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    Cheese Nips Appetizers, Salads, Snacks, Soups
    Nilla Wafers Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Old Fashioned Ginger Snaps Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Oreo (Wafers) Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Oreo Cookies Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    SnackWell's Banana Snack Bars Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Nabisco is an American manufacturer of cookies and snacks, including brands such as Chips Ahoy!, Fig Newtons, Mallomars, Oreos, Premium Crackers, Ritz Crackers, Teddy Grahams, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, and Chicken in a Biskit.

    Christie is the Canadian division of Nabisco.

    Headquartered in suburban East Hanover, New Jersey, the company is a subsidiary of Kraft Foods North America, which is in turn owned by Altria Group, Inc.

    The Nabisco logo, a horizontal ellipse with a series of antenna-like lines protruding from the top, is known as the "Nabisco Thing", and can be seen imprinted on Oreo wafers in addition to Nabisco product boxes and literature. Oreo cookies in Canada do not have this "Nabisco Thing".

    Merger history

    Nabisco dates its founding back to the 1890s, a decade during which the bakery business underwent a major consolidation. Early in the decade, bakeries throughout the country were consolidated regionally, into companies such as Chicago's American Biscuit and Manufacturing Company (which was formed from 40 Midwestern bakeries in 1830), the New York Biscuit Company (consisting of seven eastern bakeries), and the United States Baking Company. In 1898, the National Biscuit Company was formed from the combination of those three; the merger resulted in a company with 114 bakeries across the United States and headquartered in New York City. The "biscuit" in the name of the company is a British English and early American English term for cracker products.

    The first use of "Nabisco" was in a cracker brand first produced by National Biscuit Company in 1901. The first use of the red triangular logo was in 1952. The name of the company was not changed to Nabisco until 1971; prior to that year, the company was often referred to as N.B.C. (unrelated to the broadcasting company; even though the logo could be said to resemble an antenna, this seems to be a coincidence). In 1924 the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) introduced a snack, put in a 5-cent sealed packet called "Peanut Sandwich Packet". They soon added a second, "Sorbetto Sandwich Packet". These packets allowed salesmen to sell to soda fountains, road stands, milk bars, lunch rooms, news stands etc. Sales increased and in 1928 the company adopted and started to use the name NAB, which immediately won the approval of the public. The term "Nabs" today is used to generically mean any type of snack crackers, most commmonly in the southeastern United States.

    The Nabisco unit that produces cookies and crackers was renamed the Nabisco Biscuit Company in the 1990s. That prompted advertising columnist Stuart Elliott in The New York Times to quip that since Nabisco stood for the National Biscuit Company, the unit should be known as the National Biscuit Company Biscuit Company.

    N.B.C. acquired the Shredded Wheat Company (maker of Triscuit and Shredded Wheat cereal) and Christie, Brown & Company of Toronto in 1928, but all of the Nabisco products in Canada still use the name "Christie". N.B.C. acquired F.H. Bennett Company (maker of Milk-Bone dog biscuits) in 1931. When Kraft bought Nabisco, it included Christie.

    In 1981 Nabisco merged with Standard Brands, maker of Planters Nuts and separately acquires LifeSavers Candies.

    In 1985 Nabisco was bought by R.J. Reynolds, forming RJR Nabisco. RJR Nabisco was in turn bought out in 1988 by Kolberg Kravis Roberts in the biggest leveraged buyout in history. This was described in the book Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, and a subsequent film.

    In 2000 Philip Morris Companies acquired Nabisco; that acquisition was approved by the Federal Trade Commission subject to the divestiture of products in five areas: three Jell-O and Royal brands types of products (dry-mix gelatin dessert, dry-mix pudding, no-bake desserts), intense mints (such as Altoids), and baking powder. Kraft later purchased the company.

    Although being a partial competitor of Kraft, Nestle makes some of the ice cream variants of Oreo and Chips Ahoy! in Canada.

    Legal battles

    In 1997, the National Advertising Division became concerned with an ad campaign for Planters Deluxe Mixed Nuts. The initial commercial featured a man and monkey deserted on an island. They discover a crate of Planters peanuts and rejoice in the peanuts' positive health facts. The NAD was concerned that its appoach with the tagline "Relax. Go Nuts." and its claim of containing "no cholesterol" would cause consumers to believe that the product was fat free and, thus, quite healthy to eat on a regular basis.

    Nabisco made a detailed statement describing how their peanuts were healthier than most other snack products, going as far as comparing the nutritional facts of Planters peanuts to those of potato chips, cheddar cheese chips, and popcorn. Technically, the commercials complied with FDA regulations, and their nature of advertising was generally allowed to sustain. However, as requested by the NAD, Nabisco willingly agreed to make fat content disclosure more conspicious in future commercials.


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