Cabin’s parent company Patrick J. Towle & Company was acquired by the Postum Company, which later became General Foods. This provided the financial backing and distribution network to expand Log Cabin into a true mass market product. Under General Foods, Log Cabin reformulated its recipe using corn syrup instead of molasses. This helped lower costs and improve consistency.
Log Cabin benefited from General Foods’ marketing expertise and advertising budget. Iconic illustrations by artist Norman Rockwell gave Log Cabin a wholesome, patriotic brand image. By the 1950s, Log Cabin had over 60% market share in the syrup category. The brand became General Foods’ most successful grocery product.
Acquisition by Kraft
In 1985, General Foods was bought out by Kraft. This joined Log Cabin together with other Kraft breakfast brands like Jell-O, Maxwell House, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Kraft continued to invest in product innovation and consumer marketing for Log Cabin.
The company introduced new flavors like Log Cabin Lite syrup and Log Cabin Apple and Maple flavored syrups. However, the traditional Log Cabin Original Syrup remained the flagship product. Marketing expanded beyond breakfast positioning to recipes for holiday meals, snacks, and desserts.
Acquisition by Pinnacle Foods
In 2012, Kraft spun-off its North American grocery brands to a new independent public company called Kraft Foods Group. This includedLog Cabin syrup along with brands like Jell-O, Kool-Aid, and Velveeta.
In 2018, Kraft Heinz sold Log Cabin and other former Kraft brands to Pinnacle Foods. Pinnacle was subsequently acquired by Conagra Brands in 2018. So Log Cabin is currently owned by Conagra.
The Log Cabin brand has successfully navigated over a century of major corporate acquisitions and mergers. Despite changing parent companies, Log Cabin has remained one of America’s leading syrup brands.
Is Log Cabin syrup still available to purchase?
Yes, Log Cabin syrup is still widely produced and sold today in 2022. Here are some details on where you can currently find Log Cabin syrup:
Log Cabin syrup maintains a strong retail presence in major grocery chains across North America. As of 2022, Log Cabin held nearly 40% market share among table syrup brands sold in U.S. supermarkets. You can find various sizes of Log Cabin syrup in the pancake/syrup aisle at most major grocery retailers including:
- Trader Joe’s
Log Cabin Original syrup remains the most popular product, but you can also find specialty flavors like Lite, Apple Pie, and Seasonal Options depending on the retailer. Log Cabin syrup sizes range from small 12 oz squeeze bottles to large 64 oz jugs.
If your local grocery store doesn’t carry Log Cabin, you can also purchase it through online retailers. Log Cabin ships via Amazon and Walmart.com. Other ecommerce sites like Target.com, Instacart, and Boxed.com also carry Log Cabin syrup for online order and delivery.
For buying Log Cabin in bulk, check warehouse club stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club. They typically carry large jugs of Log Cabin original syrup for a discount per ounce price.
Single serve Log Cabin syrups are common at convenience store chains like 7-Eleven, Wawa, and Circle K. This provides an option for enjoying Log Cabin pancakes while traveling or on-the-go.
Log Cabin syrup is also still produced for commercial/foodservice usage. Restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, and other dining establishments can order bulk Log Cabin products. So you may encounter Log Cabin syrup packets at diners or breakfast eateries.
How popular is Log Cabin syrup today?
While Log Cabin syrup is still widely available, it has lost some market share over the past decade due to increasing competition. Here are some key statistics on Log Cabin’s current place in the pancake syrup industry:
– As of 2022, Log Cabin holds 38% market share among retail syrup brands in the U.S., down from over 60% in the 1990s.
– From 2012 to 2022, unit sales of Log Cabin declined approximately 15% according to market research firm IRI.
– Private label store brands now hold over 20% market share, eroding Log Cabin’s leadership position.
– Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth’s, and other branded syrups have cut into Log Cabin’s dominance.
