Little Debbie Sells An Astronomical Number Of Its Top 3 Treats Every Year

Little Debbie is all grown up now, quite literally. The 60-something-year-old Debbie McKee-Fowler is now the Executive Vice President and a Board Director for McKee Foods, the family business which owns the Little Debbie brand. McKee-Fowler was only four years old when the brand was first named after her, but the company itself had already been around for quite some time.

Amid the Great Depression, O.D. McKee started selling snack cakes for five cents out of his automobile. Then, in 1934, he and his wife Ruth bought a small bakery, where they both worked and lived. Over the next few decades, the McKees slowly but surely chased success, and in 1960, it all paid off.

That's when the company began selling baked goods in family packs. This brand was named after — you guessed it — the McKee's four-year-old granddaughter Debbie. The venture became consistently profitable, which continues today, as evidenced by its annual sales of roughly $1.5 billion (via Chattanooga Free Times Press).

Which treats lead the pack?

Hundreds of millions of snacks are sold

Consumers buy over 200 million cartons of Little Debbie's Nutty Buddy Wafer Bars, Oatmeal Creme Pies, and Swiss Cake Rolls annually. The list of every Little Debbie snack is quite long, making it even more impressive that these three, in particular, stand out. One look at their attributes makes it clear why.

Nutty Buddy Wafer Bars consist of chocolate coating around peanut butter and wafer bars. Displaying a variety of textures, they're simultaneously crunchy and smooth. These were one of the original Little Debbie multipack snacks, unveiled in 1964.

Oatmeal Creme Pies were the original Little-Debbie-branded dessert circa 1960. These soft, creme-filled oatmeal cookie sandwiches are made with molasses and whole-grain oats. Fans pair such treats with anything from hot chocolate to ice cream to milk. 

Last but not least, Swiss Cake Rolls always come in pairs, which makes them easy to share (or indulge in solo). They're older than Nutty Buddy Wafer Bars yet younger than Oatmeal Creme Pies, dating back to 1963. Even six decades later, the popularity of creme filling rolled up in fudge-coated chocolate cake has not faded.

These treats are so beloved that Little Debbie even turned them into ice cream flavors in 2022, sold by retailers like Walmart. Other flavors include Cosmic Brownies, Honey Buns, Zebra Cakes, and more. If Little Debbie is this successful, though, why was there word back in late 2022 of the business shutting down?

Little Debbie finished military service

Thankfully, the McKee Foods corporation and its Little Debbie brand are not going under anytime soon. That was nothing more than a rumor floating around online based on a simple misunderstanding. However, depending on where you get your snacks, you may find yourself out of luck when shopping for Nutty Buddy Wafer Bars, Oatmeal Creme Pies, and Swiss Cake Rolls.

As reported in September of 2022 by Stars and Stripes — the U.S. military's independent news source — the McKee Foods corporation has decided to no longer supply U.S. military bases, domestic and abroad, with Little Debbie snacks. Unfortunately, the company felt it was no longer cost-effective to deal with the strict regulatory standards associated with military food service. So, it ended a contract that was three decades old. Somehow, the headline of that report, "Goodbye, Little Debbie: Snack cakes to gradually disappear from commissary shelves," seems to have been misunderstood by numerous internet users.

Rest assured: Little Debbie snacks are still sold throughout the United States — just not at U.S. military bases. Americans can continue to purchase hundreds of millions of cartons of Nutty Buddy Wafer Bars, Oatmeal Creme Pies, and Swiss Cake Rolls year after year. It is worth noting, however, that Canada might have recently lost its Little Debbie snacks forever.