The Eggo Brand Didn't Start Out Selling Waffles

Eggo has become so synonymous with waffles that most people probably don't stop to think what a strange name it really is. Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery reports that Kellogg, which owns Eggo, controls more than 70% of the frozen waffle market in the U.S., with over $700 million in sales. Eggo's offerings have expanded over the years, growing from their now iconic American waffles to offer an entire range of waffle types, including some traditional Belgian classics. All that time, you may have had guesses about the name. Maybe it's the egg taste of the batter? Maybe it was someone's name? But you may not have guessed that it came from an entirely different product.

Eggo waffles first hit the market in 1953. According to Mental Floss, the company had been making waffle batter for decades before that, but the brand really took off after owner Frank Dorsa invented a machine that could mass produce frozen waffles. By the early 1970s the growing Eggo brand was snatched up by Kellogg, and the product went national. The success of its frozen waffles overshadowed the fact that Eggo originally offered a range of products alongside waffle batter, including a popular line of potato chips. One of those products was the original Eggo product, actually predating the waffle products themselves, and was the basis for the company's unusual name.

Eggo got its start making mayonnaise

The Eggo name is a reference to eggs, but not the ones that go into a waffle mix. According to Atlas Obscura, Eggo started as a company in 1932, and their first egg-focused product was mayo. The company wanted to boast about the quality of eggs in their product, and thus the name Eggo was born. In fact, there were local advertisements in San Jose, the birthplace of Eggo, claiming their product had been tested and shown to have more eggs in it than other mayonnaises brands. The ad also brags that Eggo mayo is great for making salads, which, well, we hope they mean egg or potato, but it was the '40s, so who knows.

The potato chips and waffles that truly made Eggo came very soon after the mayonnaise, but the company name stuck. However Eggo's signature product almost ditched the mayo-based name entirely when it debuted. Delish notes that Eggo's original name was "Froffles," a mash up of "frozen," and "waffles," but they switched back to Eggos after just a few years. While we will always be a fan of a great homemade Belgian waffle, Eggos have stuck around since then for good reason, and frozen waffles can still hit the spot when you don't have half a morning to dedicate to cooking. So let's be happy Frank Dorsa was so willing to experiment with his company and deliver us the breakfast convenience food that has fed the last three generations.