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Oreo is a trademark for a popular sandwich cookie currently manufactured by the Nabisco Division of Kraft Foods. The current design consists of a sweet, white filling commonly referred to as 'cream' or 'creme', sandwiched between two circular chocolate or golden biscuits.

Over 491 billion Oreo cookies have been sold since they were first introduced, making them the best selling cookie of the 20th century. Its most recent packaging slogan is "Milk's Favorite Cookie", which is a slight change from the original, "America's Favorite Cookie" (though some packages in the U.S. still use the original slogan).

History

Close up of the Oreo cookie
The Oreo cookie was developed and produced by Nabisco in February 1912 at its Chelseamarker factory in New York Citymarker. It was created mainly to target the British market, whose biscuits (English cookies) were seen by Nabisco to be too 'ordinary'. Originally, Oreo was mound-shaped and available in two flavors; lemon meringue and cream. In Americamarker, they were sold for 25 cents a pound in novelty tin cans with glass tops, which allowed customers to see the cookies.
The distinctive face of an Oreo cookie


A newer design for the cookie was introduced in 1916, and as the cream filling was by far the more popular of the two available flavors, Nabisco discontinued production of the lemon meringue filling during the 1920s. The modern-day Oreo was developed in 1952 by William A Turnier, to include the Nabisco logo.

Oreo is very similar to the Hydrox cookie manufactured by Sunshine, which was introduced in 1908, leading to speculation that Oreo obtained the idea from Sunshine. Having lost market share to Oreo for years, Hydrox cookies were withdrawn in 1999.

The product is distributed under the Kraft parent label and has no mention of the US sub-division Nabisco that is used in all countries where it is available for retail. In Canada, it is marketed under the Christie brand name.

Etymology

The Oreo was originally called the Oreo Biscuit. The name was later changed to the Oreo Sandwich in 1921. In 1948, the name was changed again to the Oreo Creme Sandwich. It was then changed to the Oreo Chocolate Sandwich in 1974.

There are many theories pointing to the origin of the name 'Oreo', including derivations from the French word 'Or', meaning gold (as early packaging was gold), or the Greek word 'Oros', meaning mountain or hill (as the original Oreo was mound shaped) or even the Greek word 'Oreo', meaning beautiful or nice. Other theories are that the 're' from cream was 'sandwiched' between the two Os from cookie, or the word 'just seemed like a nice, melodic combination of sounds'. A TV spot for the Got Milk? campaign showed a false etymology where, when at a board meeting to decide the name of the cookie, one of the members is asked for his opinion; the member, who just ate a cookie and does not have any milk to wash it down responds "I don't know," which is heard by the board member as "Oreo."

Advertising campaign

Nabisco began a marketing program in 2008, advertising the use of Oreo cookies in a game called DSRL, which stands for "Double Stuf Racing League."The DSRL was introduced one week prior to Super Bowl XLII. This sport had also been endorsed by football brothers Peyton Manning and Eli Manning.Sisters Venus and Serena Williams have also joined, and challenged the Mannings to a race, which started on January 18, 2009. A new campaign has started for golden double stuff Oreo cookies with the brothers being challenged by Donald Trump & "Double Trump" played by Darrell Hammond.

China

In 2006 Oreo became the best-selling cookie in the People's Republic of Chinamarker, after altering its recipe to have a lower sugar content to suit local tastes. Kraft began a grassroots marketing campaign in China to educate Chinese consumers about the American tradition of pairing milk with cookies. The company created an Oreo apprentice program at 30 Chinese universities that drew 6,000 student applications. Three hundred of the applicants were trained to become Oreo brand ambassadors, and some students rode around Beijing on bicycles with wheel covers resembling Oreo cookies and handed out cookies to more than 300,000 consumers. Others organized Oreo-themed basketball games to reinforce the idea of dunking cookies in milk. Television commercials depicted children twisting apart Oreo cookies, licking the cream center and dipping the chocolate cookie halves into glasses of milk.

Although sales improved, Kraft still felt the Oreo could do better and decided to reinvent the traditional, round biscuit to a wafer. The new cookie consists of four layers of crispy wafer filled with vanilla and chocolate cream, and on the exterior is coated with chocolate. The wafer is also processed to ensure that the chocolate product could be shipped across the country---withstanding the cold climate in the north and the hot, humid weather in the south. The new Oreos are also outselling traditional round Oreo cookies in China, and Kraft has begun selling the wafers elsewhere in Asia, as well as in Australia and Canada. Kraft has also introduced wafer rolls, a tube-shaped wafer lined with cream, in China. The hollow cookie can be used as a straw through which to drink milk.

Over the past two years, Kraft has doubled its Oreo revenue in China, and with the help of those sales, that revenue topped $1 billion world-wide for the first time last year.

