Fig Newtons get a new name
The plump fruit is on the outs as Nabisco tries to increase sales of the cookie line.
Is the fig out of favor?
The fig is still inside the cookie -- in three versions, including original and fat-free. Other versions include strawberry, raspberry and minis.
Why the name change? The cookie had been losing sales and market share, The New York Times reports. Nabisco wanted to know why and started asking consumers.
As it turned out, a lot of people just hate figs. One executive at Kraft told the Times about the "baggage of the fig."
"For people who loved us, there was heritage there, and they had eaten them most of their lives," the brand manager for Newtons told the Times. "But the opposite was true with the people that didn't love us -- they knew the brand as Fig Newtons, but they really disliked figs."
So a name change was in order. It isn't so much a change as a reversion to the original name. The first Fig Newtons were created in 1891 at Kennedy Biscuit Works in Cambridge, Mass. The cookie was named the Newton after a nearby town. The cookie didn't become the Fig Newton until later, and the new name was trademarked in 1914.
Now the sales slump is over. A new line of crisp cookies called Newtons Fruit Thins is a success, and Newtons have a 3.2% share of the American cookie market, the Times reports. Early last year, fig versions grabbed 75% of the sales in the Newton line. Now they get only 60% as the other flavors shine.