Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.—Robert Redford
For all the health food fanatics out there claiming that GMOs and other nasty things in our food are waiting to kill us, the general public isn’t paying a great deal of attention. In fact, sales of what are considered “junk food” have been on the rebound the past two years. Leading the pack is an old-fashioned cookie that has become a national obsession: Oreos.
Introduced by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) in 1912 Oreos almost immediately became a best-seller in the cookie department. Just as quickly, Americans found different ways of eating them: dunked or not dunked, whole or split open, eating the filling first or not. Verbal battles have erupted over what is the correct way to eat Oreos and I’ve even seen cookies thrown in anger because someone didn’t eat their Oreos correctly. I wish I could say that had been a child displaying such behavior, but it wasn’t.
Our national obsession with the brand seems to have reached new levels. CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert mentioned Oreos, or rather the lack thereof, on one of his first broadcasts last fall and the company hooked him up, complete with a hotline for ordering more should his supply ever run low. In return, Colbert has repeatedly mentioned the brand in his monolog.
Colbert isn’t the only celebrity that has been pulled into the Oreos marketing web, though. Popular musicians such as Kacey Musgraves, Owl City, Tegan and Sara and Chiddy Bang have been part of the brand’s growing Open Up With Oreo campaign that is rolling out to over 50 countries in the first half of this year. Yesterday (January 19) Billboard announced that American Idol alum Adam Lambert had joined the effort as well, with his music backing new 30-second and 15-second animated commercials. Take a look:
One of the reasons Oreos are appealing to Lambert and many others is their consistent message of inclusiveness. Oreos are for everyone. Underscoring that position is the habit of constantly rolling out new flavors for the filling. Nabisco (which is owned by Kraft) has been careful to keep supplies of the special flavors limited, which helps both in keeping demand high and preventing flavors from becoming boring. The latest flavor, also announced yesterday, is Cinnamon Bun. The resulting ad, which also brings back the Red Velvet flavor, is called Wonder Vault and hints at many more flavors to come. Whether those are new flavors or simply the return of previous favorites is not yet known. Here’s the ad:
Company representatives have also hinted that the two flavors are now a permanent part of the Oreo lineup. Take that proclamation with a grain of salt, though. If sales lag, be sure the company will pull a flavor from shelves for a while to be brought back later. Such is the nature of Oreos supply and demand.
What remains consistent, and shows no sign of abating, however, are American’s love for that original cookie. The only person who doesn’t seem to like the cookie is a certain presidential candidate who is upset that parent company Mondelez moved some of its operations not related to Oreos to Mexico. Do we really want to trust the running of the country to someone who doesn’t like Oreos? To paraphrase a previous president from the same party, I don’t think that would be a prudent move at this juncture.
And as for any concerns about the health dangers of eating too many Oreos, I tend to defer to Mark Twain’s approach to the subject:
“Be careful about reading health books.
You may die of a misprint.”