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Oreo Cookie logo.png
Two Oreos
Product type Sandwich cookie
Owner Nabisco (Mondelēz International) and Cadbury
Country United States
Introduced March 6, 1912; 106 years ago (1912-03-06)
Markets Worldwide
Tagline "Wonderfilled"
"Milk's favorite cookie"
"Only Oreo"
Website Oreo.com

Oreo (/ˈɔːri/) is a commercial brand of cookie usually consisting of two chocolate wafers with a sweet cream filling in between, and (as of 1974) are marketed as "Chocolate Sandwich Cookies" on the package. The version currently sold in the United States is made by the Nabisco division of Mondelēz International. Oreo has become the best-selling cookie in the United States since its introduction in 1912.[1] Oreos are available in more than 100 different countries worldwide; in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, they are referred to as Oreo biscuits.


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


The trademarked face of an Oreo cookie

Twentieth century[edit]

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, introduced in 1908.[9]

The original design of the cookie 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 cans 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] A new design for the cookie was introduced in 1924.[10] A lemon-filled variety was available briefly during the 1920s, but was discontinued.[10] In 1948, the Oreo Sandwich was renamed the "Oreo Creme' Sandwich"; it was changed in 1974 to the Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie.[2] The modern-day Oreo design was developed in 1952 by William A. Turnier,[12] to include the Nabisco logo.

The modern Oreo cookie filling was developed by Nabisco's principal food scientist, Sam Porcello.[7][13] Porcello held five patents directly related to his work on the Oreo.[13] He also created a line of Oreo cookies covered in dark chocolate and white chocolate.[7][13] Porcello retired from Nabisco in 1993.[7] In the early 1990s, health concerns prompted Nabisco to replace the lard in the filling with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.[14] Oreo cookies are popular with certain dietary restrictions, like vegans, because the cream inside the cookie is not made from any animal products,[15] however, there is a risk of cross-contamination from other dairy-containing products made in the same production areas.[16]

Twenty-first century[edit]

Starting in January 2006, Oreo cookies replaced the trans fat in the cookie with non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.[14][17][18]

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.[19] Sisters Venus and Serena Williams have also joined, and challenged the Mannings to a race, which aired in an ad on January 18, 2009.[20] Another campaign started for Golden Double Stuf Oreo cookies with the brothers being challenged by Donald Trump and "Double Trump", played by Darrell Hammond; the date for this competition was January 24, 2010. The Mannings won in both cases. A new ad campaign is currently revolving around a 'Hooded Menace' threatening to take over the Double Stuf Racing League, and Eli Manning and Stufy (the DSRL mascot) needing some help airing beginning on or around September 14, 2010. Six days later, it was announced that Shaquille O'Neal and Apolo Ohno joined Oreo Double Stuf Racing League vets Eli Manning and Venus Williams.

In April 2011, Oreo announced its special edition Oreo cookies with blue creme in promotion of the 2011 3D computer animated film Rio. The promotion included stickers inside each package of cookies. Two types of contests were also announced: first, by completing an album of stickers, consumers could win three movie passes and medium snack bar combos; second, by finding winning stickers in packages with prizes, including a trip to Rio de Janeiro, backpacks, cinema passes for a year, and 3D glasses. The promotion ended May 30, 2011, and was available in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.[21]

The rainbow Oreo advertisement in support of Gay Pride month

In June 2012, Oreo posted an ad displaying an Oreo cookie with rainbow colored cream to commemorate Gay Pride month.[22] The cookie itself is not being manufactured or available for sale. The ad prompted some negative comments, but Kraft stood by their promotion, stating "Kraft Foods has a proud history of celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. We feel the Oreo ad is a fun reflection of our values."[23] The Gay Pride ad was followed during 2012 by a series of ads commemorating other holidays and events, including a red, white, and blue cream Oreo for Bastille Day, a stream of cookie crumbs for the appearance of the Delta Aquarid meteor shower, and a cookie with a jagged bite taken out of it for Shark Week.

In 2013, research on rats at Connecticut College revealed that Oreos might be as addictive to them as cocaine.[24]

International distribution[edit]

Oreo cookies are distributed worldwide through a variety of sales and marketing means. In the United Kingdom, since May 2008, following stocking of Oreo (called Oreo biscuits in UK) in the supermarket chain Sainsbury's, Kraft decided to fully launch the Oreo across the UK, repackaged in the more familiar British tube design, accompanied with a £4.5M television advertising campaign around the 'twist, lick, dunk' catchphrase.[25] Kraft recently partnered with McDonald's to bring the Oreo McFlurry (already on sale in many countries) to a few McDonald's locations during its yearly Great Tastes of America promotions, as of October 2015 the Oreo McFlurry became a permanent menu item at McDonald's in the United Kingdom. An Oreo flavored "Krushem" drink was also on sale in UK KFC stores.