New Variant Trends
– Log Cabin faces increasing competition from “natural” and organic syrup brands as consumers trend toward healthier condiment options.
– Small batch artisanal syrups are also capturing specialty grocery attention away from mass market Legacy brands like Log Cabin.
|2022 Market Share
– In consumer surveys, Log Cabin still maintains high brand awareness and favorability.
– But purchase intent has slipped as shoppers increasingly view Log Cabin as an “old-fashioned” legacy brand rather than a modern, trendy option.
So in summary, while still widely available and popular with many consumers, Log Cabin has lost some ground to private label, smaller artisan brands, and shifting consumer preferences. But the brand maintains strong brand equity and no signs currently point to Log Cabin disappearing from shelves anytime soon.
Has the Log Cabin recipe changed over time?
Log Cabin syrup’s ingredients and recipe have evolved over the brand’s 125+ year history:
Origins: Late 1800s
– Originally made from molasses during the earliest years after 1887 launch
– Switched to using corn syrup as main sweetener
– Added caramel coloring and artificial maple flavoring
– Manufacturing optimized to produce smoother, more uniform syrup texture
– Various seasoning ingredients added: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla
– Additional flavors launched: lite, apple pie, pumpkin spice, etc.
However, while small tweaks have been made, the core Log Cabin recipe has maintained familiar notes of sorghum and vanilla for consistent taste.
The ingredients on a modern-day Log Cabin Original Syrup bottle are:
– Corn syrup
– High fructose corn syrup
– Cellulose gum
– Natural and artificial flavors
– Caramel color
– Sodium benzoate and sorbic acid (preservatives)
So although the source of sweetness changed from molasses to corn syrup many decades ago, today’s Log Cabin would likely taste quite familiar to someone drinking it over 100 years ago! The secret recipe creates the distinctive Log Cabin profile pancake lovers expect.
Why do some people think Log Cabin syrup is discontinued?
Despite still being readily available, some American pancake lovers fear they’ve seen the last of the classic Log Cabin syrup tin. There are a few reasons why Log Cabin gives the impression of being a discontinued brand:
Confusion with Aunt Jemima
In June 2020, the Aunt Jemima brand of syrups and pancake mixes was retired due to the controversial racial stereotyping of its branding. For many, Aunt Jemima was the top competitor brand to Log Cabin. Some consumers mistakenly thought Log Cabin was being canceled as well.
In 2021, Log Cabin updated its packaging, removing imagery of the log cabin. This gave the brand a more modern look, but led to some shoppers not immediately recognizing the familiar tins on grocery shelves.
Less Prominent Store Placement
As private label syrups take up more shelf space, brands like Log Cabin have been allotted less prominent placement in some stores. This can give the impression of being discontinued or deprioritized.
Specialty Flavor Proliferation
Log Cabin’s seasonal and limited edition flavors come and go from shelves. Seeing Apple Pie or Pumpkin Spice tins disappear may lead some to think the core product is gone.
Log Cabin invokes nostalgia of Americana and “the good old days.” Some chalk up the brand’s perceived disappearance as another sign of bygone products disappearing from today’s modern food landscape.
But rest assured, while Log Cabin syrup is certainly not as omnipresent in the pancake aisle as it once was, the classic Original syrup remains widely produced, sold, and consumed daily by families across America.
Despite facing stiff competition from private label, artisanal, and “all-natural” competitors, Log Cabin syrup maintains its position as America’s #1 selling branded pancake topper. While its market share has dropped from its high point in the 20th century, nearly 40% of retail syrup sales are still Log Cabin. Conagra’s robust distribution network ensures Log Cabin remains stocked on shelves of major supermarkets, warehouse clubs, online retailers, and convenience stores. The brand may not be quite as dominant as it once was, but Log Cabin retains strong relevance in American breakfast culture. Barring any major disruptions, fans can rest easy knowing Log Cabin Original and specialty syrups will continue gracing pancake tables for years to come.