Newtons (cookie)

Newtons are a Nabisco-trademarked version of a pastry filled with sweet fruit paste. "Fig Newtons" are the most popular variety (fig rolls 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.

Product typeFig roll
OwnerMondelez International
Produced byNabisco
Introduced1891 (1891)

The product was invented by Charles Roser and baked at the F. A. Kennedy Steam Bakery for the first time in 1891.[2]


Until the late 19th century, many physicians believed that most illnesses were related to digestion problems,[3] 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, brought to the U.S. by British immigrants.[4] That was until a Philadelphia baker and fig lover, Charles Roser, invented a process in 1891 which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough.[5] Cambridgeport, Massachusetts–based Kennedy Biscuit Company purchased the Roser recipe[6] and started mass production.

The first Fig Newtons were baked at the F. A. Kennedy Steam Bakery in 1891.[7] The product was named after the city of Newton, Massachusetts.[8][9]

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".[10] Since 2012, the "Fig" has been dropped from the product name (now just "Newtons").[11]


Original Fig Newtons were the only variety available until the 1980s and 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, cherry, blueberry and mixed berry.[12][13] The Fig Newton also is sold in a 100% whole-grain variety and a fat-free variety. Fig Newton Minis have also been introduced.[13] The fig bar is the company's third best-selling product, with sales of more than 700 million bars a year as of 2018.[14] 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.[12] The product line has since been discontinued.


  1. Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: shemakesitclap (2013-10-25), How It's Made Fig Newton Cookies - Discovery Channel Science, retrieved 2017-02-10
  2. "Fig Newton: History and Invention of the Cookies". Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  3. "National Fig Newton Day". CNN. Archived 2014-12-29 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Bellis, Mary (2019-01-14). "Fig Newton: History and Invention of the Cookies". Thoughtco. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  5. 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.
  6. Smith, Andrew F. (2004). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America: A–J. Oxford University Press. p. 319. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. "The Machine That Made Fig Newtons Possible".
  11. Spiegel, Alison (January 16, 2015). "Fig Newtons No Longer Exist. They're Just Newtons Now". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  12. Andrew Adam Newman (April 30, 2012). "Reminders That a Cookie Goes Beyond the Fig". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  13. "Official Fig Newton product listing with nutritional information". Retrieved 2009-10-11.
  14. Have a rootin' tootin' celebration of Fig Newton Day, January 10, 2018, Lisa McCoy , Herald Mail Media
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