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Two Oreo cookies
OwnerNabisco (Mondelēz International)
CountryChelsea, Manhattan, United States
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For other uses, see Oreo (disambiguation).
Two Oreo cookies
OwnerNabisco (Mondelēz International)
CountryChelsea, Manhattan, United States

Oreo is a sandwich cookie consisting of two chocolate wafers with a sweet cream filling in between. 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]


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[2][3] at its Chelsea, Manhattan factory in the current-day Chelsea Market complex, located on Ninth Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets.[4] Today, this same block of Ninth Avenue is known as "Oreo Way."[4] The name Oreo was first trademarked on March 14, 1912.[5] It was launched as an imitation of the Hydrox cookie manufactured by Sunshine company, introduced in 1908.[6]

The original design of the cookie featured a wreath around the edge of the cookie and the name "OREO" in the center.[7] In the United States, they were sold for 25 cents a pound in novelty cans with clear glass tops.

The Oreo Biscuit was renamed in 1921, to "Oreo Sandwich."[8] A new design for the cookie was introduced in 1924.[7] A lemon-filled variety was available briefly during the 1920s, but was discontinued.[7]

In 1948, the Oreo Sandwich was renamed the "Oreo Creme Sandwich"; it was changed in 1974 to the Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie.[8] The modern-day Oreo design was developed in 1952 by William A. Turnier,[9] to include the Nabisco logo.

The modern Oreo cookie filling was developed by Nabisco's principal food scientist, Sam Porcello.[4][10] Porcello held five patents directly related to his work on the Oreo.[10] He also created a line of Oreo cookies covered in dark chocolate and white chocolate.[4][10] Porcello retired from Nabisco in 1993.[4]

In the mid-1990s, health concerns prompted Nabisco to replace the lard in the filling with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.[11]

Twenty-first century[edit]

Starting in January 2006, Oreo cookies replaced the trans fat in the cookie with non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.[11][12][13][14]

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.[15] Sisters Venus and Serena Williams have also joined, and challenged the Mannings to a race, which aired in an ad on January 18, 2009.[16] Another campaign started for Golden Double Stuf Oreo cookies with the brothers being challenged by Donald Trump & "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 cream 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,[17] and was available in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.[18]

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.[19] 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."[20] 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.


The origin of the name Oreo is unknown, but there are many theories, including derivations from the French word 'Or', meaning gold (as early packaging was gold), or the Greek word 'Oreo', meaning beautiful, nice or well done.[8] Others believe that the cookie was named Oreo because it was short and easy to pronounce.[21]

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[22]) 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.[23] 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. 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.[24][25] On 6 December 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.[26]


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-long oven. Much of current Oreo production is done at the Kraft/Nabisco factory in Richmond, Virginia. Oreo cookies for the Asian markets are manufactured in Pakistan, Indonesia, India and China. Oreo cookies for Europe are made in Spain and in Ukraine 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 includes coconut oil and 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 Mondel-z International of the United States and Continental Biscuits Limited of Pakistan.


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:

Different sizes of Oreo cookies: mini, regular and Double Stuf
Double Stuf Oreo cookies

Other shapes[edit]

Other flavors[edit]

Beyond sandwich cookies[edit]

Oreo Brownie
Oreo Fudge Cremes

Use as an ethnic slur[edit]

