National Fig Newton Day is observed annually on January 16.
- It was up until the 19th century that many physicians believed that most illnesses were related to digestion problems and they recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit. The ideal solution to this advice was fig rolls, which remained a locally produced and handmade product.
- In 1891, Philadelphia baker and fig-lover, Charles Roser, invented and patented the machine which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. Roser’s recipe was then purchased by Cambridgeport, Massachusetts-based Kennedy Biscuit Company and mass production began.
- In 1891, the first Fig Newtons were baked at the F.A. Kennedy Steam Bakery. The pastries are named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts.
- After becoming associated, the Kennedy Biscuit Company and the New York Biscuit company merged to form Nabisco and the fig rolls were then trademarked as “Fig Newtons.”
- According to Nabisco: “Fig Newtons were named after either Sir Isaac Newton or the town of Newton, Massachusetts.”
- Fig Newtons were one of the first commercially baked products in America.
- Fig Newtons are the 3rd most popular cookie in the U.S., over 1 billion are consumed each year.
- Snack foods are one of those magical categories that have this way of sticking around a long time. Twinkies have been with us since 1930. Oreos go all the way back to 1912. And Fig Newtons made their debut in 1891.
- The fruit fillings may have changed, but the Newtons’ distinctive shape—which many a competitor has knocked off—has stayed the same.