The UK Oreo website gives a slightly different ingredients list to that of the US product. Unlike the US version, UK Oreo cookies originally contained whey powder and so were not suitable for people who avoid milk products. As the whey powder was sourced from cheese made with calf rennet, UK Oreo cookies were also not suitable for vegetarians.[26] On December 6, 2011, Kraft announced that Oreo cookies would start to be produced in the UK. Their Cadbury factory at Sheffield in South Yorkshire was selected to manufacture Oreo cookies in the UK for the first time. Production started on May 2013.[27]

Oreo in India was introduced by 'Cadbury India' in 2011. The biscuit industry in India is estimated to be around 1.8 billion dollars.[28] According to the Kraft Foods Company the Oreo is the "World's Best Selling Cookie".[29] As the popularity of Oreos continues to grow, so does the amount of distribution that comes with it. In March 2012, Time Magazine reported that Oreos were available in more than 100 different countries. Overall, it is estimated that since the Oreo cookie's inception in 1912 that over 450 billion Oreos have been produced worldwide.[11] The United States, China, Venezuela, Canada, and Indonesia round out the top 5 countries in terms of sales.[citation needed]


According to a statement from Kim McMiller, an Associate Director of Consumer Relations,[citation needed] 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 (91 m) oven.

Much of Oreo production was once done at the Hersheys factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania.[citation needed] Oreo cookies for the Asian markets are manufactured in Indonesia, India and China, except for Japan where Oreo was manufactured locally under the brand "Yamazaki-Nabisco". Oreo cookies for Europe are made in Spain and in Russia (Mondelēz Rus') for consumers in several CIS countries. Oreo cookies sold in Australia are manufactured in Indonesia (previously China) or Spain, depending on flavor. The Canadian produced version (sold under the Christie's brand) includes coconut oil and is sold only in that region. Manufacturing of Oreo biscuits in Pakistan began in early 2014 at the production plant of Continental Biscuits Limited in Sukkur, Pakistan in collaboration with Mondelez International of the United States and Continental Biscuits Limited of Pakistan.

Oreo boycott[edit]

In 2015, Mondelez 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 Mondelez products were made in Mexico.[31]

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


In 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:

Double Stuf Oreos
Oreo Minis
  • Double Stuf Oreo (introduced in 1974)[33] have about twice the normal amount of white creme filling. Available in peanut butter, original, cool mint, chocolate creme, and birthday cake. In the UK they are called Double Stuff Oreo (note the double 'f') and are currently only available in original.
  • Mega Stuf Oreo introduced in February 2013, are similar to Double Stuf Oreo cookies, but with even more white cream filling. They come in both chocolate and golden varieties.
  • Football Oreo are football-shaped Oreo cookies, introduced in 1976.
  • Big Stuf Oreo (introduced in 1987)[33] were several times the size of a normal Oreo. Sold individually, each Big Stuf contained 250 calories (1,000 kJ)[34] and 13 grams of fat. They were discontinued in 1991.
  • Oreo Mini, originally released in 1991,[35] are bite-sized versions of ordinary Oreo cookies. After being discontinued in the late 1990s they were re-released in 2000 along with the redesigned 2001 Dodge Caravan as part of a promotional tie-in with DaimlerChrysler.[36] Their 1990s packaging consisted of a "miniaturized" version of the full-size cardboard tray and box used in packaging at the time. Their current packaging consists of an aluminum foil bag.[citation needed]. Oreo Minis are also available, in original and golden varieties, in Nabisco To-Go Cups, lidded plastic cups which fit into car cup-holders, along with other Nabisco snacks in miniature form, such as Nutter Butters. In 2015, a new flavor of the Oreo Mini, mint, debuted.
  • Oreo Thins, released in 2015, are thin versions of these cookies. They come in chocolate, golden, mint, chocolate creme, and lemon kinds. They have only 40 calories per cookie, are 66% thinner, and are 33% less per bag at same cost.[citation needed]
  • Chocolate Oreo, an Oreo cookie with chocolate filling instead of the original vanilla creme.
  • During springtime, around Halloween, and Christmas, special edition "Double Stuf Oreo" cookies are produced with colored frosting reflecting the current holiday (blue or yellow, orange, and red or green respectively). Also, one side of each seasonal cookie is stamped with an appropriate design: the spring cookies feature flowers, butterflies, etc., and the Halloween Oreos bear a jack o'lantern, ghost, cat, flock of bats, and/or broom-riding witch. The 2017 Halloween Oreos break with this tradition, having orange-colored (classic flavor) filling but no seasonal designs.

