For other uses, see Oreo (disambiguation).
"Oreos" redirects here. For the town in northern Euboea, Greece, see Oreoi.

Two Oreo cookies
Owner Nabisco (Mondelēz International) and Cadbury
Country United States
Introduced March 6, 1912 (1912-03-06)
Markets World
Tagline "Wonderfilled"
"Milk's favorite cookie"
Website Oreo.com

Oreo (/ˈɔːri/) is a sandwich cookie consisting of two chocolate wafers with a sweet creme filling in between, and (as of 1974) are marketed as "Chocolate Sandwich Cookies" on the package in which they are held. 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 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.[2] Others believe that the cookie was named Oreo because it was short and easy to pronounce.[3]


The trademarked 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[4][5] at its Chelsea, Manhattan factory in the current-day Chelsea Market complex, located on Ninth Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets.[6] Today, this same block of Ninth Avenue is known as "Oreo Way."[6] The name Oreo was first trademarked on March 14, 1912.[7] It was launched as an imitation of the Hydrox cookie manufactured by Sunshine company, introduced in 1908.[8]

The original design of the cookie featured a wreath around the edge of the cookie and the name "OREO" in the center.[9] 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.[10]

The Oreo Biscuit was renamed in 1921, to "Oreo Sandwich."[2] A new design for the cookie was introduced in 1924.[9] A lemon-filled variety was available briefly during the 1920s, but was discontinued.[9] 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,[11] to include the Nabisco logo.

The modern Oreo cookie filling was developed by Nabisco's principal food scientist, Sam Porcello.[6][12] Porcello held five patents directly related to his work on the Oreo.[12] He also created a line of Oreo cookies covered in dark chocolate and white chocolate.[6][12] Porcello retired from Nabisco in 1993.[6] In the early 1990s, health concerns prompted Nabisco to replace the lard in the filling with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.[13] Oreo cookies are popular with certain dietary restrictions, like vegans, because the cream inside the cookie is not made from any animal products,[14] however, there is a risk of cross-contamination from other dairy-containing products made in the same production areas.[15]

Twenty-first century

Starting in January 2006, Oreo cookies replaced the trans fat in the cookie with non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.[13][16][17]

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.[18] Sisters Venus and Serena Williams have also joined, and challenged the Mannings to a race, which aired in an ad on January 18, 2009.[19] 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,[20] 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.

International distribution

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.[24] 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.[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 the Kraft Foods Company the Oreo is the "World's Best Selling Cookie".[27] 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. The United States, China, Venezuela, Canada, and Indonesia round out the top 5 countries in terms of sales.[28]


According to a statement from Kim McMiller, an Associate Director of Consumer Relations, 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 Oreo production was once done at the Hersheys factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 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

In 2015, Mondelez announced its decision to close some of its American factories and move Oreo production to Mexico, prompting the Oreo boycott.[29] 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.[30]

In July 2016, Oreo cookies ceased being made in Chicago, US.[31]


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
Peanut butter and chocolate Oreos
Halloween Oreos, Fall 2013

Use as an ethnic slur

See also: Acting white

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".[41]

See also


  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 disks with a crème filling in between.
  2. 1 2 3 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 13 October 2014.
  4. "Oreo". Kraft Foods. January 3, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  5. "The Food Timeline: history notes--cookies, crackers & biscuits". Retrieved 2010-03-03.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 Hinkley, David (2012-05-20). "Celebrating the life of 'Mr. Oreo'". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  7. "OREO - Trademark Details". Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  8. Paul Lukas (15 March 1999). "Oreos to Hydrox: Resistance Is Futile". Fortune. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
  9. 1 2 3 Eber, H. (February 26, 2012). "The Big O: The Chelsea-born Oreo cookie celebrates its 100th birthday". New York Post. pp. 44–45.
  10. Grossman, Samantha. 100 Years of Oreos: 9 Things You Didn't Know About the Iconic Cookie" Time (March 6, 2012)
  11. Wallace, Emily (August 24, 2011). "The story of William A. Turnier, the man who designed the Oreo cookie". Indyweek.com - Magazine Blog.
  12. 1 2 3 Locker, Melissa (2012-05-24). "RIP, 'Mr.Oreo': Man Who Invented Oreo Filling Dies At 76". Time Magazine (Time NewsFeed). Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  13. 1 2 Alexander, Delroy; Manier, Jeremy; Callahan, Patricia (August 23, 2005). "For every fad, another cookie". Chicago Tribune.
  14. "12 Surprising Vegan Foods". Huffington Post. September 13, 2013.
  15. "Frequently asked questions: Is Oreo suitable for vegans?". Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  16. Ascherio A, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. "Trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease". Retrieved 2006-09-14.
  17. "The Campaign to Ban Partially Hydrogenated Oils". Ban Trans Fats. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  18. "Manning Brothers Take On 'Second Sport' With a Twist, Lick and Dunk" (Press release). PRNewswire. January 14, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  19. "Double Stuf Racing League". Nabisco. Archived from the original on March 17, 2009. Retrieved 2009. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  20. Promo Gana - Peru: Concurso Promo Oreo, gana paquetes de cine, viaje a Rio, mochiles y mas, April 8, 2011 Retrieved April 8, 2011 (Spanish)
  21. Official "Rio" Promotion Site Retrieved April 8, 2011
  22. Stephen Gray (26 June 2012). "Oreo unveils rainbow cookie image for Pride". Pink news. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  23. "Rainbow-colored Oreo filled with controversy". Reuters. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  24. BBC News Magazine Can Oreo win over British biscuit lovers?, 2 May 2008
  25. "NabiscoWorld". NabiscoWorld. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  26. "Mondelez - $name". EU. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  27. "Oreo Global Fact Sheet" (PDF).
  28. Grossman, Samantha (March 6, 2012). "100 Years of Oreos: 9 Things You Didn't Know About the Iconic Cookie". Time Magazine. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Source: USA Today, July 12th, 2016. Page 6A.
  32. 1 2 "Fact Sheet: Oreo's 100th Birthday" (PDF). Nabisco. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  33. Brataas, Anne (July 7, 1989). "The Era Of Gargantuan Gastronomy Belies Our Concern With Calories". Chicago Tribune via Knight-Ridder. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  34. Foltz, Kim (1991-10-24). "RJR Nabisco Reports Neet Of $123 Million in 3d Quarter". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  35. "New Mini Oreos Debut in New Mini Van". PR Newswire. 2000-08-10.
  36. "Product Search Results - Snackworks". com. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  37. Armando Villaseñor. "Reconocimiento a Oreo - Multipress". Multipress.
  38. Moss, Michael (March 11, 2014). "The Cookie Dough Oreo". nytimes.com.
  39. "Caramel Apple Oreos Arrive In Target Stores Today". Consumerist. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  40. Cave, James (February 2, 2016). "Oreo Debuts A New Flavor That Tastes Like A Filled Cupcake". Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  41. Griffin, Michael and James, Joni (January 14, 1998). "UF President Apologizes For Remark". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
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