Oreo (/ˈɔːrioʊ/) is a brand of cookie usually consisting of two chocolate wafers with a sweet crème filling, marketed as "Chocolate Sandwich Cookie". Introduced

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For other uses, see Oreo (disambiguation). Chocolate sandwich cookie with creme filling. OreoTwo Oreo cookiesOwnerNabisco (Mondelez International) and Cadbury and MilkaCountryUnited StatesIntroducedMarch 6, 1912; 107 years ago (1912-03-06)MarketsWorldwideTagline"Wonderfilled"
"Milk's favorite cookie"
"Only Oreo"WebsiteOreo.com

Oreo (/ˈɔːrioʊ/) is a brand of cookie usually consisting of two chocolate wafers with a sweet crème filling, marketed as "Chocolate Sandwich Cookie". Introduced in 1912, Oreo is the bestselling cookie in the United States.[1] As of 2018, the version sold in the U.S. is made by the Nabisco division of Mondelez International.

Oreos are available in over one hundred different countries; in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, they are referred to as Oreo biscuits. Many different varieties of Oreo cookies have been produced, and limited edition runs have become popular in the 21st century.

Contents Etymology

The origin of the name Oreo is unknown, but there are many hypotheses, including derivations from the French word or, meaning gold, or the Greek word ωραίο (/ɔ.ˈrɛ.ɔ/), meaning tasty, beautiful, nice or well done.[2] Others believe that the cookie was named Oreo simply because the name was short and easy to pronounce.[3] Another theory is that the name derives from the Latin Oreodaphne, a genus of the laurel family. Food writer Stella Parks notes in her book BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts that the original design of the Oreo includes a laurel wreath; and the names of several of Nabisco's cookies at the time of the original Oreo had botanical derivations, including Avena, Lotus, and Helicon (from Heliconia).[4]

History Representation of the trademarked pattern embossed onto the face of an Oreo cookie Twentieth century

The "Oreo Biscuit" was first developed and produced by the National Biscuit Company (today known as Nabisco) in 1912[5][6] at its Chelsea, Manhattan factory in the current-day Chelsea Market complex, located on Ninth Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets.[7] Today, this same block of Ninth Avenue is known as "Oreo Way".[7] The name Oreo was first trademarked on March 14, 1912.[8] It was launched as an imitation of the Hydrox cookie manufactured by Sunshine company, which was introduced in 1908.[9]

The original design on the face of the Oreo featured a wreath around the edge of the cookie and the name "OREO" in the center.[10] In the United States, they were sold for 25 cents a pound (453 g) in novelty metal canisters with clear glass tops. The first Oreo was sold on March 6, 1912, to a grocer in Hoboken, New Jersey.[11]

The Oreo Biscuit was renamed in 1921 to "Oreo Sandwich";[2] in 1948, the name was changed to "Oreo Crème Sandwich"; and in 1974 it became the "Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie",[2] the name that has remained to this day. A new design for the face of the cookie was launched in 1924;[10] the modern-day Oreo design was developed in 1952 by William A. Turnier,[12] incorporating the Nabisco logo. In 1920, a second lemon crème-filled variety of the Oreo was introduced, as an alternative to the white crème-filled variety, but this was discontinued in 1924[10] and the original flavor was the only version available for the next several decades.[13]

The modern Oreo cookie filling was developed by Nabisco's principal food scientist, Sam Porcello,[7][14] who retired from Nabisco in 1993.[7] Porcello held five patents directly related to his work on the Oreo;[14] he also created a range of Oreo cookies that were covered in dark chocolate and white chocolate.[7][14] In the early 1990s, health concerns prompted Nabisco to replace the lard in the crème filling with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.[15] Oreo cookies are popular with people that have certain dietary restrictions, such as vegans, as the crème filling does not use any animal products.[16] However, there is still a risk of cross-contamination from other dairy-containing products made in the same production areas.[17].