Limited Edition Oreos[edit]

Limited edition Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreos

Beginning in the early 2010s, Oreo began releasing limited edition runs of cookies with more exotic flavors. These "limited editions" typically appear in stores only once, and are thereafter discontinued, though some varieties have resurfaced (Reese's Oreos, first introduced in 2014, returned for a second limited run, and Birthday Cake Oreos, originally introduced in 2012, have since become permanently available.) [37] They may also be available only from certain retailers.[38] These limited edition runs typically feature creme which has been flavored to replicate the taste of a specific fruit or dessert (from the more general lemon or mint to the more specific Blueberry Pie or Red Velvet Cupcake) but may also involve differences in the cookie (Cinnamon-Bun Oreos have a cinnamon-flavored cookie and "frosting flavored creme").[39] In recent years, some limited editions have paired Oreos with other recognizable brands, including Reese's, Swedish Fish, and Peeps. Examples include:

  • Birthday Cake Oreo cookies were a limited edition release in February–July 2012 to celebrate Oreo's 100th birthday, made up of two chocolate Oreo cookies with a birthday-cake flavored filling and sprinkles inside. This edition replaced the traditional design on one of the two cookies with a birthday candle and the words "OREO 100". The flavor has been reintroduced, with "double stuff" amount of cream filling, in both chocolate and golden Oreo varieties, except that the cookies no longer display the "OREO 100" print.[40]
  • Gingerbread Oreo cookies were a limited edition release made up of two golden Oreo cookies with a mild gingerbread flavored filling.
  • Lemon Twist Oreo cookies were a limited edition release in 2012 that returned in 2013, made up of two golden Oreo cookies with a lemon flavored filling.
  • Neapolitan Oreo cookies were a limited edition release in 2012, made up of three golden Oreo cookies with a double sandwich of chocolate and strawberry creme fillings.
  • SpongeBob Oreo limited edition release in 2014, featuring chocolate cookies with yellow creme and one side of each cookie donning a SpongeBob SquarePants character design.[41]
  • Fruit Punch Oreo limited edition release in 2014, featuring vanilla cookies with fruit punch flavored creme.
  • Cookie Dough Oreo limited edition release in March 2014, featuring chocolate cookies with cookie dough flavored creme.[42]
  • Caramel Apple Oreo limited edition release in August 2014 exclusively at Target stores, featuring golden Oreo cookies with caramel apple flavored creme.[43]
  • Pumpkin Spice Oreo limited edition release in September 2014. Golden Oreo cookies with pumpkin spice flavored filling.
  • Red Velvet Oreo cookies were a limited edition release in February 2015. Red Oreo cookies with cream cheese flavored filling. The flavor has been reintroduced.
  • Root Beer Float limited edition release in July 2014, made of two gold Oreo Cookies filled with root beer flavored creme.
  • Key Lime Pie limited edition release in July 2015, made of two graham flavored Oreo cookies filled with key lime creme.
  • Cinnamon Bun cinnamon cookie filled with cinnamon bun flavored creme – released January 2016.
  • Filled Cupcake released in 2016,[44] made like the Chocolate Oreo, except the center of the filling is replaced with a filling similar to that of a cupcake frosting. The cookie can be removed allowing one to lick the filling out of the center. It is similar in design to the Hostess CupCake.[45]
  • S'mores released in summer 2016 made of a Graham flavored cookie with chocolate and marshmallow flavored frosting, inspired by the campfire snack.
  • Blueberry Pie released in summer 2016. Made of a pie crust cookie with a blueberry filling
  • Fruity Crisp released in summer 2016. Made of two golden Oreo cookies with a fruity and colorful rice crisp cream filling.
  • Swedish Fish released in summer 2016. Swedish Fish flavored red filling.
  • Peeps limited edition release in February 2017, made of two vanilla cookies filled with pink "Marshmallow Peeps flavored creme" [46] A second version was released in February 2018, instead made with Peeps-embossed chocolate cookies and purple Peeps flavored creme.
  • Waffles & Syrup, limited released in May 2017, exclusively available at Albertsons stores.[47]
  • Mississippi Mud Pie Oreo cookies announced in June 2017 and sold exclusively at Dollar General stores while supplies lasted. The filling is half whipped cream and half chocolate cream[48]
  • Chocolate Hazelnut limited edition released January 1, 2018 these have Nutella-like flavored creme with golden cookies [49]

Use as an ethnic slur[edit]

