Friday, September 12, 2008

Re-thinking the Oreo.

The Oreo cookie from Nabisco is the number one cookie in the world in popularity. This is according to the countless boasts about how popular the chocolate sandwich cookie is in advertisement's and the number of people who claim it as their favorite. Now chocolate-chip cookies are just as popular with people, but they are as diverse as can be and they are also easily made at home. chocolate chip cookie recipes are like house rules in Monopoly, they are too numerous to mention and as individual as the family who use them.
But when it comes to cookies that you can only buy at the store and cannot replicate accurately at home, the Oreo is the top dog. They have their imitators in the "Hydrox" cookie, and their look is aped in the "duplex" cookies you see on every store shelf, only feet from the Nabisco original. When it comes to taste, every copycat might as well be miles away, over on the shelf for household cleaners or in the row where the new brooms are kept. Oreo stands alone.
In recent years i have noticed the many attempts by Nabisco to expand the base of the Oreo. There have been more spin-offs of the Oreo in recent years than I can imagine. You can only walk done the row in the grocery store and find the Oreo stands alone on a shelf, not because it has no competition, but because it has invited its brothers, sisters, half-brothers, cousins, and all related cookies to the party. There is quite simply, no room on the shelf for the others.
Maybe this is Nabisco's plan, to eliminate competition by taking them out of your line of sight. after all, when you have to choose one cookie bag to buy, Nabisco would prefer that your choice be between the original Oreo, Double-stuf Oreo, Chocolate-dipped Oreo, reverse Oreo, Vanilla Oreo, Oreo Cakesters, Oreo double stuf: mint, Oreo double stuf: Peanut butter, and oh yeah, chips ahoy.
Maybe we really need this many options when it comes to the Oreo, but I don't think we do. The release of the "double stuf" variation years ago was perhaps a good choice, after all what do fat Americans love more than 'stuf'? But the dozen or so variations on the theme seem to have diluted the market. Its like The original Oreo isn't good enough anymore, if we end up with original, we some how feel bad because we have missed out on some of the good stuff (or "stuf".) Oreo's are delicious cookies, and have been a treat for many years, we don't need to have a thousand sub-par copies to remind of this.

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