Twenty-first century

From January 2006, Nabisco replaced the trans fat in the Oreo cookie with non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.[15][18][19]

Nabisco began a marketing campaign in 2008, advertising the use of Oreo cookies in an online game called DSRL (which stands for "Double Stuf Racing League"), introduced the week before Super Bowl XLII. DSRL had been endorsed by football brothers Peyton Manning and Eli Manning;[20] the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, also joined, challenging the Mannings to a race that was aired in an advertisement on January 18, 2009.[21] Another campaign was launched for Golden Double Stuf Oreo cookies, in which the Manning brothers were challenged by Donald Trump and a character called "Double Trump", played by Darrell Hammond; this competition aired on January 24, 2010. The Mannings won both races. Another advertisement featured a "Hooded Menace" threatening to take over the DSRL, with Eli Manning and Stufy (the DSRL mascot) needing some help, which aired on September 14, 2010. Six days later, it was announced that Shaquille O'Neal and Apolo Ohno had joined Oreo's DSRL veterans Eli Manning and Venus Williams.

The 2012 rainbow Oreo advert supporting Pride month

In April 2011, Oreo announced its special edition Oreo cookies with blue crème to promote the 2011 3D computer animated film Rio. The promotion included stickers inside each package of cookies. Two contests were also announced: by completing an album of stickers, consumers could win three movie passes and medium snack bar combos; and prize stickers could be found in winning packages, including a trip to Rio de Janeiro, backpacks, cinema passes for a year, and 3D glasses. The promotion was available in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, and ended on May 30, 2011.[22]

In June 2012, Oreo posted an advertisement displaying an Oreo cookie with rainbow colored crème to celebrate LGBT Pride month;[23] the cookie itself was fictional and was not being manufactured or made available for sale. The advertisement prompted some negative comments, but Kraft stood by their promotion, stating that "Kraft Foods has a proud history of celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. We feel the Oreo ad is a fun reflection of our values."[24] This was followed during 2012 by a series of adverts commemorating other holidays and events, including a blue, white, and red crème Oreo to honor Bastille Day, a stream of cookie crumbs marking the appearance of the Delta Aquariids meteor shower, and a cookie with a jagged bite taken out of it to promote Shark Week on The Discovery Channel.

International distribution

Oreo cookies are distributed worldwide through a variety of sales and marketing channels. As their popularity continues to grow, so too does the amount of distribution that comes with it. According to the Kraft Foods company, the Oreo is the "World's Best Selling Cookie".[25] In March 2012, Time magazine reported that Oreo cookies were available in more than 100 different countries. Overall, it is estimated that since the Oreo cookie's inception in 1912, over 450 billion Oreos have been produced worldwide.[11]

Oreo biscuits (as they are known in the United Kingdom) were first introduced into Britain through the supermarket chain Sainsbury's. This was the only store that stocked the Oreo in the UK for several years, until May 2008 when Kraft decided to fully launch the Oreo across the whole of the UK. It was repackaged in the more familiar British tube design, accompanied by a £4.5M television advertising campaign based around the "twist, lick, dunk" catchphrase.[26]

In the UK, Kraft partnered with McDonald's to introduce the Oreo McFlurry (which was already on sale in several other countries) into a number of McDonald's locations during its annual Great Tastes of America promotions; in October 2015, the Oreo McFlurry became a permanent menu item at McDonald's in the UK. An Oreo flavored "Krushem" drink was also on sale in KFC stores across Britain.

The ingredients of the British Oreo biscuit (as listed on the UK Oreo website) are slightly different from those of the US Oreo cookie. Unlike the US version, the British Oreo originally contained whey powder, so was not suitable for people with lactose intolerance. Additionally, as the whey powder was sourced from cheese made with calf rennet, the British version was also unsuitable for vegetarians.[27] On December 6, 2011, Kraft announced that production of Oreo biscuits was to start in the UK – their Cadbury factory in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, was selected to manufacture Oreo biscuits in Britain for the first time and production began there in May 2013.[28]

Oreo cookies were introduced onto the Indian market by Cadbury India in 2011. The biscuit industry in India is estimated to be worth around 1.8 billion dollars.[29]

In Pakistan, Oreo is manufactured and sold by Lefèvre-Utile, also known as LU.


