Whence Biscos?

Since childhood I have admired Biscos, Nabisco’s version of the sugar wafer. I have eaten them only rarely because (a) they are expensive at $4 or $5 for 8 oz. and (b) they never seem to go on sale.

It may have been more than a decade since I have last tried them. This is what they looked like then…

Biscos Sugar Wafers by Nabisco, old box

…not the box, which in this image looks older than I remember, but the wafers themselves. Notice that the oval-with-rabit-ears logo featured inside the red triangle also appears on the wafers. The logo didn’t make them taste any better, I presume, but nonetheless the cookie part of the wafers was thick, crisp, and delicious.

Here is the box I bought today:

Biscos Sugar Wafers by Nabisco, new box

When I purchased them I did notice that the gold foil around the edge of the box (which I always thought was classy) was missing, but not until later did I notice that the appearance of the wafers had changed also. The oval-with-rabit-ears logo is gone and they look pretty much like any other sugar wafer out there, such as the no-name brands you can find in the dollar store. And that’s what they taste like, too. They don’t taste bad, but I no longer find them compelling. Next time I’ll save some money and buy a no-name brand. (But I won’t buy one of those brands that dyes the wafers bright orange—what’s the deal with that?)

It may actually be impossible to buy the Biscos brand next time, because there are some reports that they are being removed from store shelves. I don’t put much stock in them—after all I was able to buy some today—but if so perhaps it has something to do with Kraft’s acquisition of Nabisco in 2000. I can’t find any mention of Biscos at kraft.com or nabiscoworld.com but they are still for sale at amazon.com and other online retailers.

[edit: I did finally find a Bisco’s (sic) reference at http://productlocator.kraftfoods.com/kraftfoods/productlocator.htm. Choose “cookies/crackers/cones/bars” from the upper pulldown. I’m not sure why they felt the need to interpose an apostrophe.]

By the way, the cookies aren’t quite as pictured on the box. For one, they are fairly small at 6cm by 2cm (2.5in by 0.75in) which means either they found a tiny red napkin and coffee cup for the photo shoot, or photoshop was involved. (The box does say “enlarged to show texture” in small blue lettering just above the plate’s rim.) But more than that, if you count how many diagonal stripes span a wafer, corner to corner, it’s 13 on the box image but 18 on the actual wafers in the box. The waffling is simply less substantial than pictured, in both diameter and in ridge height, which seems odd to me.

(Odder still, the waffling on the bottom of the wafer is different from the waffling on the top. The bottom waffling has a larger diameter and thicker ridges, so it’s actually more like the box image, except it can’t be. The squares on the bottom of the wafer aren’t aligned diagonally, but are parallel to the sides of the wafer.)

7 thoughts on “Whence Biscos?

  1. ken January 21, 2012 / 12:15pm

    Couldnt agree more.. just bought two boxes today at 2 for $6 which is a bargain and tried them for the first time in years. Oh my god… they are NOT the same old Sugar Waffers of the 1980’s… Wont be buying them again!

  2. Me August 15, 2012 / 1:48am

    I too wonder what the heck happened to these..I Loved them so much.

  3. Sue September 7, 2012 / 5:18pm

    They used to be my favorite cookie of all time. I could inhale an entire box of them in a sitting. I suppose I should be thankful (health-wise) that they reformatted them and made them so gross (to me) that I don’t even want to eat them anymore. I truly miss them!

  4. Gayle Nelson October 30, 2012 / 12:01am

    I too, have not been able to find these cookies. I used to love them, but have not been able to find them on store shelves. From what I’m hearing about the change in taste, I’m not sure if I find them if they are worth buying. It seems to me that Kraft ruins alot of good products when they reformulate them. Tombstone Pizzas used to be a favorite until Kraft got ahold of them. Also, the change in Miracle Whip was a disaster. Recently, I have had trouble finding Pinwheel cookies (Nabisco) the marshmallow cookie with the cakelike bottom and delicious chocolate coating. I hope they are not thinking about cheapening them or discontinuing them.

  5. L. Wehling February 20, 2013 / 6:49pm

    I remember the cookies to look like waffles thick and full of filling that would just melt in your mouth. I’m disappointed with them now. It’s bad when you have a craving for them and they aren’t available. So sad.

  6. Maria May 8, 2013 / 11:06pm

    Been looking for them every time I go shopping, have asked my sons, their wives, my grand-kids to see if they can find any; they have not. So decided to try the Internet and it seems like I’m not the only one… Wow so sad to hear they’ve been changed. Why do this to such a great product? If I find them, guess I’ll try them and make up my own mind. Boy we keep losing great USA products, now even our great cookies…..

  7. marcpope April 17, 2020 / 2:26pm

    It’s funny, I could have written this article myself. What happened to Nabisco? This is almost as bad as when they changed the recipie of Nilla Wafers to minic the taste of the crappy Kebler brand.

    i am a huge fan of the old Sugar Wafers. My grandma would buy them for me when I was a kid. Now, at 50, I still enjoy them but they are definitely not the same. Often they are close to $6 at the store +TAX. I do think they have a better vanilla taste than the dollar store ones.

    The other beef I have with the coolie industry is the Barnums Animal Cookies. They used to be nice and detailed of animals. Now they are crap, smaller looking cookies. All these companies have sold their souls.

    Another thing that is no more, the Hostess Yellow Sponge Crumb Cakes. They used SO FREAKING good. Now, blah. They’ve changed them completely.

    These companies always trying to make something better don’t realize the fan base is much stronger. Keep with the ORIGINALS!

    [One thing that has affected this kind of thing is the removal of trans fats from legacy products. Sometimes they change the recipe enough to change the product. Sometimes they pull the product entirely. I approve of eliminating trans fats from the food supply, even though there are products that I miss. Additional notes: (1) Some recipes have been modified to limit trans fats to less than 0.5 grams per serving, rather than removing it entirely. I’m not fond of that. (2) I don’t know if this has anything to do with Biscos. -ed.]

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