Most of us are familiar with Cheez-Its and their square shape. But over the years, Cheez-Its have changed. Are these baked crackers still square?
The iconic cracker got a slight makeover instead of the regular one-by-one-inch squares. Cheez-Its are now 1.02 by 0.94 inches. This means that Cheez-Its are rectangles now.
How Did Cheez-Its Start?
Green & Green, a cracker company in Dayton, Ohio, created the flaky one by a 1-inch snack. By May 23, 1921, the company decided to trademark the tasty treat with the Cheez-It name.
In 1921, Cheez-It didn’t mean anything, so Green & Green marketed the cracker as a baked rarebit. eople were familiar with rarebit, a sort of melted cheddar beer cheese spread over toast. Cheez-It offered the same great taste, only baked down into a cracker that will last.Brady Kress, President and CEO, Carillion Historical Park
Dr. William W. Wolf moved to Dayton, Ohio, in 1841 to practice homeopathy with the belief that food harnesses healing powers. He was later on known to be Dayton’s Cracker King for creating the Wolf Cracker. His creation was a hard-butter snack made for medicinal purposes.
In the 19th century, crackers were linked to Christian physiology and sectarian medical practitioners. Christian physiologists like Sylvester Graham, of Graham Cracker fame, were concerned about a modern diet that contained too many stimulating substances. They believed there was too much nourishment per food unit in modern bread, too much excitement. So they recommended grain products made from coarse flour, which, they believed, contained a more natural ratio of nourishing and non-nourishing parts. Crackers were considered health food.Lisa Haushofer, University of Zurich
At the time, homeopaths were concerted about proper digestion. They believed heating food aided with the process; thus, baked Wolf Crackers were exactly what the doctor prescribed.
J.W. Green remembered the nutty and buttery Wolf Crackers. When Dr. Wolf died, Green purchased the Wolf Baker Company and included his son, Weston Green, to join the company as well. They renamed it Green & Green Company. While they still kept Dr. Wolf’s recipe, they rebranded it to Dayton Cracker.
Green & Green expanded their operations to Lima and Springfield, and they were soon distributing crackers across the southwest. By the First World War, the company helped in the war effort by sending out crackers to the U.S. soldiers.
All our facilities but one little oven that can’t be used for Hard Bread will be speeded up to keep two car loads a day going by express that OUR BOYS at the front may have their Fighting Bread. We are mighty glad and proud to be a cog in the big machine that will win the war. P.S. We could still use a few more women in the packing of Hard Bread.Green & Green
(Source: Smithsonian Magazine)
How Many Companies Owned Cheez-Its?
Cheez-Its have been around for a whole century. Throughout that time, the cracker has gone through several tweaks and companies. After Weston Green passed away, Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company bought Green & Green. They changed their name to Sunshine Co. This is the branding we are very familiar with. By 1996, Keebler acquired Sunshine. Finally, in 2001, Kellogg’s acquired Keebler. The Cheez-Its got a fresh look in 2015, but the classic recipe with enhanced flavors remained. (Source: Mashed)