How Entenmann's Changed The Way Pastries Are Sold

From mini muffins to donuts to soft and oh-so-mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies, Entenmann's has been titillating taste-buds since 1898. The bakery company also lists loaf cakes, Danishes, a variety of cakes and cupcakes, snack pies, madeleines and much, much more as part of their roster. If you managed to grow up without trying at least one, then you may have missed out on one of the most delectable parts of childhood.

But one thing most people don't know about them is that they innovate both inside the kitchen and out. Every element of their production has been carefully thought through, even Entenmann's signature boxes, with their see-through window. That's right: it may be hard to picture store-bought pastries any other way, but they weren't always served in the boxes you know and recognize, or in a way that even allowed you to see what was inside. So what's the story behind Entenmann's influential box-design?

What's in the window?

According to a New York Times article, the contents of the Entenmann's boxes weren't always viewable until you opened the box, and it took the ingenuity of one woman to make the change. Martha Schneider became Martha Entenmann by marrying a baker, and soon helped him scale his desserts beyond breads. As the "fun-facts" page on Entenmann's website explains, her smarts extended to the way the pastries were boxed up, and with the help of her sons, eventually led her to the invention of "see-through boxes", in 1959, which allowed buyers a sneak peek of the goodies they'd soon be indulging in, rather than limiting them to the sight of a plain white box covered in string. If bakeries display their desserts in a window, why shouldn't grocery stores? And as an article onĀ Mental Floss pointed out, this "quickly became an industry standard."

As a mother knows from countless hours of hosting, people tend to eat with their eyes. So the addition of sight, on top of smell and the promise of delicious taste, took Entenmann's desserts over the top and made them irresistible, causing a spike in buyers. No wonder so many other companies utilize this technique today. Which would you prefer, a dessert you can see looks delicious or a mystery that may not deliver the look and flavor you savor? Seems like a no-brainer!