One of These Bagels Has A Skinny Secret

September 22, 2011   55 Comments

Snack Girl lives in the North Eastern United States or as it is called " the bagel corridor". Yes, there is a fresh bagel chain here called Bruegger's and it is pretty good.

Skinny Bagel

While visiting their store, I saw something very exciting! "America's Best Bagel goes Skinny", the sign proclaimed. Wow!

This is exactly what I need - a smaller bagel so my bagel TREAT isn't a monster. So, I ordered the bagel thinking I would get a the smaller bagel of yesteryear.

You see a regular bagel is 310 calories - which is equivalent to THREE pieces of toast. Twenty years ago (before I was born :), a bagel was only 140 calories (see: Portion Size, Then vs. Now) - a few more calories than one piece of toast.

So, I ordered a skinny poppy seed bagel and this was what I received:


Do you see how there are THREE slices? That middle slice is the innovation to make it "skinny".

Bruegger's staff tosses out the middle slice and that is how they make a 210 calorie skinny bagel (instead of regular bagel's 310 calories). And, yes, you pay the same amount for a 2/3 bagel.

I stopped them before they tossed out that slice because I just can't waste food like that. I asked them, "What do you do with the middle slice? Compost it, feed it to birds, send it to a food bank?" But, they just toss it in the TRASH.


Why doesn't Bruegger's just make a smaller bagel? Clearly, that MUST be too much trouble - they probably make more money by just throwing away food.

How about bagging the extra slices and selling 10 for $2? Or just giving the person who bought the skinny bagel the extra slice to give to a friend?

As you can tell, I am upset that my quest for a healthier bagel results in food waste.

There are hungry people in my town and I just can't justify tossing away food like that.

I could just buy a regular bagel and only eat half of it - 150 calories of bagel is a very reasonable portion size. My problem (and one that Bruegger's has identified) is that I don't have the will power not to eat the whole thing.

Yes, I have tested the EAT HALF idea with the bagel above - and, guess what? - I ate all of it.

My suggestion is to find delicious mini-bagels (haven't found them yet) or just keep your bagel treats to a minimum.

I will send this post to Bruegger's with the hope that they will change their "toss the middle slice in the trash" policy.

Have you seen skinny bagels?

Want to read about snacks?
Fab Snack Finds For Keeping It Fun
Mix Up These Healthier Corn Muffins In A Jiffy
Five Restaurant Tips For People Who Love Food
What You Need To Know About 50% Less Sugar And Calories In Juices

Get Free Email Updates! Yes please!


When you described how they cut the bagel in thirds and throw away the middle, my mouth dropped. This is truly the most idiotic, wasteful thing I've ever heard of and will only serve to have me NEVER step foot in a Bruegger's ever.

My mouth hit the floor when I read this. What a waste of food. And someone please explain to me what is so hard about simply making a smaller bagel?

My local bagel store makes a mini that is exactly like the regular bagels, only smaller. They are wonderful! Cutting out the middle of a regular bagel is just idiotic.

I have found store bought bagels that are 140 calories - Healthy Life. They are slightly smaller than regular bagels,have 9 grams of fiber and taste pretty good!

I can't believe they do that! That is complete irresponsible of them. I've never been to bruegger's but it's here where I live too. I'll be sending them a message about the complete waste that is. I think that you have a great idea there too. Sell the centers 10 for $2-4. They'd make even more money that way and cave the waste.

Wow... how stupid and wasteful. You'd think a company would recognize the waste and find a way to use it. I mean, many bagel stores make their own bagel chips -- so if nothing else, they could sell these extra 1/3-bagels, make money, and stop the waste.

How about bagging the extra slices and giving them to a local charity that feeds people at the end of every day for toast the next morning?

That is amazing. I've never heard of that. I cut my bagel consumption years ago, but I love a good cheesy bagel.

Maybe Bruegger's should just package a thin bagel (without the middle) and also package an inner bagel, and call it crustless.

That's crazy! My local bagel shop serves bagel chips as a side to their sandwiches. I'm guessing these are from day old bagels that would otherwise be wasted. They really are not thinking outside the box on this one-shame on them!

That has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. What a horrible waste of food - they should be ashamed.

Making smaller bagels isn't a new idea. I doubt it's that much harder to make the same bagel in a smaller size. If you're looking for a truly skinny bagel, the brand Thomas makes bagel thins that you can purchase almost anywhere. Here's hoping they're not throwing out the "middle"...