According to a statement from Kim McMiller, an Associate Director of Consumer Relations,[citation needed] a two-stage process is used to produce 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 (91 m) oven.

Most of the Oreo production was once carried out at the Hershey's factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania.[citation needed] Oreo cookies for the Asian markets are manufactured in India, Indonesia, and China, with the exception of the Japanese market where they are manufactured locally under the brand "Yamazaki-Nabisco". Oreo cookies for the European market are made in Spain; they are made in Russia (Mondelēz Rus) for consumers in several CIS countries; and those sold in Australia are manufactured in Indonesia (previously China) or Spain, depending on the flavor. The version produced in Canada (sold under the Christie's brand) includes coconut oil and is sold exclusively in that region. Manufacture of Oreo biscuits began in Pakistan in early 2014, in collaboration with Mondelēz International of the United States and Continental Biscuits Limited (CBL) of Pakistan, at the CBL production plant in Sukkur.

Oreo boycott Main article: Oreo boycott

In 2015, Mondelēz announced its decision to close some of its American factories and move Oreo production to Mexico, prompting the Oreo boycott.[30] In 2016, after production had started in Mexico, the AFL-CIO encouraged the boycott and published consumer guidance to help identify which Mondelēz products were made in Mexico.[31]

In July 2016, Oreo cookies ceased production in Chicago.[32]


The ingredients of Oreo cookies have remained largely unchanged from the original, although numerous alternative varieties and flavors have emerged over time. The classic Oreo cookie is made using eleven main ingredients:[33]

  1. Sugar
  2. Unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mono-nitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid)
  3. High oleic canola oil and/or palm oil and/or canola oil
  4. Cocoa (treated with alkali)
  5. High-fructose corn syrup
  6. Leavening agent (baking soda and/or monocalcium phosphate)
  7. Corn starch
  8. Salt
  9. Soy lecithin
  10. Vanillin
  11. Chocolate

One six-pack of Oreos contains 270 calories, hence there are 45 calories in one cookie. Of these 45 calories, 27 come from carbohydrates, 16.5 come from fat, and only 1.5 calories are provided by protein.[34]

Different Oreo flavors have varying amounts of carbohydrate: the chocolate fudge Oreo contains 13g of total carbohydrates (4% of the recommended daily intake) and 9g of sugars per serving of 3 cookies, while mint Oreos contain 25g of total carbohydrates and 18g of sugars per serving. Vitamins, minerals and proteins are found in small amounts, however Oreos do not contain any vitamin A or vitamin C.[citation needed]

Varieties Main article: List of Oreo varieties Double Stuf Oreos

In addition to their traditional design of two chocolate wafers separated by a crème filling, Oreo cookies have been produced in a multitude of different varieties since they were first introduced. This list is only a guide to some of the more notable and popular types; not all are available in every country. The main varieties in the United States are:

Oreo Minis

Special edition Double Stuf Oreo cookies are produced during springtime, and around Halloween and Christmas. These have colored frosting reflecting the current holiday: blue or yellow for springtime; orange for Halloween; and red or green for the Christmas holiday. One side of each seasonal cookie is stamped with an appropriate design; the spring cookies feature flowers, butterflies, etc., while the Halloween editions feature a jack o'lantern, ghost, cat, flock of bats, or broom-riding witch. The 2017 Halloween Oreo broke with this tradition, having orange-colored crème filling (albeit with classic vanilla flavor) but carrying no seasonal designs.