UK

In May 2008, following stocking of Oreo cookies in the supermarket chain Sainsbury'smarker, Kraft decided to fully launch the Oreo across the UK, to the American recipe but repackaged in the more familiar British tube design, accompanied with a £4.5m television advertising campaign around the 'twist, lick, dunk' catchphrase. Reception was initially skeptical, with noted British biscuit reviewer Stuart Payne of the Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down website mirroring general apprehension about the health effects and taste aspects of the high sugar content of Oreo cookies, which would possibly not be to British tastes compared to the similar long established Bourbon biscuit. Comments also surrounded the dark color not relating to an expected taste of chocolate as with similar common British biscuit brands, the lack of crunchiness of the biscuit, and the practice of dunking in milk rather than tea also being outside of British cultural norms. Comparisons were drawn with the similarly less than successful launch of the Hershey bar in the UK. Kraft recently partnered with McDonald's to bring the Oreo McFlurry (already on sale in many countries) to a few McDonald's locations.

Production

According to a statement from Kim McMiller, an Associate Director of Consumer Relations, a two-stage process is used to make Oreo cookies. The base cake dough is formed into the familiar round cookies by a rotary mold at the entrance of a 300-foot-long oven. Much of current Oreo production is done at the Kraft/Nabisco factory in Richmond, Virginia. Oreo cookies for the Asian market are manufactured in Indonesia. Australian Oreo cookies are made in China. European Cookies are made in Spain.

Varieties

A 'Double Stuf' Oreo Cookie
addition to their traditional design of two chocolate wafers separated by a cream filling, Oreo cookies have been produced in many different varieties since they were first introduced, and this list is only a guide to some of the more notable and recent types; not all are available in every country. Notable flavors in the US are:
A 'mini Oreo' cookie compared with a United States penny
  • Double Stuf Golden Oreo cookies are the newest variety of Oreo cookies that were introduced in late August 2009. They are just Golden Oreo cookies with twice the amount of icing.
  • Oreo Fudge Sundae Creme (Limited Edition) are chocolate ring cookies with the traditional white cream filling on Half of Ring cookie, the other half is a Fudge cream, introduced in 2009.
  • Oreo Fudge Rings are chocolate ring cookies with the traditional white cream filling drizzled over them.
  • Oreo WaferStix are long wafer sticks that have a creamy filling and are covered by chocolate.
  • Golden Oreo have vanilla wafers and the traditional white cream filling.
  • Golden Chocolate Creme Oreo are 'reverse' (inverse) Oreo cookies in that they comprise vanilla wafers and a chocolate cream filling. Originally, the title was named Uh-Oh Oreo until 2007.
  • Mini Oreo are bite-sized versions of ordinary Oreo cookies, released in 2000 along with the redesigned 2001 Dodge Caravan as part of a promotional tie-in with DaimlerChrysler
  • Vend Pack Oreo cookies from vending machine 6-packs are smaller diameter Oreo cookies with about 10% less mass than regular Oreo cookies (8.5g vs 9.5g).
  • Double Stuf Oreo (introduced in 1975) have about twice the normal amount of white cream filling. Available in peanut butter, original, cool mint or chocolate cream.
  • Big Stuf Oreo (introduced in 1984) were several times the size of a normal Oreo. Sold individually, each Big Stuf contained 316 calories and 13 grams of fat. They were discontinued in 1991.
  • Double Delight Oreo (introduced in 1987) have chocolate cookies with two fillings, notably peanut butter and chocolate; mint and cream; and coffee and cream flavors.
  • Cool Mint Creme Oreo are a Double Stuf Oreo with a slightly minty creme filling.
  • Fudge Covered Oreo, White Fudge Oreo and Milk Chocolate Oreo are covered in either a layer of fudge, white fudge or milk chocolate respectively.
  • Pure Milk Chocolate Covered Mint Oreo are similar to Milk Chocolate Oreo, but have a mint-flavored filling.
  • 100 Calorie Pack Oreo (Oreo Thinsations in Canada) are miniature, thin, hexagonal versions of Oreo that do not contain cream-filling and come individually-portioned into 100 calorie pouches.
  • Triple Stuf Oreo (introduced in 2006) were limited to certain cities for a one month promotional trial before being permanently discontinued, they had three times the normal amount of white cream filling.
  • Sugar Free Oreo (introduced in 2006) compared to regular Oreo cookies, had only trace amounts of sugar, cost over twice as much, had 10 less calories per serving, contained 0.5 grams more fat, and consisted of 450% more fiber.
  • Reduced Fat Oreo (introduced in 2006) compared to regular Oreo cookies, had as much sugar, cost the same, had 10 less calories per serving, contained approximately 35% less fat, and consisted of the same amount of fiber.
  • Oreo Cakesters are 2 or 3 chocolate soft snack cakes with vanilla creme in the middle, which were introduced in 2007. These are also available with chocolate creme, or in the "golden" variety (marketed as both Oreo and Nilla Cakesters in the U.S.).
  • Banana Split Creme Oreo are a variety whose filling is a light yellow with a banana flavor.
Banana Split Creme Oreos
  • During springtime, around Halloween, and Christmas, special edition Double Stuf Oreo cookies are produced with colored frosting depicting the current holiday (blue or yellow, orange, and red or green, respectively).
  • Oreo Handi-Snacks are plastic holders with rectangular Oreo cookies and a little box of icing.
  • Chocolate and Dulce de leche Oreo are sold in Chile and Argentina, which instead of the usual creme, it has chocolate or Dulce de Leche
  • Oreo Sippers are Oreo flavored sticks that can be eaten or used as a straw.