In NYC there is a chain called Brooklyn Bagels, and they have a great selection of mini-bagels (which are still huge). Also, Au Bon Pain does a great skinny bagel with egg whites and cheese.

like everyone, I am SHOCKED. Not only is that a complete waste of food that can go to someone in need but it's dumb on their finance part too! They buy all the same ingredients for a regular bagel and then just throw a third out...seems like they didn't think it through at all!

I'm glad you are sending this to them and hope they make some smart changes.

Shocking. Just shocking. They could easily toast and bag them for "chips". Or just as easily donate the middles to a food bank or local church kitchen! Scandalous! Thank god I don't live anywhere near or I'd be at their door yelling! Thank you "Snack Girl" for telling their secret. They should be ashamed!

Wow, I have not seen this, or heard about it. But definitely saddened by this! So many restaurants waste so much food, I mean serious amounts at times. In my food safety job, one of the restaurants I audit, they work with a program called 'Harvest Program.' The extra food (waste) is given to a local shelter. I love this program, I wish all restaurants worked with the program. Thank you for sharing, Take care, Terra

They make the same amount of $$$, so they don't care. You're the one that's getting ripped off. I would have ask for the middle, too. Snackgirl, just cut your reg. size bagel in half immediately and save it for later. Eating it later for a snack is better than eating it in one sitting. Then,you don't feel ripped off.

I agree with Susan. Also, I too buy the Thomas' Bagel Thins. They come in a lot of flavors, including whole wheat, and are just the right size for me. They're also great for sandwiches.

OMG - i am seriously shocked by this. Enough that it makes me NOT want to eat at Bruggers. What a waste....and what a stupid idea in general. The million dollar question....why don't they just make a smaller bagel?!?! We as consumers needs to start holding the businesses that we frequent more accountable.

That is just idiotic! My local bagel store does the same thing, thirds, but they bake them and sell them as bagel chips

I know I'm only going to be echoing what others have already said, but slicing out the middle?! Really? I can't believe none of their employees stood up to point out: 1) how stupid and wasteful that is, 2) how un-enterprising it is to just throw it away!

They could throw on some seasoning, toast them and sell them as bagel chips!

Booooooo to Brueggers!

I agree that there are better things that could be done with the middle slice but I found that having my hubby or my friends SHARE my bagel makes it easier to stay on track. If I'm unlucky enough not to have someone to share it with I just ask to have one half wrapped to go and consume the other. I don't usually get any static for that request. Also, I've found that Bagel Thins from the grocery store is very good. Just don't over-heat them or they tend to dry out.

Reading this article, and all the responses almost reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine tried to donate Muffin Bottoms to the Food Kitchen, and was chastised for it because it was missing the best part of the muffin, The top! What good is just the middle of the bagel when you're missing the toasty crusty outside part with all of the fixin's??

However, I do agree that it is wasteful to simply toss it in the garbage. They're losing money by not re-toasting the middle, seasoning it and re-bagging as bagel chips. I've seen these things sold in the markets by me for over $3 a bag, and people buy them to use in place of a cracker for cheeses, or a schmutz of cream cheese, whatever.

Western Bagel is a great tasting bagel. Many varieties and they also have the Alternate Bagel.If you go on their website you can read about them. Unfortunately, I don't think they ship to the East Coast, hence the name Western Bagel. Sorry, maybe you can get Bruggers to follow suite and make them. They are more expensive than the regular bagels and more revenue may give them insentive instead of throwing away the center slice. If nothing else make bagel chips out of the slice. Shame on Bruggers.

You have got to keep us updated on their reply!

We have a store here that donates all their leftover food for the day. Would be nice if others followed that.

That is so disappointing. I used to love Bruegger's when I loved in Amherst. Probably contributed to the 20 lbs I put on in college... But anyway, I hope they change that practice and find a way to either make a smaller bagel or use the middle portions. On another note, I have recently found and enjoyed Thomas' "bagel thins" from the grovery store. I get the whole wheat ones and use reduced fat cream cheese, and they satisfy my bagel love!

Shared with Bruegger's Facebook page. :D

Someone might want to post another one after they take mine down. ;)

I really dislike when people waste food like that, especially a business. I agree with Izabel, I usually just prepare myself half a bagel, or generally I will toast the whole things and give half to which ever child is sitting there drooling over my bagel :)

holy crap that is such a waste of good food! >.< they could make more money out of it too if they don't waste you said, sell the 2/3 for slightly cheaper and sell the inner slice by itself or in a package. hell they could even make like, bagel toast chips or something? When i was in japan one of the sweets i tried (forgot the name) is basically something like toast or bread that's been sliced and then toasted till it's really crunchy on the outside (or maybe it might've been deep fried.. >.>;;; ) and then just put it into a bag.

there are SO many ways to NOT waste that middle slice (i'll bet that slice probably has more, since the middle of a bagel is the part that has the most, well, bagel!)

horrible D: I really hope after they see your post and see these comments, that they do something about this! i'm sure there are smart people at their central company who can figure out a productive and profitable way to make EVERYONE happy!