In some countries, Oreos come in a variety of flavors that are not familiar to the U.S. market. For example, Green Tea Oreos are only available in China and Japan, while Lemon Ice Oreos were only ever introduced in Japan.

Limited editions Close-up view of a golden Oreo cookie wafer

Beginning in the early 2010s, Oreo began releasing limited edition runs of cookies with more exotic flavors. These "limited editions" typically appear in stores for a short period and are then discontinued, although some varieties have since resurfaced, for example: Reese's Oreos returned for a second limited run after they were first introduced for a limited period in 2014; and Birthday Cake Oreos, originally introduced in 2012, have since become permanently available.[40] Some limited editions are only made available at certain retailers.[41]

Limited edition runs usually feature a crème filling that has been flavored to replicate the taste of a specific fruit or dessert, from familiar flavors such as lemon or mint, to the more specific and unusual flavors of blueberry pie or red velvet cake. They may also incorporate different varieties of cookie wafer, for example Cinnamon-Bun Oreos featured cinnamon flavored cookies and "frosting flavored crème". In recent years, some limited editions have paired Oreos with other recognizable confectionery brands, including Reese's, Swedish Fish, and Peeps.

Some examples of limited edition Oreos are:

In popular culture

Cinema and television drama frequently features characters who have an obsession, or at least an interest, in Oreos. For example:

Use as an insult See also: Acting white

The term "Oreo" has been used as a disparaging and offensive reference to a black person who is perceived or judged to act in a "white manner."[48] The insult may be levied as an accusation that the person perpetuates the "un-level playing field for blacks". The metaphor is based on the implication that the person is like the cookie, "black on the outside and white on the inside".[49]

