The humble Cheez-It: salty, flaky, flavored with real cheddar cheese, perfect in its simplicity.
The crackers generate $1B in annual sales, and have become a top bet for owner Kellogg, per Food Dive.
Wait, doesn’t Kellogg do cereal?
Sure, but cereal sales have waned as consumers shift to on-the-go breakfasts.
Kellogg’s snacks division — which includes Pringles, acquired for $2.7B in 2012 — comprised 80% of its $14.2B sales in 2021.
In June, Kellogg announced it had split into three companies: cereals, snacks, and plant-based foods.
Now, Kellogg’s Global Snack Co. focuses and innovates on its portfolio, and Cheez-It is ripe for remixes.
There’ve been 40+ iterations over time, with 13 current varieties including Snap’d, Puff’d, and White Cheddar.
Cheez-It is time-tested
In the 19th century, Dr. William W. Wolf’s Wolf Bakery Company in Ohio made crackers believed to have health benefits, per Smithsonian magazine.
After his death in 1897, J.W. Green and his son Weston purchased the company, renaming it Green & Green.
The Greens trademarked the Cheez-It in 1921, marketed as “baked rarebit.” (Rarebit is melted cheese on toast.)
Green & Green changed hands and names several times throughout the 20th century before being acquired by Keebler in 1996, which Kellogg acquired in 2001.
Fun fact: For Cheez-It’s 100th birthday, Goldbelly made a limited-edition Cheez-Itennial Cake.