Many of these varieties are combined, producing, for example, "Chocolate Fudge Mint Covered", "Double Stuff Chocolate Creme", and so forth.

Variations and adaptations

Oreo cookie with strawberry cream.
  • Jell-O Oreo Pudding - Jell-O brand chocolate pudding at the bottom and on top, with vanilla in the middle.
  • Jell-O Oreo Instant Pudding — also named cookies n' cream. The box contains instant vanilla pudding with real cookie pieces.
  • There was a Post cereal called Oreo O's. The cereal was discontinued in 2007.
  • In Italy, a similar cookie to Oreo called "Ringo" is manufactured by Pavesi, though recently Oreo became available as well, first in Blockbuster, then in supermarkets, and in 2008 the first Italian ad was launched.
  • In Brazil, a very similar cookie to Oreo called "Negresco" is manufactured by Nestlé ( picture, description).
  • Oreo Ice Cream. This is licensed by Breyers, Good Humor, and Klondike in the US, and Nestlé in Canada. Flavors are:
    • Oreo Ice Cream (Blended Oreo cookies in Vanilla Ice Cream)
    • Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich (Extra Large Oreo wafers with the above mentioned ice cream in the middle)
    • Oreo Ice Cream Bar (Chocolate Ice Cream bar with the above mentioned Ice Cream)
    • Mint Oreo Ice Cream (Blended Oreo Cookies with Mint Ice Cream)
    • Many notable fast-food restaurants serve Oreo flavored ice cream desserts and milkshakes
  • Easy-Bake Oreo Mix — two easy-bake chocolate cakes with a marshmallow filling topped off with an Oreo cookie topping
  • Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar- A chocolate candy bar consisting of a rectangular Oreo cookie and Oreo cream filling covered in milk chocolate.
  • Oreo Pie Crust- A pie crust made using crushed Oreo cookies sold around the U.S.
  • Oreo Madness at T.G.I. Fridays
  • Organic Oreo (introduced in 2006) - plain Oreo cookies made with organic flavor and organic sugar.
  • Banana Split Oreo — introduced in Canada, an Oreo cookie with banana flavoring.
  • Strawberry Milkshake Oreo — introduced in Canada, and sold for a limited time in the United States, an Oreo cookie with strawberry flavoring.
  • Oreo Milkshake is a recipe by Kraft Foods which consists of Oreo Cookies, milk, vanilla ice-cream and chocolate syrup.
  • Oreo Peanut Butter Creme
  • Brown Oreos


Recipes

The Oreo cookie is commonly used as an ingredient or adornment for other foods, ranging from ice cream, milkshakes, pies, cakes, and donuts, to other creations. Oreos are used in Domino Pizza's "Oreo Pizza". In addition, many ice cream and milkshake flavors include "cookies and cream", or vanilla ice cream with chunks of chocolate sandwich cookies included, which may or may not be official Oreos. The original Oreo recipe used pork fat , Hydrox were frequently used as an alternative. Carnivals and fairs offer deep fried battered Oreos.

See also

References

  1. Toops, Diane: Top 10 power brands, Retrieved on June 07, 2007
  2. Health food junkies beware: It's National Cookie Month!
  3. Lukas, Paul. "Oreos to Hydrox: Resistance Is Futile." Business 2.0 March 1999. A reformulated version called Droxies was also later withdrawn.
  4. The DSRL had 2 members joined (Peyton Manning and Eli Manning) "The Second Sport" http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/01-14-2008/0004735850&EDATE=
  5. nabiscoworld.com/oreo/dsrl
  6. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120958152962857053.html?mod=yhoofront
  7. BBC News Magazine Can Oreo win over British biscuit lovers?, 2 May 2008
  8. http://www.kraft.com/100/innovations/oreoprod.html
  9. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-28159731_ITM
  10. New Products
  11. http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/oreo-milk-shake-53860.aspx
  12. [1]


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