That has got to be one of the silliest things I've ever heard!!! And they throw the middle away? They could donate it to the local food shelter; what a waste! I'm out West, so I LOVE the Western Alternative Bagel: onion ones rock with lowfat cream cheese! I think you can order them online if you can't find them in your area. But cutting out the middle of a bagel and throwing it away is just total nonsense.

Of course, I agree. :-P I expect this will change shortly.

Mary Ann (& Melissa) posted about Western Bagels, and I just wanted to say that they ship East at least some, as I can get them in SC (at Publix). Their sweet wheat Alternative Bagel is only 110 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and tasty too. Might be worth looking for! :o)


Hi, Thomas' just came out with bagel thins. A thinner, easier to toast bagel that is only 110 calories. They are the same diameter of a full size bagel only thinner. There are very yummy and my kids and I love them!!

While I certainly love bagels and can't be believe they are throwing away the middle, I haven't had one since my 14 month 93 lb weight loss. I have substituted with a slice of Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread to my breakfast menu.

I wonder how many they throw away each day? If it's 5 or 10, it may not be time and energy for them to bag 'em up. If it's 50 or more, then it's really going to make a difference! I know a few of our local restaurant/bakery chain, Panera bread company, donates their day-old bread to local shelters and it's a wonderful thing, and a friend of mine is the one who does the pickup and delivery. It just requires someone to do the courier service! If a local shelter or food kitchen knew they were throwing these away (if the quantity is sufficient), I'm sure they'd coordinate with manager to get a pickup schedule. SG, you could be the catalyst for something great! Go find your local shelter and let them know!

I have seen "mini" bagels in the grocery store, so cute! My friend gets her bagel and digs out the soft inside to make it "skinny". So it is like a hollow bagel.

I absolutely agree that this is a wasteful practice, but I'm not sure it's fair to say, "how hard can it be to make a smaller bagel?" I'm sure they have streamlined their processes considerably to make uniformly sized bagels for each bakery. Making smaller bagels probably means purchasing new machinery and providing new training, for each storefront that bakes bagels. From their standpoint this is a lot more expensive than just throwing away 1/3 of the bagel. However... it would be nice if bagel bakeries sold 1/2-bagels for 1/2-price. Or if there was a tasty chain that simply made smaller bagels to begin with. Then it's a normal size for people who don't want to overindulge, and people who want more bagel could just get two -- along with the added bonus of trying two flavors instead of just one.

Western Bagel will ship its Alternative Bagels anywhere, and that's assuming you can't buy them in grocery stores back east (Gourmet Again, in Baltimore, sells them; I'll bet Wegman's would special order them). I love the roasted onion Alternative Bagels - tons of protein and only 110 calories!

For people in Denver/Boulder looking for real east coast-style bagels, we have Bruegger's and Moe's.

C'mon up to Canada, Snack Girl!!!

We have President's Choice Thin Bagels available in Loblaw grocery stores.

The thin bagels are delicious and come in a variety of types (Cinnamon Raisin is my fav.)

They also carry Thin Hamburger and hotdog buns as well.

Here's a link:…

Take care!!

Thomas' makes a delicious "Everything" Bagel Thin. 3 WW Points and great w low fat cream cheese!

Fairway Markets in Manhattan and Brooklyn have a genuine small bagel - by genuine, I mean chewy like a real water bagel, not just bread with a hole in the middle like all of the standard brands attempts at making a lower calorie bagel (Pepperidge Farm, Thomas',etc). I personally don't find the 'fakes' satisfy my real bagel cravings (though they may be a fine bread product) but the mini-bagels from Fairway certainly do! My daughter brings them to me in Pennsylvania, and I freeze them for when my lust for real bagels overcomes me :-) I went to a Brueggers in San Diego when I lived there, and if I had one near me now I would be on their doorstep complaining!! In this day and age, that is so not PC (politically correct), never mind incredibly wasteful :-(

I also order western bagels. they hae some wonderful products. Also HYVEE grocery store carries them. I cannot believe they throw out the middle slice. They could make toasted bagel slices out of them or set them back for a homeless shelter that feeds people who really need it.

P.S. I made those sweet potato muffins again tonight and added 2 cups of blueberries. I am addicted to those as a quick snack.

This is silly.

