Shock! Nabisco Saltines Bad!

I guess I need to go back to buying store brand saltines. I bought myself a box of Nabisco saltines, and found that they’d changed them. A lot.

Smaller by at least 1/4.
Less flaky and puffy.
Fewer crackers — doesn’t fill the plastic packs up anywhere near to the top.
Gloopy-tasting instead of that clean saltine taste.
Barely visible mini-grains of salt. Not good if you’ve been sweating from fever and want salt.
Back tries to look like the front, except for having no salt.
No serrated edges.
Cooked in some different kind of oil.
Doesn’t taste as good with tomato soup, chicken noodle, or other classic saltine partners.
Not nearly as gentle on your stomach, which kinda removes the point for us sickies.
Ingredient list has gotten a lot longer than I remember.

In short:
The picture that’s still on the box is of an old school Nabisco saltine — no truth in advertising there!
Looks, tastes, and crumbles more like a snack cracker, less like a saltine.
Kinda disgusting, if you actually had your mouth set for a saltine.
Not bad if you wanted a generic wheat snack cracker, but why buy saltines for that? There’s better.
Ripoff by volume.

I don’t know why you’d want to change a cracker that’s such a classic, but there you go. I’ll never make the mistake of buying Nabisco saltines again.


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44 responses to “Shock! Nabisco Saltines Bad!

  1. Club Crackers, too. They used to be good. They’re now bad, very bad.

  2. Alan

    I noticed this change, too. Even my daughter’s 2nd grade students noticed it.

    When I wrote to Nabisco to complain, they insisted they’d made no changes. In other words, they were calling me a liar.

    Now these are like any other cracker, and there are no good crackers available at all. Terrible marketing decision.

    • It’s possible that some of the change is a change in flour gluten levels. Several major American flour mills have changed ownership/policy and thus the kind of wheat they buy; and that would change the cracker a lot.

  3. Keith

    I have noticed the difference in the last 2 boxes of saltine crackers I have bought. They taste funny and they are not as crispy as they used to be. They are not good when you eat them with soup. I think I will try Keebler or Sunshine brand next.

    • Donald

      Speaking to you from the future, 2016. We switched from Saltines7 or 8 years ago and get Keeblers. A while later, they went bad and ended up tasting like the mildew-flavored Saltines. So we switched to Sunshine and then they changed to the “new” style. Yuck! I don’t think there is anyone who makes the old style crackers. What a shame! How I would like to have a box of them to show people what a REAL cracker tastes like.

  4. Susan

    We have finally given up on these. Had been a fan for years. Since the change, they are horrible. I think the cardboard box would taste better than the cracker! What a shame!

  5. Debbie

    My husband thought I was nuts when I kept throwing out Nabisco’s saltine crackers this last year because I thought they had gone bad (even though they were in an airtight container!). This month, I had a new box of crackers at my house and a new one in our RV. BOTH boxes of crackers tasted so bad I couldn’t eat them – they even smelled like they had absorbed some kind of insect spray and so did the box!

    So glad I looked up this problem on the internet or I would have thought it was just me. I’ve been eating Nabisco crackers since I was a little girl, but NEVER AGAIN.

  6. CJ

    Wow, I thought it might just be me. I just arrived home and opened a box of Nabisco Saltines and was surprised to see that the individual waxed packages of crackers don’t nearly rise to the height of the box! I immediately thought, “gee, there are fewer crackers than there used to be.” It’s as if they’re short by 8-10 crackers per package! It seems deceptive as their box didn’t shrink!

  7. Bruce Wilkinson

    All of the above comments are RIGHT ON! Nabisco Premium Saltine Crackers have changed drastically. Nabisco needs to fix the problem whatever the cause. I called the “800” number on the box months ago to point out the problem but the crackers are still bad. With each new box I’m hoping the old taste will be back but so far no such luck.

  8. amy

    What. The. Hell.

    I haven’t had saltines in a LONG time. Having taken some fairly bland soup to work I thought it would be a perfect match. So I plucked a new, unopened tube from the box and took them to work.

    When I took them out I knew something was different. Popped one into my mouth and… gag. I spit it out in the trash can. I was kind of freaked out because it tasted/smelled very chemical like. Not bad/rancid, but acrid and chemical like.

    I hit the ol’ Google to see what happens when snack crackers go bad (never even thought of it, and I’ve had crackers on the shelf for… well, longer than I should have before). Found this and Debbie has it right — it’s like an insect spray. GROSS!

    To the store for the 88 cent off brand I go! =-)

    Shame, too; Nabisco saltines and butter were a treasured shared treat between some old relatives and I. Oh well, as they say, the only constant is change. But Nabisco is making a huge mistake, it seems.

  9. joe

    Yeah they suck! I thought it was the plastic they were wrapped in. I don’t eat soup very much anymore because of how bad the crackers are now.