The term "Oreo" has been used as a derogatory reference to a black person who is perceived or judged to act in a "white manner." The racial slur may be levied as an accusation that the person called "Oreo" perpetuates the "un-level playing field for blacks." The racial epithet is used to imply that someone is like the cookie, "black on the outside and white on the inside".[50]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Toops, Diane (July 1, 2005). "Top 10 power brands". 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. 
  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. ^ Eats, Serious. "How Oreos Got Their Name: The Rise of an American Icon". www.seriouseats.com. 
  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 Magazine. 
  12. ^ Wallace, Emily (August 24, 2011). "The story of William A. Turnier, the man who designed the Oreo cookie". Indyweek. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "12 Surprising Vegan Foods". Huffington Post. September 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Frequently asked questions: Is Oreo suitable for vegans?". Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  17. ^ Ascherio A, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. "Trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease". Retrieved September 14, 2006. 
  18. ^ "The Campaign to Ban Partially Hydrogenated Oils". Ban Trans Fats. Retrieved November 16, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Manning Brothers Take On 'Second Sport' With a Twist, Lick and Dunk" (Press release). PRNewswire. January 14, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2018. 
  20. ^ "Double Stuf Racing League". Nabisco. Archived from the original on March 17, 2009. Retrieved June 28, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Concurso Promo Oreo, gana paquetes de cine, viaje a Rio, mochilas y más". Promogana. April 8, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  22. ^ Gray, Stephen (June 26, 2012). "Oreo unveils rainbow cookie image for Pride". Pink news. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Rainbow-colored Oreo filled with controversy". Reuters. June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  24. ^ Bartiromo, Michael (March 7, 2017). "6 things you didn't know about Oreo cookies". New York Post. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Can Oreo win over British biscuit lovers?". BBC News Magazine. May 2, 2008. 
  26. ^ "NabiscoWorld". NabiscoWorld. January 1, 2006. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Mondelēz starts UK manufacture of Oreos". Food manufacture. William Reed Business Media Ltd. May 9, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2018. 
  28. ^ "Cadbury enters Indian biscuit market, launches 'Oreo' brand". March 3, 2011 – via The Economic Times. 
  29. ^ "Oreo Global Fact Sheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2013. 
  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. ^ a b "Fact Sheet: Oreo's 100th Birthday" (PDF). Nabisco. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  34. ^ Brataas, Anne (July 7, 1989). "The Era Of Gargantuan Gastronomy Belies Our Concern With Calories". Chicago Tribune via Knight-Ridder. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  35. ^ Foltz, Kim (October 24, 1991). "RJR Nabisco Reports Neet Of $123 Million in 3d Quarter". Nytimes.com. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  36. ^ "New Mini Oreos Debut in New Mini Van". PR Newswire. August 10, 2000. 
  37. ^ Clinton, Leah Melby (June 17, 2015). "A Comprehensive List of Every Special Oreo Flavor, Ever". glamour.com. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  38. ^ Ayerouth, Elie (May 26, 2016). "NEW OREO FLAVORS: Blueberry Pie & Fruity Crisps". foodbeast.com. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  39. ^ Houck, Brenna (January 19, 2016). "Oreo Debuts New Cinnabon Bun-Flavored Cookies". Yahoo. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Product Search Results – Snackworks". com. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  41. ^ Villaseñor, Armando. "Reconocimiento a Oreo – Multipress". Multipress. 
  42. ^ Moss, Michael (March 11, 2014). "The Cookie Dough Oreo". The New York Times. 
  43. ^ "Caramel Apple Oreos Arrive In Target Stores Today". Consumerist. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  44. ^ Cave, James (February 2, 2016). "Oreo Debuts A New Flavor That Tastes Like A Filled Cupcake". Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  45. ^ Lee, Patty (February 2, 2016). "Oreo debuts new Filled Cupcake flavor—but is it any good?". today.com. Retrieved February 21, 2017. The Filled Cupcake Oreo is reminiscent of another beloved treat, Hostess' iconic cream-filled chocolate cupcake. Oreo's take features two of its regular cocoa wafers sandwiching chocolate frosting with a dollop of vanilla cream in the center. 
  46. ^ Ledbetter, Carly (February 2, 2017). "Peeps-Flavored Oreos Are Here And We Don't Know Who Will Eat Them". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  47. ^ "Oreos for breakfast?! Meet the new Waffles & Syrup flavor". USA Today. May 10, 2017. 
  48. ^ "Mmmmm! Mississippi Mud Pie Oreos. Get them while they last!". Sun Herald. Retrieved June 23, 2017. 
  49. ^ "Nutella-Lovers Will Lose Their Sh*t Over the New Chocolate Hazelnut Oreos!". Popsugar.food. Retrieved March 7, 2018. 
  50. ^ Griffin, Michael; James, Joni (January 14, 1998). "UF President Apologizes For Remark". Orlando Sentinel. 

External links[edit]