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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Vanilla Wafer Cookie Bake-Off

I’m just going to come out and say it – banana pudding is one of the best desserts in the world.  Creamy, crumbly and not overly sweet, this childhood favorite of mine simply can’t be beat.  However, as an adult, I’ve come to learn the importance of reading labels and understanding what goes into my food and my former favorite brand of vanilla wafers (one of the key ingredients of banana pudding) is chock full of artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup!

I was thrilled to find the 365 Everyday Value® Organic Vanilla Wafer Cookies for just $3.99 a box.  They taste just like my childhood favorites, but without all the unwanted ingredients.  Check it out!

Vanilla Wafers

365 Everyday Value® Organic Vanilla Wafer Cookies

Vanilla Wafer Cookies

Major National Brand Vanilla Wafer Cookies


Organic Enriched Wheat Flour (Organic Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Expeller Pressed Palm Oil, Sea Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Baking Powder [Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cornstarch, Monocalcium Phosphate], Ammonium Bicarbonate), Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier), Organic Vanilla Extract, Natural Butter Flavor, Leavening (Monocalcium Phosphate).


Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Sugar, Soybean Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Whey (From Milk), Eggs, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Salt, Leavening (Baking Soda and/or Calcium Phosphate), Emulsifiers (Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin).

Curious as to why the ingredient list of the 365 Everyday Value® Organic Vanilla Wafer Cookies is better than the major national brand’s?  There’s three key reasons one cookie stands above its competition:

Organic. If it says organic on the label, then it must meet USDA National Organic Standards, which require that the crops are grown without the use of persistent pesticides. Those standards also don't allow irradiation, genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) and synthetic preservatives. Makes it easy to think before we chomp, dip or dive into banana pudding.

Nothing Artificial. We use organic vanilla extract for that classic real vanilla taste. They use…um… what do they use? By listing “natural and artificial flavors,” they’re not being transparent. Let us clear it up for you.  We only feature foods that are free of artificial flavors because being fake is not how we roll the cookie dough.

No Hydrogenated Oils. Their cookies contain partially hydrogenated oil. We believe that natural oils are always preferable to hydrogenated oils and go so far as to have standards that forbid hydrogenated fats in all products we sell. Wondering why they need it? Us too, but that’s just the way their cookie crumbles

When you compare the ingredients, price and taste, there’s a clear winner in the cookie bake-off.  Hoping to keep your pantry stocked with great ingredients at an affordable price?  Check out The Whole Deal value guide for over $50 in coupons, dozens of Sure Deals, budget friendly recipes, and more!

Have you found an organic alternative to your childhood favorite? Tell me about it in the comments.

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Sherria Ards says …

I hope you can help. I use to buy your 365 Organic Vanilla Wafer Cookies all the time! I loved them. However, about a year ago, you changed your supplier (I was told). Because one day I bought them and they tasted TOTALLY different. The former one's were rich and flavorful. The new ones are hard with less flavor. Who was your former supplier. I shop at the Whole Food in Raleigh, NC on Wade Avenue. Is it possible that any of your other stores still carry the old Vanilla Wafers; or was the change universal? I'm willing to have these vanilla wafers shipped, if I could somehow find the original ones. . Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SHERRIA - Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately the cookies were changed company wide and we do not have any of the old version on hand. I will definitely pass along your feedback with our Private Label team.

James says …

Since the high fructose corn syrup was left out, why not the cornstarch? There are very acceptable substitutes for that also and corn in any form isn't good for some of us.

Liz Winegard says …

Are the 365 vanilla wafers supposed to be crunchy or soft? Mine have a stale texture. Is this normal?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LIZ - Typically they will be a little more hard but if they tasted stale definitely let the store know so they can swap them out for you!