Little Debbie

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Little Debbie, one of the most popular snack brands in America, was named for the four-year-old granddaughter of the company’s founders. In 1960, O. D. and Ruth McKee introduced a family pack of a dozen of their individually wrapped cookies, named the product line after Debbie, and used her image on the packaging. Ever since, the cheery girl in the straw hat has been a recognizable company symbol.

The McKees had gone into the bakery business in 1934, making cookies and snack cakes. In the 1940s they created the “Oatmeal Creme Pie,” a soft oatmeal cookie sandwich with a creamy filling. It eventually became the first Little Debbie product, and remains one of the company’s most popular items.