Calories in Food: Milano Math

Question: Why do Pepperidge Farm Dark Chocolate Milano Cookies have 180 calories, while Pepperidge Farm Double Chocolate Milanos have 140 calories, according to the packages’ Nutrition Facts panels?


Answer: A serving is three Dark Chocolates but just two Double Chocolates.

The FDA’s serving size for cookies is 30 grams (about an ounce). So Pepperidge Farm uses the number of Milanos that comes closest to 30 grams. And each Dark Chocolate weighs 11.3 grams, while each Double—thanks to its bit of extra chocolate—weighs 13.5 grams.

But do people typically eat three Darks but only two Doubles? Unlikely, since both are roughly the same size.

And single-serve On the Go! packs of Milanos have 180 calories because each bag holds three cookies. But why should Pepperidge Farm use a three-cookie serving for its Double Chocolate (or Mint Chocolate, Orange, or Raspberry) Milanos when it can get away with using just two?


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21 Replies to “Calories in Food: Milano Math”

    1. Because they don’t give a hoot about people’s obesity epidemic and the fact that 1 out of 3 children are overweight or obese! Do the math yourself and ditch the crap in the trash 🙂

  1. If someone is looking at the calories, then they should be looking at the serving size also. I’ll agree that it’s shady math, but I’d prefer Pepperidge Farm spend energy taking HFCS out of their product over fixing the nutrition label.

  2. Just being a member of this forum tells us that as a group we (group inclusive) try to be aware of the impact of our food choices on our health. As conscientious consumers we tend to notice these types of flaws in the labeling and packaging of food. We tend to scoff at the generalizations made by the food industry to promote their products, hence the birth of “food porn”. The problem becomes when an uninformed consumer picks up a bag of these cookies, looks at the calories and makes the decision for the lower calorie product because last they heard a person needed to watch their calorie intake (thank you popular media). The goal here is to educate the general public and promote good health among the masses. I read the labels of almost every product I consume, I know how to make an informed decision. I know the impact of cheese flavored tortilla chips and cookies on my pocketbook, attention-span, waistline, artery walls, and liver. This is about education, not necessarily ridicule; although you know someone marketing these high calorie, high sugar, high fat products is trying to make it less obvious. But, hey, sometimes I like a good diet soft drink even though I know it’s bad for me- the kicker here is that some people do not. The average reading level for the US is about 6th grade, many people can not add (2nd grade), let alone multiply (3rd grade). The only way to get the message across is to state it loud and clear in a way people understand, unfortunately it has to be hyped up to do so.

    1. Unfortunately, you have too many people out there in the world that just don’t care for any number of reasons. I could write a book on the “reasons” (excuses to me) why people choose the food items that they do.

  3. I hate when companies do that. I notice “variable” portion sizes with sodium content especially. Most lunch meat could be anything from 1-6 slices, probably based on weight (as someone said about the cookies). But I don’t eat portions based on weight, more like slices or what reasonably fits a bowl, or number of cookies/crackers. I have put back endless number of packages based on too high calories and sodium especially, and fat. Bread seems to be too big, and thus too many calories. Pepperidge farm bread seems acceptable (whole wheat of course).

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