Inside The Origin Of Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies

Anyone who has ever walked down the cookie aisle at the grocery store knows just how overwhelming it is. There's literally a cookie for every mood and every occasion. There are Oreos for the chocolate lovers, Teddy Grahams for the kiddos (or the nostalgic adults), and Famous Amos for those who prefer the classic chocolate chip. But perhaps one of the most popular cookies on the shelf is Pepperidge Farm Milanos. 

The flaky, buttery cookies (held together by a thin layer of the creamiest, richest chocolate) are a favorite among Americans. According to a Statista survey conducted in November 2020, over one million people in the U.S. have eaten eight or more packages of Milanos in the last 30 days. But how the beloved dessert came to be is a bit of a surprise — because it wasn't even planned. In fact, the birth of Milanos happened because of a shipping mishap back in the 1950s.

Milanos were invented by accident

While Milanos have become arguably one of Pepperidge Farm's most popular cookies (there are now 19 flavors, from pumpkin spice to dark chocolate sea salt to key lime), the original cookie actually began as a complete accident as the result of an unexpected issue with shipping. According to Slate, who interviewed the then-president Pepperidge Farm Pat Callaghan, it all started in 1957 when Pepperidge Farm was experimenting with a cookie called the "Naples."

The Naples cookies were open-faced with a layer of chocolate — which was fine until Pepperidge Farm started shipping them to stores in the South. The cookies weren't made to stand up to the hot Southern heat and the chocolate began melting. As a solution, Pepperidge Farm decided to put another cookie on top of the chocolate layer to keep it from getting messy. And thus, the sandwich cookie lining the shelves of grocery stores that we now all know and love as a Milano was born.