The Minneapolis ad agency BBDO Proximity is the new agency of record for Skippy peanut butter, the legendary sandwich spread recently acquired by another BBDO client, Hormel Foods Corp.

In Skippy, BBDO has an established brand that is sold in more than 30 countries. Yet Skippy is a distant No. 2 to Jif in the $2 billion peanut butter market.

“This is a great new addition to the lineup of brands that we work for at Hormel,” said BBDO Proximity President and CEO Neil White.

Hormel acquired Skippy from ­Unilever PLC for $700 million last month. The acquisition gives Hormel an opportunity to be more of an international player and is expected to boost the foodmaker’s overseas sales by 30 percent.

Skippy, first introduced in 1932, has sales of $370 million a year, with $100 million of that coming from international markets. In the United States, where peanut butter is purchased by three of every four households, Skippy has 16 percent of the market while Jif, a product of J.M. Smucker Co., has a 37 percent share.

Hormel and BBDO go back more than 80 years to the 1930s when the New York-based agency opened a Minneapolis office solely to serve the Austin, Minn.-based Hormel account. Both have grown together, with the Minneapolis office handling Hormel products ranging from Spam to the Jennie-O Turkey Store. □

David Phelps