  10. Wilson

    Wilson June 18, 2011
    I noticed the difference in the taste and quality maybe 2 to 3 years ago, not exactly sure. I will call them too, but I doubt they’ll respond. They probably found a way to make them cheaper! I also threw out numerous boxes of the crackers, thinking I had just got a bad batch, but I’ll never buy another box of them.

  11. jonc

    When I was a kid a 4 pack had 50 crackers to a bale now they only have around 34 Go figure.

    Changes YES!!!!!!!!!! they are puffy and not as good in soups

  12. Sandy

    Nabisco Honey Graham crackers are now being produced in Mexico and are not fit to eat. The box of Nabisco saltines my husband just bought has a Spanish language label, I think they might be making them there also. We will definitely not be buying any Nabisco products in the future, they are not fit to eat.

  13. Wiseman

    Everyone here is correct….drastic change in Nabisco Premium crackers from the high quality that they used to be back in the late 70’s through late 80’s….These 2012 crackers are a mere “shadow” of the quality and taste that they used to be back in the 70’s and even the 80’s….inferior ingredients and baking processes are causing them to be tasteless and nowhere near as good as years ago!!! I have quit buying them….they are smaller, stale (all the time), crumbly, dry, and tastless.—everyone here should call Nabisco and tell Nabisco to look at the comments on this blog—give Nabisco this web address—I AM!!!

  14. CJ

    Like so many here have mentioned I thought it was just me. I’ve noticed it over the last several years. Used to love to just eat plain saltines these seem like they are stale right out of the box when you first open them and have a raw flour taste to them kind of like when someone makes pancakes and does not cook them long enough to cook out the raw taste in the flour. Guess I’m going to do what others have done check out other brands to see if they are any better cause anymore Nabisco Premium Saltines just suck!

  15. mary

    I just spoke with Nabisco about a strong chemical taste in their premium saltine crackers. I couldn’t read the date on the lid. With 200x found date and
    they had expired, but the chemical taste was overwhelming so I am sending a sample to the health dept. to find out if this is contamination or rancidity. Never had this problem in the past regardless of age of the product. Nabisco is having an exec. call me. I was going to let this go until I found all these posts.

  16. Fred

    Someone wanted to fix these no doubt. If it isn’t broke don’t try and fix it. Just another product that will die because someone wanted to make an extra half cent a box.

  17. Mrs. Baird

    I was given “Nabisco Saltine Crackers” since I was a child of 5 years old I am now 75 and will no longer buy them and my children and family will not either. You, for some ungodly reason changed their taste and not to the better! When I was sick one day my niece bought the crackers for me and I had her take them back thinking they were stale or the wrong ones. Well, when we found out that they changed the ingredients ??? Of the crackers that is when we all stopped buying them. Too bad they don’t taste them, themselves!

  18. Tammy Smith

    I thought I was the only one experiencing problems with Nabisco Saltine crackers. I just opened a brand new package and the chemical smell and odor are just a precursor to the awful taste. These are inedible and I’m forced to trash them. Ugh – after 50+ years of enjoying this Nabisco product, I’m forced to look for an alternative.

  19. Drouault Claire

    I always keep a box of Nabisco saltines in case of illness. It has been the one thing we can stomach when all else fails. I actually liked the smaller stacks with more to a box because I thought unopened stacks would stay fresh longer. Uhgg! I’m in bed with pneumonia and my emergency saltines taste like pesticide! To be fair, the sell by date on the box is 16 Oct 11 so stale could be expected but not this horrible taste and smell! What could possibly be in them to turn them this bad in a year? Nabisco, how could you?

  20. Nancy

    I just opened a stack of Nabisco saltines and they tasted really bad. I’ve had the flu so thought my taste buds were a bit off. Ate another one and couldn’t understand why it tasted so awful. When I smelled the wax paper sleeve, I couldn’t believe the rancid odor. Really foul. I’m worried because I ate several crackers. What’s in them that could make them smell and taste so disgusting?

  21. Beverly Morris

    I do not like the new sea salt Premium Crackers. The original ones taste better and have been my favorite for 64 years! Please go back to the original Premium Saltines, as they don’t taste bland. I tried sprinkling Morton’s iodized salt on some of these and they tasted more like the original saltines. Also, I did like the new packaging that has 1/2 stacks as they do not go stale when I can’t use a full stack…..even though they come in a smaller weight box. I will start trying other brands, but in the past have always returned to your Premium Saltines. Please DO NOT send your new round crackers to Tennessee. I see that they are not packaged in sleeves and do not taste like the originals.

  22. Sonya Odell

    I use to keep a jar of saltines in my van when my kids were small,they snacked on them and never did they get this rancid odor and taste like now.I just took a package out of my cabinet that was opened a month ago,the smell was overwhelming!!This is not the first time,they seem to get this rancid odor shortly after opening.I’m not buying Nabisco anymore!!