See also References
  1. ^ Toops, Diane (July 1, 2005). "Top 10 Food Brands of 2005". www.foodprocessing.com. Retrieved April 6, 2012. In the enviable position of being the No. 1 selling cookie in America since its introduction in 1912, the Oreo, made by Nabisco, East Hanover, N.J., a brand of Kraft Foods, was a true innovation – two chocolate disks with a crème filling in between..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ a b c Feldman, David (1987). Why do clocks run clockwise? and other Imponderables. New York City: Harper & Row Publishers. pp. 173–174. ISBN 0-06-095463-9.
  3. ^ "History of the Oreo Cookie". About. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  4. ^ Parks, Stella (August 15, 2017). "How Oreos Got Their Name: The Rise of an American Icon". Serious Eats. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Oreo". Kraft Foods. January 3, 2011. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  6. ^ "The Food Timeline: history notes--cookies, crackers & biscuits". Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d e Hinkley, David (May 20, 2012). "Celebrating the life of 'Mr. Oreo'". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  8. ^ "OREO – Trademark Details". Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  9. ^ Paul Lukas (March 15, 1999). "Oreos to Hydrox: Resistance Is Futile". Fortune. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c Eber, H. (February 26, 2012). "The Big O: The Chelsea-born Oreo cookie celebrates its 100th birthday". New York Post. pp. 44–45.
  11. ^ a b Grossman, Samantha (March 6, 2012). "100 Years of Oreos: 9 Things You Didn't Know About the Iconic Cookie". Time.
  12. ^ Wallace, Emily (August 24, 2011). "The story of William A. Turnier, the man who designed the Oreo cookie". Indyweek.
  13. ^ Goldstein, Darra (2015). The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. p. 494. ISBN 978-0-19-931339-6.
  14. ^ a b c Locker, Melissa (May 24, 2012). "RIP, 'Mr.Oreo': Man Who Invented Oreo Filling Dies At 76". Time Magazine. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  15. ^ a b Alexander, Delroy; Manier, Jeremy; Callahan, Patricia (August 23, 2005). "For every fad, another cookie". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013.
  16. ^ "12 Surprising Vegan Foods". The Huffington Post. September 13, 2013.
  17. ^ "Frequently asked questions: Is Oreo suitable for vegans?". Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  18. ^ Ascherio A, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. "Trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease". Retrieved September 14, 2006.
  19. ^ "The Campaign to Ban Partially Hydrogenated Oils". Ban Trans Fats. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  20. ^ "Manning Brothers Take On 'Second Sport' With a Twist, Lick and Dunk" (Press release). PRNewswire. January 14, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  21. ^ "Double Stuf Racing League". Nabisco. Archived from the original on March 17, 2009. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  22. ^ "Concurso Promo Oreo, gana paquetes de cine, viaje a Rio, mochilas y más". Promogana. April 8, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  23. ^ Gray, Stephen (June 26, 2012). "Oreo unveils rainbow cookie image for Pride". Pink news. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  24. ^ "Rainbow-colored Oreo filled with controversy". Reuters. June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  25. ^ "Oreo Global Fact Sheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2013.
  26. ^ "Can Oreo win over British biscuit lovers?". BBC News Magazine. May 2, 2008.
  27. ^ "NabiscoWorld". NabiscoWorld. January 1, 2006. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  28. ^ "Mondelēz starts UK manufacture of Oreos". Food manufacture. May 9, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  29. ^ "Cadbury enters Indian biscuit market, launches 'Oreo' brand". March 3, 2011 – via The Economic Times.
  30. ^ Joseph N. DiStefano (August 12, 2015). "Oreo sees support, but also backlash and boycott, for gay pride rainbow cookie". Philly.com. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  31. ^ Staff (May 4, 2016). "AFL-CIO endorsement of BCTGM's boycott of "Made in Mexico" Mondelez International snack foods". Afl-CIO. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  32. ^ "Chicago's Mondelez Plant Dunks Its Last Oreo". IndustryWeek. July 11, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  33. ^ Lisa. "Splitting Open The Oreo Cookie: Ingredients, Nutrition & History". nutritionbeast.com. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  34. ^ Karratti, Dakota (October 3, 2017). "How Many Calories Are in One Oreo Cookie?". livestrong.com. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  35. ^ a b "Fact Sheet: Oreo's 100th Birthday" (PDF). Nabisco. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  36. ^ Brataas, Anne (July 7, 1989). "The Era Of Gargantuan Gastronomy Belies Our Concern With Calories". Chicago Tribune via Knight-Ridder. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  37. ^ "The Short History of Oreo Cookies". www.biscuitpeople.com. April 27, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  38. ^ Foltz, Kim (October 24, 1991). "RJR Nabisco Reports Neet Of $123 Million in 3d Quarter". Nytimes.com. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  39. ^ "New Mini Oreos Debut in New Mini Van". PR Newswire. August 10, 2000.
  40. ^ Clinton, Leah Melby (June 17, 2015). "A Comprehensive List of Every Special Oreo Flavor, Ever". Glamour. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  41. ^ Ayerouth, Elie (May 26, 2016). "NEW OREO FLAVORS: Blueberry Pie & Fruity Crisps". foodbeast.com. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  42. ^ "Product Search Results – Snackworks". Snackworks. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  43. ^ Moss, Michael (March 11, 2014). "The Cookie Dough Oreo". The New York Times.
  44. ^ Ledbetter, Carly (February 2, 2017). "Peeps-Flavored Oreos Are Here And We Don't Know Who Will Eat Them". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  45. ^ "Oreos for breakfast?! Meet the new Waffles & Syrup flavor". USA Today. May 10, 2017.
  46. ^ "Nutella-Lovers Will Lose Their Sh*t Over the New Chocolate Hazelnut Oreos!". Popsugar.food. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  47. ^ Bruner, Raisa (May 8, 2017). "The New 'Firework' Oreos Are Like Sparklers In Your Mouth". Time. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  48. ^ "Dictionary.com definition". dictionary.com. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  49. ^ Griffin, Michael; James, Joni (January 14, 1998). "UF President Apologizes For Remark". Orlando Sentinel.
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