Many people who watch their weight, and I'm one of them, when faced with a regular size bagel will just hollow out some of the excess bread. It makes for more space to put in healthy things like roasted veggies or banana slices depending on whether it's a savory or sweet bagel--and it's similar to what Mexicans do when making "tortas". If you're that concerned about "wasting" the bagel or bread parts (which are basically empty carb calories anyway unless it's a whole grain bagel) you can feed the birds or something.

I also like Thomas bagel thins and the Western Alternative bagels and pitas...

I would be horrified if they gave the bagel middles to some shelter. Obesity is actually more prevalent the less money someone makes. The last thing some lower income person needs is bread or bagels.

this sounds great. i've always tried eating half the bagel, and i always manage to pick at the second half as it stares at me. what's the alternative? throwing it away - what a waste. scooped out & toasted is always a great way to go.

i love you. you are hilary-ous. :)

Thanks for the info. I like a bagel triple sliced. They crisp better when toasted. Then I think I've had a feast and eat less (including bread) the rest of the day. Our ancestors would cringe on how much food is wasted. Everyone has had a great suggestion. I'm sure someone out of work or on the streets would very much appreciated the "thrown away" middles. Shame on Bruegger. I always try to recycle food in my kitchen to make something else. Money is too tight for all of us to waste anything! Thanks for the update!

WHAT???? What a huge waste! Incredible that a restaurant would do that. I hope this information gets out to their customers and something is done. That is such bad business! Why not at least donate those extra pieces to a food bank? I'm shocked.

What every happened to bagel crisps? Or what about bagel croutons? They should either sell a bag of these bagel "parts" toasted or not or make bread pudding! Especially in these tough economic times it is ridiculus to disgard any food.

I'm just wondering how the calorie content of your bagel would compare to a Montreal-style bagel. They're a lot smaller.

Oh for the days when I used to snatch them hot out of the wood-burning oven at St. Viateur Bagel and burn your throat with the delicious bagel goodness!

I agree with the comments above....truly idiotic. They'd fire an employee for eating the middle part but seem to be content throwing it away instead of even giving it to a food bank.

Einstein Bagels has a thin bagel--only 140-160 calories in the whole thing. Check them out:

This made me laugh when I read it...I had the EXACT same reaction when ordering the skinny bagel. I was SO excited to see a healthier option and then mortified watching the girl remove and throw away the middle - are you KIDDING ME?!

I buy western bagels, it says the alternative bagel, it's 110 calories and the flavor is sweet wheat, I like them, would love poppy bagels but cannot find any weight watcher friendly ones here is Sarasota Fl, anyone have any ideas? Thanks

My daughter lives in Manhattan and brings me mini-bagels from Fairway Market - a small, delicious regular chewy bagel that satisfies my craving for bagels. I used to buy Bruegger's bagels when I lived in San Diego from their Hillcrest store - really good chewy bagel - but I would stop going there in protest if I had caught them wasting food so blatantly - they could use the middle part for bagel chips, at least!!

Aw no! I cannot waste food either!!!! WTF!

I have grown up eating brueggers my whole life, vermont born and raised. I love their bagels more than any other shop because they have a taste you can't beat! But to hear about the way they waste even this slice just makes me sad. Coming from a state that in general values health and conservation, I would have assumed that they would use the slice for something else, or save them to drop off at shelters... SOMETHING at least. Hopefully with our voices they will change for the better.

One of my favorite weight loss sayings is, "Better to waste than waist." I don't believe in wasting food, but many of us caught in the weight loss struggle, use it as an excuse to overeat. Let's be real. There are hungry people in the world, but my overeating, isn't going to help them.

I'm with Wanda, when I want to stay on track I order a bagel, eat half and save the rest for later or share it. If I don't have the self discipline, that's my problem, not Brueggers! I think their "skinny bagel" solution is novel - allowing a customer to enjoy the same taste/texture of a regular bagel with 100 less calories - with the minimal expense of the patented slicer.

They just throw it in the garbage? That is whack! I wouldn't even patronize the place if I were anybody, including myself, which I am me.

The reason the bagel is not just made smaller, is that when you reduce or increase the dough amount it does not effect the hight of the bagel, and that is what is what they are cutting out. If it is only calories that you are looking at, make two open face sandwiches...which, that is what bagels were made for, open face. Everyplace will throw out some amount of food, whether it be french fries gone cold, or starbucks tossing the coffee after 30 min., this is general practice...but before getting all upset at Brueggers...remember that they use the bagels that are not sold to be made into bagel chips...not all of them...but quite a few. And that is much better than other places.

Add a comment:


(required, never published)

© 2024