    • mark e

      Hi ! Your all right on this I am 60 + and we bought a box of sea salt , the taste was super bad . I noticed it on the first cracker ! and they are the bad to the core , after 5 or 6 crackers , no more of this trash for me

      • I have had about six boxes of Nabisco Saltines and have been eating them from the time I was a toddler. All the boxes were rancid. I may have gotten about six crackers out of the sleeve and twisted the top and put it back to save the rest. You can smell the rancid smell before you open the sleeve. I wasn’t convinced, it took me about five more boxes and I trashed everyone of them. Called the 800 number and got the excuse that the sell by date had expired two years ago. Wanted to send me a coupon and I refused it. I will buy another brand, like someone mentioned Wall Mart saltines. Anything has got to be better than rancid crackers.

  23. Kathy

    We thought we had been poisoned they were so bad tasting and smelling, never buy Nabisco products again until they start making them in the US and under federal regulations!!

  24. Mike

    Pretty sure Nabisco switched to the same recipe the Chinese use for making drywall board. I thought that changes in packaging may have let air in, since they taste stale and flat the day you buy them. But after a year or so of continuing to buy and throw them away, that theory is out….they just plain suck. Fortunately the Lance company is still baking crackers with the crisp snap and flavor that we all love.

  25. What is it with the sea salt on Premium Saltines. Not the same crackers. Will never buy again Taste chemical.

  26. Cracker are not as good as before, they are hard not light & crispy as before,for these complaints you’re bound to be trying to go back to what they used to be, l’m 68yrs old have loved Nabisco crackers my family count are 57 + spouses and all are not buying them ,we are getting the off brand at Wal-Mart, they taste good are light and crispy not hard won’t ever buy your Nabisco again!!!

  27. It’s amazing how near universal these bad feelings are and how they’ve been pouring out of folks for a good six years or more. Google:

    “premium saltine crackers” changed

    and you’ll quickly see a sampling (Heck I think on Amazon there were about 500 reviews with about 490 of them being One Star!)

    The mystery is: with all this BAD feedback…. Why hasn’t Nabisco simply reverted to what it used to have?

    – MJM

  28. Pepperchile

    Could it be they are now made in Mexico? I just learned Oreos are and I have eaten my last Oreo EVER

    • Bonnie

      I will check that. I already checked to see if Nabisco had been bought by the Chinese: apparently not, but I’m keeping a weather eye on food sourcing.

  29. TONY


  30. Bonnie

    You’re a hundred percent right! I was eating the cheaper brands, due to some financial difficulties, and thought I still was until I looked at the box my son bought. I could hardly believe it said “Nabisco premium saltines.” It’s not as though this is a luxury product made from rare and costly ingredients! Very sad, and very stupid. Quality apparently counts for nothing – even in the humble saltine!

  31. ron wiita

    Nabisco doesn’t seem to care about customer’s comments. Has China bought Nabisco or some one worse. Never seen such a poor cracker from Nabisco in the old days. Can’t even butter them without them breaking up. Thin, flimsy and can’t even get them out of the package in one piece. Ought to fire whoever approved this joke of a cracker. Not buying any more, looking for a srtore brand, spoken by a 88 year old who knows his crackers and a bad one when he sees it! These are a poor excuse for a cracker. What’s the problem with you Nabisco?

  32. Dawn

    I have noticed changes to my favorite Premium Saltine crackers also. But the last straw is flat out lying to consumers. The box says original, but they are far from original. I have used this brand over 50 yrs. They never used Sea Salt on the original version. I scrap the salt off each cracker, with my fingers, before eating. My daughter in law works in the school’s cafeteria and brought home some broken up 2 per pack, Premium Saltine crackers. They are so much better. They don’t have sea salt on them. They’re still not the great tasting crackers of yrs past, but they are edible. They must not read this blog, as it’s 2021 and this started in 2009. I can’t do it anymore. These crackers are toooooo nasty. Why do companies always have to mess with a good thing???

  33. Dred Porter

    The quality of Nabisco premium saltine crackers has dropped a lot. I would always take Nabisco over other brands because they were the original and they were good. No more! Seems like Nabisco may be shooting themselves in the foot with the saltine cracker. Too bad.

  34. August Grillo

    Found a tiny worm in mine.

  35. Joey

    I totally agree theres no taste like the old zesta and way fewer crackers per box ( first thing i noticed when i opened box ) walmart cheap saltine great value crackers are way better i love them about $1.18 around here . Not dogging zesta just wish they were the same as they use to be. Could be mandela effect !

  36. Angie

    So true, unfortunately. So many classic foods are packaged to appear as they always have, but when you eat your previously delicious item, it doesn’t taste the same, and is quite frankly, disgustingly, horrible! Saltines can be added to the list along with, Hagen Daz coffee ice cream, Nabisco ginger snaps, Cheetos crunchy style, Arrowroot cookies, and more that I may not be recalling this minute. Oh yes, add Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It’s getting really hard to find any familiar snacks that have been around for years, that taste anything like their former deliciousness. Now they are inedible to me.

  37. Eboney J Davis

    I completely agree, I bought some to crush I’m my chicken noodle soup (which deserves It’s own review) and they completely lacked in flavor. Just as the soup did.

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