Newtons (cookie)

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Two Newtons showing fig filling
Created byCharles Roser
Main ingredientsFigs

Newtons, most prominently fig newtons, are a Nabisco trademarked version of the fig roll, a cookie (or biscuit in the U.K.) filled with fig paste. They are produced by an extrusion process.[1] Their distinctive shape is a characteristic that has been adopted by competitors, including generic fig bars sold in many markets.

Brand history[edit]

A box of Fig Newtons

Until the late 19th century, many physicians believed that most illnesses were related to digestion problems,[2] and recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit. Fig rolls were the ideal solution to this advice. They were a locally produced and handmade product until a Philadelphia baker and fig lover, Charles Roser, invented and then patented a machine in 1891 which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough.[3] Cambridgeport, Massachusetts–based Kennedy Biscuit Company purchased the Roser recipe[4] and started mass production. The first Fig Newtons were baked at the F. A. Kennedy Steam Bakery in 1891.[5] The product was named after the city of Newton, Massachusetts, and contrary to popular belief, has nothing to do with Sir Isaac Newton.[6][7]

The Kennedy Biscuit Company had recently become associated with the New York Biscuit Company, and the two merged to form Nabisco—after which, the fig rolls were trademarked as Fig Newtons.[8]

Since 2012, the "Fig" has been dropped from the product name.[9]


As of 2012, Nabisco makes several varieties of the Newton, which, in addition to the original fig filling, include versions filled with apple cinnamon, strawberry, raspberry, and mixed berry.[10][11] The Fig Newton also is sold in a 100% whole-grain variety and a fat-free variety. Fig Newton Minis have also been introduced.[11] The fig bar is the company's third best-selling product, with sales of more than a billion bars a year.[citation needed] In 2011, a crisp cookie was introduced in the United States named Newtons Fruit Thins, after being successfully marketed by Kraft in Canada as Lifestyle Selections, a variety of Peek Freans.[10]


  1. ^ shemakesitclap (2013-10-25), How It's Made Fig Newton Cookies - Discovery Channel Science, retrieved 2017-02-10
  2. ^ "National Fig Newton Day". CNN. Archived 2014-12-29 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Yvan Lemoine (16 December 2010). FoodFest 365!: The Officially Fun Food Holiday Cookbook. Adams Media. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-1-4405-0619-2. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  4. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (2004). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America: A–J. Oxford University Press. p. 319. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  5. ^ Evan Morris (2 November 2004). From Altoids to Zima: the surprising stories behind 125 brand names. Simon and Schuster. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-7432-5797-8. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  6. ^ Voorhees, Don (2004). Why Do Donuts Have Holes? Fascinating Facts About What We Eat and Drink. MJF Books. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-56731-734-3. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  7. ^ Moravek, Natalie. "Nabisco". The History of Candy Making in Cambridge. Cambridge Historical Society. Archived from the original on 11 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "The Machine That Made Fig Newtons Possible".
  9. ^ Spiegel, Alison (January 16, 2015). "Fig Newtons No Longer Exist. They're Just Newtons Now". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Andrew Adam Newman (April 30, 2012). "Reminders That a Cookie Goes Beyond the Fig". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Official Fig Newton product listing with nutritional information". Retrieved 2009-10-11.

External links[edit]