The Evolution of Nabisco Brands

Old Nabisco billboard advertising Oreos

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In 1898, the New York Biscuit Company and the American Biscuit and Manufacturing Company merged over 100 bakeries into the National Biscuit Company, later called Nabisco. Founders Adolphus Green and William Moore, orchestrated the merger and the company quickly rose to first place in the manufacturing and marketing of cookies and crackers in America. In 1906, the company moved its headquarters from Chicago to New York.

Favorites like Oreo Cookies, Barnum’s Animal Crackers, Honey Maid Grahams, Ritz crackers, and Wheat Thins became staples in American snack foods. Later, Nabisco added Planters Peanuts, Fleishmann’s margarine and spreads, A1 Steak Sauce, and Grey Poupon mustards to its offerings.


  • 1792 Pearson & Sons Bakery opens in Massachusetts. They make a biscuit called pilot bread that is consumed on long sea voyages.
  • 1801 Josiah Bent Bakery first coined the term 'crackers' for a crunchy biscuit they produce.
  • 1889 William Moore acquires Pearson & Sons Bakery, Josiah Bent Bakery, and six other bakeries to start the New York Biscuit Company.
  • 1890 Adolphus Green starts the American Biscuit & Manufacturing Company after acquiring forty different bakeries.
  • 1898 William Moore and Adolphus Green merge to form the National Biscuit Company. Adolphus Green is president.
  • 1901 The name Nabisco is first used as part of a name for a sugar wafer.
  • 1971 Nabisco becomes the corporate name.
  • 1981 Nabisco merges with Standard Brands.
  • 1985 Nabisco Brands merges with R.J. Reynolds.
  • 1993 Kraft General Foods acquires NABISCO ready-to-eat cold cereals from RJR Nabisco.
  • 2000 Philip Morris Companies, Inc. acquires Nabisco and merges it with Kraft Foods, Inc.
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Your Citation
Bellis, Mary. "The Evolution of Nabisco Brands." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Bellis, Mary. (2021, February 16). The Evolution of Nabisco Brands. Retrieved from Bellis, Mary. "The Evolution of Nabisco Brands." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).