What Food Was It Once Possible To Buy In Cheese-Like Prepackaged Slices?
Answer: Peanut Butter
For a brief and strange time during the 2000s, you could purchase a culinary oddity never seen before (and, outside of very limited markets in places like Hawaii and Arizona, unseen since): prepackaged slices of peanut butter.
The product was the brainchild of Stewart Kennedy, formerly a business and marketing specialist in the agricultural and food product industry. He pitched the idea to a food engineer, and they, in turn, pitched the idea to the Oklahoma Peanut Commission (peanuts are serious business in Oklahoma). After burning through hundreds of pounds of peanut butter and a huge number of failed formulas, they produced a slice of peanut butter that was shelf stable, could be wrapped in plastic and released cleanly when preparing a sandwich and, well, was entirely peculiar.
It was that peculiarity that led to low market adoption. Unlike products such as cheese, wherein being sliced and wrapped is a fairly normal extension of how one would eat the food anyway, people simply didn’t associate peanut butter with slices and, no matter how clever it might have been, the product never took off.