Parents anxious to avoid the mess of letting children make their own sandwiches for school will soon be able to buy pre-sliced peanut butter.

The new product has been developed over the past three years by food researchers from Oklahoma State University.

Wal-Mart stores in Oklahoma and the Dallas-Fort Worth area are expected to begin selling the new format of the lunchtime favourite soon. A pack of 16 slices individually wrapped in plastic sheets will cost about US$2.5. So far only creamy peanut butter slices have been produced but food researchers are hoping to produce crunchy slices soon.

William McGlynn, a food science professor who worked in the team, commented: "It's all about convenience [...] the kids can make their own peanut butter sandwiches without making a mess."