Fig Newton fans upset by name change
Nabisco's decision to drop the 'fig' from Fig Newtons brings out the brand's lovers -- and haters.
Would a Fig Newton by any other name be as sweet, as chewy -- or as well-loved by its fans? Or any less reviled by its dectractors?
Nabisco, the Kraft Foods subsidiary with a trademark on the cookie name, recently announced its decision to drop "fig" from the brand name and just call the cookies Newtons. First introduced in 1891, the cookies have been available in flavors such as strawberry -- which contains no figs -- for years, so one could argue that the name change simply reflects truth in advertising. But devotees are not convinced.
The Newton brand now includes three cookie products -- traditional Newtons, Fruit Thins and Fruit Crisps -- and the traditional variety comes in whole grain, fat-free and mini versions, as well as two different berry fillings.
The name change accompanies a new marketing campaign, The New York Times reported.
Trending topic on Twitter
After the news broke Tuesday night, the topic was trending on Twitter, prompting unenthusiastic tweets from handles such as "@RL_Stine," who tweeted: "Hey, what happened to the Fig in Fig Newtons? Are we really supposed to eat something called Newtons?" (Post continues below video.)
"This seems wrong," tweeted "@popcandy."
"First, round Saltines. Now, Fig Newtons will just be called 'Newtons.' What's next? Triangle Cheez-Its called 'It'?" tweeted "@davidwade."
A fair number of people said they didn't eat them before and wouldn't start now. Several said only old people eat Fig Newtons, and a number mentioned a certain health benefit of high-fiber fruit.
"It was going to be hard for us to advance the Newtons brand with the baggage of the fig," a Kraft spokesperson told the Times.
That meant stepping away from the fruit perceived as being akin to prunes -- which got a marketing spin of their own in 2000, when the FDA approved the use of "dried plums" as an alternative name for that product.
New York magazine's Grub Street summarized the story with the headline "Fig Newtons Sounded Too Laxative-y, Now Just 'Newtons,'" prompting comments from readers such as "PMC111," who wrote: "that's like associating Newton with gravity which is associated with heaviness and OMG my jeans don't fit."
Fig-filled cookies may not appeal to everyone, but those who love them are both passionate and creative. A quick Internet search turns up dozens of recipes for homemade versions, including some that are gluten-free.
More from MSN Money:
Then the mix up where 10 Billion Dollars IN CASH went missing in the Iraq war, pallets full of cash missing.....
And now this......they're dropping the Fig in the name Fig Newtons, this is just too much, the American people are outraged!!!!
Or even "mock apple" flavored! (Is that recipe still lurking on the back of Ritz Cracker boxes? )
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