NORWALK, Conn. -- Pepperidge Farm, a leading provider of breads, cookies, crackers and frozen bakery products, is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and its Goldfish cracker brand, celebrating its 50th birthday later this year, is one of America's most popular crackers. This anniversary year will bring no less than 35 new product innovations across multiple categories and an Innovation Center in Norwalk, Conn., 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 founder Margaret 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."
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. Two years later, Pepperidge Farm has sold one million loaves. As Pepperidge Farm grew, Rudkin's entrepreneurial spirit led to a corporate culture based on discovering "what's next" and delivering the very best products to consumers.
Pepperidge Farm will debut the following products this fall:
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 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.
Pepperidge Farm 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. The company employs nearly 5,000 people, operates nine plants across the United States and distributes its products to more than 40 countries; 2011 sales totaled more than $2 billion. Pepperidge Farm now produces some 206 million loaves of bread annually, along with 558 million Milano cookies and 142 billion Goldfish crackers.