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Have Pepperidge Farm cookies gotten smaller?

Pepperidge Farm is a well-known brand of cookies and baked goods that has been around since the 1930s. Over the years, many consumers have noticed that some of their iconic cookie brands seem to be getting smaller in size. The most common question around Pepperidge Farm cookies is: have they gotten smaller compared to what they used to be?

Brief history of Pepperidge Farm

Pepperidge Farm was founded in 1937 by Margaret Rudkin, who began baking bread and selling it to local stores in Connecticut. She eventually expanded into cookies and other baked goods. Some of their most iconic cookie brands include Milano, Chessmen, Geneva, and Brussels cookies. The company was acquired by Campbell Soup Company in 1961.

When did people start noticing a change?

There is no definitive point when people started noticing a change in Pepperidge Farm cookie sizes. However, many consumers remark that they started noticing smaller cookie sizes sometime in the 1990s or 2000s. Before then, most remember Pepperidge Farm cookies being larger, thicker, and more generous in size.

Evidence that Pepperidge Farm cookies have gotten smaller

There are several key pieces of evidence that point to Pepperidge Farm cookies getting reduced in size over the years:

Anecdotal consumer accounts

Many loyal Pepperidge Farm customers have spoken up over the years about noticing the cookies getting smaller. They remember when cookies like Milanos used to be almost 3 inches in diameter, and are now closer to 2.25 inches. Geneva cookies also appear thinner and more fragile than the sturdy cookies of the past.

Product reviews

If you look at product reviews for classic Pepperidge Farm cookies going back over a decade, you’ll see consistent complaints about the cookies becoming tiny, shrinking, or not being as satisfying as they used to be.

Package weight changes

Pepperidge Farm does not readily provide dimensions of their cookies. However, by looking at current package weights compared to weights listed in decades old recipes, there is evidence that weights have decreased by 25% or more in some cases. This points to smaller cookies overall.

Less cookies per package

Many cookie varieties now contain 2-4 less cookies per package than decades ago. For example, Geneva cookies used to be sold in packages of 20 cookies. Now the packages contain just 16 cookies. With 4 less cookies, that’s a 20% reduction.

Cookie Variety Cookies Per Package Decades Ago Cookies Per Package Now
Milano 20 cookies 16 cookies
Geneva 20 cookies 16 cookies
Brussels 20 cookies 16 cookies

Reasons for the change

Assuming Pepperidge Farm cookies have gotten smaller, what would account for this change? There are a few potential contributing factors:

Ingredient costs

The cost of core ingredients like cocoa, flour, butter and eggs have risen over the decades. By slightly reducing cookie sizes, Pepperidge Farm can offset higher costs while keeping prices stable.

Meeting portion size standards

Portion sizes for packaged foods have come under scrutiny, with brands working to right-size servings. Pepperidge Farm may have reduced sizes to be more in line with portion standards.

Increased manufacturing efficiency

Producing smaller cookies allows Pepperidge Farm to increase batches and throughput with existing equipment. Greater efficiency leads to higher profits.

Retail shelf space

Shelf space is at a premium in grocery stores. By reducing package sizes slightly, Pepperidge Farm can fit more units into limited retail space.

Consumer desire for portion control

With growing rates of obesity and diabetes, many consumers want smaller serving sizes that aid portion control. Smaller cookies may appeal to these changing preferences.

The bottom line – yes, Pepperidge Farm cookies have gotten smaller

Given the available evidence from consumers, reviews, weights and cookie counts, it seems clear that Pepperidge Farm has systematically reduced the size of their iconic cookie brands over time. The changes appear to have accelerated since the 1990s but may have begun even earlier.

While we don’t have an official admission or full data from Pepperidge Farm on the cookie downsizing, the proof points overwhelmingly to smaller cookies today versus decades past. This downsizing likely accounts for why many loyal customers perceive that Pepperidge Farm cookies just aren’t as satisfying as they used to be. So if you feel like your Milano or Geneva cookies aren’t quite as big and delicious as they were in the good old days, your memory isn’t failing you!