In Celebrating 75 Years, “Pepperidge Farm Remembers” Its Beginnings and Drives Innovation Ahead

Beloved American Brand—Founded on a Mother’s Love for her Son—Marks Milestone

NORWALK, Conn.--()--It all began with a humble loaf of bread, baked by Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin in her Connecticut kitchen. Created in 1937 to address her son’s allergies, Margaret’s simple recipe became the cornerstone of a classic American business celebrating its 75th anniversary next week.

From its modest beginnings, Pepperidge Farm has grown into a leading provider of premium quality fresh breads, cookies, crackers, and frozen bakery products. The company employs nearly 5,000 people, operates nine plants across the U.S., and distributes its beloved products to more than 40 countries. 2011 sales totaled over $2 billion, and its Goldfish® cracker brand – celebrating its 50th birthday later this year – is leading the snacks category as one of America’s most popular crackers. Pepperidge Farm now produces some 206 million loaves of bread annually, along with 558 million Milano® cookies and 142 billion Goldfish crackers.

In keeping with its innovative heritage, Pepperidge Farm has much more excitement coming ahead. This anniversary year will bring no less than 35 new product innovations across multiple categories and a state-of-the-art Innovation Center in Norwalk, CT, all helmed by newly-appointed Pepperidge Farm President Irene Chang Britt, ushering in a new era of leadership.

Britt recently succeeded Pat Callaghan after his more than three decades with the company. She is the first woman to lead Pepperidge Farm since Rudkin presided over the business from 1937 to 1966. Pepperidge Farm was acquired by Campbell in 1961.

“Margaret Rudkin was famous for asking employees ‘What’s Next?’ to make sure the business was always moving ahead, and that is still our philosophy today,” said Britt. “We’re committed to keep introducing products that hold a unique place in people’s lives—from Goldfish crackers and the special connection they foster between moms and kids, to Milano cookies and the treasured moments of enjoyment they create. We will continue to build on the company’s sustained success.”

How One Family’s Solution Became a Successful Global Business

The August 15 anniversary will mark the day in 1937 that Margaret Rudkin sold the first loaf of Pepperidge Farm all natural, whole grain bread at a Connecticut market for 25 cents. Just two years later, one million loaves had been sold. As Pepperidge Farm grew, Margaret’s entrepreneurial spirit led to a corporate culture based on discovering “what’s next” and delivering the very best products to consumers. The company’s reputation for quality ingredients and excellence was reflected in the fact that the Margaret Rudkin Pepperidge Farm Cookbook became the first cookbook to ever appear on The New York Times Best Seller List in November 1963.

Over the decades, Pepperidge Farm succeeded in turning other products into essentials for everyday life and entertaining occasions alike, such as Swirl bread, a breakfast favorite, frozen Puff Pastry Sheets and Shells for creating sweet and savory dishes with ease, and Baked Naturals® cracker chips for those seeking a snack with less fat than the leading chip.

The Next 75 Years of Snacking and Baking—and Beyond

In a burst of innovation to help celebrate its anniversary, Pepperidge Farm will debut the following products this fall:

  • Pepperidge Farm® Simply Natural breads in soft and smooth-textured Honey Wheat and Honey Oat varieties. These great tasting wholesome breads made with simple, quality ingredients like whole grain, real honey, nonfat milk, butter and molasses, and with no artificial flavors, preservatives or added color pay homage to Margaret Rudkin’s famous original loaf.
  • Goldfish® bread, soft, made with whole grain and no high fructose corn syrup, in Brown Sugar and Cinnamon varieties, ideal for breakfast or a lightly sweet yet wholesome snack
  • Pepperidge Farm® Caramel Apple Swirl bread, a limited edition seasonal treat, perfect for enjoying one of fall’s sweetest harvest flavors
  • Pepperidge Farm® Jingos!™ snack crackers available in three unique varieties—zesty Lime & Sweet Chili, savory Parmesan Garlic, and smoky Fiesta Cheddar
  • Pepperidge Farm® Milano Slices™ Salted Pretzel cookies, a temptingly crunchy combination of sweet and salty flavors
  • Pepperidge Farm® Milano Melts® Vanilla Crème, a crispy, chocolaty cookie with a velvety crème filling
  • Pepperidge Farm® Soft Baked cookies, a deliciously indulgent collection sure to delight those who crave rich, dessert-inspired cookies like Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Pepperidge Farm® Milano Cookie Cake, a two-layer vanilla cake with real chocolate buttercream icing and filling, sprinkled with Milano cookie pieces, and Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cake, a two-layer moist cake with real chocolate chunks and rich chocolate icing and topped with chocolate chunk cookie pieces, deliver a premium frozen dessert experience

Pepperidge Farm’s commitment to snacking and baking advancements is further evidenced by the company’s new Innovation Center, a 34,000-square-foot building at its Norwalk, CT, headquarters, containing a pilot plant and culinary kitchens. The center, which will open in September 2012, will allow for more broad ranging innovation and product development.

“Our Innovation Center is the first of many steps that will raise Pepperidge Farm to new heights as a brand that consistently delivers quality products with wholesome ingredients, unique flavors and simple goodness, which is true to our heritage and Margaret’s legacy,” said Britt.

For more information, visit or follow Pepperidge Farm on Twitter at and on Facebook at

About Pepperidge Farm

Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, is a leading provider of premium quality fresh bakery products, cookies, crackers, and frozen foods. Among the company’s most popular products are Sausalito® and Milano® cookies, Goldfish® and Baked Naturals® crackers, frozen Puff Pastry, frozen garlic loaves and Texas toasts, and more than 50 varieties of fresh baked breads including Pepperidge Farm® Swirl, Farmhouse and Whole Grain. The company added Ecce Panis® gourmet artisan breads to its portfolio in 2009. Pepperidge Farm was founded in Connecticut in 1937 by Margaret Rudkin, an entrepreneurial homemaker who began baking fresh, all-natural bread for her allergy-afflicted son. The company is now a nationwide business with 9 manufacturing facilities and almost 5,000 employees. Pepperidge Farm has been part of Campbell Soup Company since 1961.


Pepperidge Farm
Geri Allen, 203-846-7351
Leslie Richards, 646-253-0232

Release Summary

Pepperidge Farm celebrates 75 years.


Pepperidge Farm
Geri Allen, 203-846-7351
Leslie Richards, 646-253-0232