The term "Oreo" has been used to refer to a black person who acts in a stereotypically white manner, or who perpetuates the "un-level playing field for blacks" - someone who is, like the cookie, "black on the outside and white on the inside".[42]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Toops, Diane (July 1, 2005). "Top 10 power brands". FoodProcessing.com. Retrieved 2012-04-06. "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 discs with a crème filling in between." 
  2. ^ "Oreo". Kraft Foods. January 3, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  3. ^ "The Food Timeline: history notes--cookies, crackers & biscuits". Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Hinkley, David (2012-05-20). "Celebrating the life of 'Mr. Oreo'". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  5. ^ "OREO - Trademark Details". Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  6. ^ Lukas, Paul (March 1999). "Oreos to Hydrox: Resistance is Futile". Business 2.0. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Wallace, Emily (August 24, 2011). "The story of William A. Turnier, the man who designed the Oreo cookie". Indyweek.com - Magazine Blog. 
  10. ^ a b c Locker, Melissa (2012-05-24). "RIP, ‘Mr.Oreo’: Man Who Invented Oreo Filling Dies At 76". Time Magazine (Time NewsFeed). Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  11. ^ a b Alexander, Delroy; Manier, Jeremy; Callahan, Patricia. "For every fad, another cookie". Chicago Tribune. 
  12. ^ Ascherio A, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. "Trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease". Retrieved 2006-09-14. 
  13. ^ Mary G. Enig, PhD. "The Tragic Legacy of Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)". Retrieved 2006-05-02. 
  14. ^ "The Campaign to Ban Partially Hydrogenated Oils". Ban Trans Fats. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  15. ^ "Manning Brothers Take On 'Second Sport' With a Twist, Lick and Dunk" (Press release). PRNewswire. January 14, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Double Stuf Racing League". Nabisco. Archived from the original on March 17, 2009. Retrieved 2009. 
  17. ^ Promo Gana - Peru: Concurso Promo Oreo, gana paquetes de cine, viaje a Rio, mochiles y mas, April 8, 2011 Retrieved April 8, 2011 (Spanish)
  18. ^ Official "Rio" Promotion Site Retrieved April 8, 2011
  19. ^ Stephen Gray (26 June 2012). "Oreo unveils rainbow cookie image for Pride". Pink news. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  20. ^ "Rainbow-colored Oreo filled with controversy". Reuters. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  21. ^ http://history1900s.about.com/od/1910s/a/oreohistory.htm
  22. ^ "Oreo - Homepage". Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  23. ^ BBC News Magazine Can Oreo win over British biscuit lovers?, 2 May 2008
  24. ^ "Oreo - Oreo Classic Ingredients". Oreo.eu. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  25. ^ "NabiscoWorld". NabiscoWorld. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  26. ^ http://www.mondelezinternational.co.uk/~/media/Images/Uk%20Images/Mondelz%20International%20brings%20Oreo%20manufacture%20to%20the%20UK%20for%20the%20first%20time
  27. ^ a b "Fact Sheet: Oreo's 100th Birthday". Nabisco. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  28. ^ Brataas, Anne (July 7, 1989). "The Era Of Gargantuan Gastronomy Belies Our Concern With Calories". Chicago Tribune via Knight-Ridder. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  29. ^ Foltz, Kim (1991-10-24). "RJR Nabisco Reports Neet Of $123 Million in 3d Quarter". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  30. ^ "New Mini Oreos Debut in New Mini Van". PR Newswire. 2000-08-10. 
  31. ^ Goldwert, Lindsay (May 13, 2011). "Triple Double Oreos to hit shelves; Oreo cookie has double chocolate and vanilla filling". Daily News. Retrieved May 15, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Limited Edition Oreo Strawberry Milkshake Creme". Theimpulsivebuy.com. 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  33. ^ a b Erdos, Joseph (March 2, 2012). "International Oreos: Wacky Flavors From Foreign Countries". The Huffington Post (AOL). Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  34. ^ http://www.snackworks.com/search/product-results.aspx?searchText=cool+mint+oreo
  35. ^ a b "Sugar-free Oreos are still a no-no". Consumer Reports. 
  36. ^ http://www.snackworks.com/search/product-results.aspx?searchText=oreo+birthday+cake
  37. ^ Oreo's Latest Limited-Edition Flavor: Watermelon, Time Magazine Online. Published and retrieved 18 June 2013.
  38. ^ [1], The Impulsive Buy. August 13, 2013.
  39. ^ "Foodbeast Limeade Oreos Review". Foodbeast.com. 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  40. ^ Marvo says: (2008-09-12). "Limited Edition Oreo Banana Split Creme". Theimpulsivebuy.com. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  41. ^ "OREO Milk Shake recipe". Kraftfoods.com. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  42. ^ Griffin, Michael and James, Joni (January 14, 1998). "UF President Apologizes For Remark". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved September 3, 2014.

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