Thursday, January 07, 2010

Little Debbie Turns 50

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Little Debbie Snack Cakes, I thought I would repost something I wrote last year after Thanksgiving. Even though I haven't had a Little Debbie in some time because of my new eating habits, I still have fond memories of them. Read on...


Thanksgiving dinner always seems to get me thinking about the foods I love since there are so many things that we have at Thanksgiving that I enjoy. Around the dinner table this past Thursday we had a conversation with our friend, Greg, about some of his family's Thanksgiving traditions growing up and the foods they enjoyed.

When I was a kid growing up in Michigan, our family always went to my Gramma's house as we packed an unbelievable amount of people into her small home. I always looked forward to her deviled eggs, my grandfather's French onion soup and Stove Top stuffing. My favorite dessert at Thanksgiving has been pecan pie. But for a dessert throughout the year, you simply can't beat Little Debbie snack cakes.

If you are not familiar with these morsels of delight, Little Debbie's are these wonderful little cakes and cookies and pastries that have brought me immense pleasure throughout my lifetime. I grew up on them as a child and have never taken a break from liking them. Our children now enjoy them as a treat with their lunches and I'm glad that we've been able to stockpile them wherever we have lived.

Here's some history on the brand from the corporate website:
"In 1960, McKee Foods founder O.D. McKee was trying to come up with a catchy name for their new family-pack cartons of snack cakes. Packaging supplier Bob Mosher suggested using a family member's name. Thinking of what could be a good fit for the brand, O.D. arrived at the name of his 4-year-old granddaughter Debbie. Inspired by a photo of Debbie in play clothes and her favorite straw hat, he decided to use the name Little Debbie® and the image of her on the logo. Not until the first cartons were being printed did Debbie's parents, Ellsworth and Sharon McKee, discover that their daughter was the namesake of the new brand.
The first family-pack was produced in August of that year and consisted of the original snack cake, the Oatmeal Creme Pie. Family-packs were one of the first multiple-item baked goods available with individually wrapped products. The cost per carton was only 49 cents. By combining a quality product with outstanding value, Little Debbie® quickly became a member of America's households. After its initial introduction, more than 14 million cakes were sold within 10 months. While the Oatmeal Creme Pie was the original Little Debbie® snack cake, there were 14 different varieties by 1964 including the ever-popular Nutty Bars® Wafer Bars and Swiss Cake Roll.
Since 1960, Little Debbie® snacks have remained a value leader. Currently, they sell for less than other leading brands while providing quality products. More than 75 varieties are available. Little Debbie® snacks are available in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, as well as on U.S. military bases throughout the world."
My favorites?

10. Pecan Spinwheels Sweet Rolls.
9. Honey Buns
8. Nutty Bars
7. Fudge Brownies
6. Marshmallow Supremes
5. Star Crunch Cosmic Snacks
4. Oatmeal Creme Pies
3. Fudge Rounds
2. Cosmic Brownies
1. Swiss Cake Rolls

A funny story from when I was in college... I was home during a break, I can't remember if it was Christmas or summer break, but I was at my parents with my friend, Scott. Being the good hostess that she is, my mom offered Scott a package of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, my favorite. I objected to her offer knowing that 1) Scott would likely accept, thus lowering the number of Swiss Cake Rolls that I could consume and 2) Being well aware of Scott's appetite he would quickly devour the two Cake Rolls in that package leading to an offer of another.

Well, this is exactly what happened. Because I resisted so much, my mom offered him another couple of the packages because, in her own words (and this is a paraphrase), she was the one who in fact purchased the Little Debbie's and she had the right to give them to whomever she liked. You'll be glad to know that I am still on speaking terms with both my mom and Scott.

No comments: