Photo: bhofack2, Getty Images.
Oreo just doesn’t quit. The attention-hungry brand is constantly introducing new varieties of America’s Favorite Cookie, few of them as binge-worthy as the originals. The latest flavor? Firework. Let’s set aside the fact that “firework” is not technically a flavor (if you’re dumb enough to put fireworks in your mouth, well, good luck with that). It’s a metaphor for the sensation of popping blue-and-red candies (see: generic Pop Rocks) buried in the speckled cookie sandwiches exploding in your mouth. (Because who doesn’t love that feeling?)
If Firework isn’t the flavor of your cookie-eating dreams, don’t fret: now through July 14, you can submit your own flavor idea via Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #MyOreoCreation #Contest. The winner will receive $500,000, take a trip to NYC for a sneak peek at unreleased Oreo varieties, and get to see his or her flavor creation on store shelves.
Before you submit a flavor suggestion, let’s review what has already been attempted: Banana Split, Berry Burst Ice Cream, Birthday Cake, Blueberry Pie, Brownie Batter, Candy Cane, Candy Corn, Caramel Apple, Choco-Chip, Chocolate, Chocolate-Strawberry, Cinnamon Bun, Cookie Dough, Cotton Candy, Creamsicle, Filled Cupcake, Fruit Punch, Fruity Crisp, Gingerbread, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Twist, Limeade, Marshmallow Crispy, Mint, Neapolitan, Peanut Butter Cup, Peanut Butter, Peeps, Peppermint, Pumpkin Spice, Red Velvet, Root Beer Float, S’mores, Strawberry Shortcake, Swedish Fish, and Watermelon. Those are just some of the Frankenstein cookie creations Oreo has come up with. (Imagine the ones they rejected!) Waffles & Syrup was spotted recently on shelves. Apple Pie, Jelly Donut, Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha, and Mississippi Mud Pie are all scheduled for release this year.
Social media users have predictably glommed on to the challenge of inventing the next Oreo. Some of the more clever suggestions we’ve seen include: Avocado Honey, Banana Bread, Butterbeer, Butter Popcorn, Cereal Milk, Chili Chocolate, Cinnamon Churro, Coconut Creme, Eggnog, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Funnel Cake, Green Tea, Jolly Rancher, Maple Bacon, Margarita, Mountain Dew, Peach Cobbler, Pineapple, Pound Cake, Ramen, Raspberry Danish, Rose Petal, and Sweet Potato and Toasted Marshmallow.
Nabisco trademarked its Oreo cookie idea way back in 1912. The basic design that most of us recognize appeared in 1952. In 1975, Double Stuf Oreos came onto the scene. These were followed by fudge-covered Oreos (1987), Halloween Oreos (1991), and Christmas Oreos (1995). Then Oreo went off the rails. It changed its cookie from chocolate to “golden” and started experimenting not just with the color of the creme center but with the flavor as well.
Oreo’s form has also undergone quite the metamorphosis. The cookie now comes in “thins” and minis (who asked for those?), in candy bar form, as frozen churros, as ice cream cones (a la the Drumstick), as “cakesters”, as Handi-snacks, as bits sandwiches, as creme eggs. None of these is an improvement on the original. They’re just different, and therefore eye-grabbing when you’re perusing the aisles or freezer section of a grocery store.
Someone should tell Oreo: don’t give up what’s good for what’s new. Change isn’t synonymous with improvement. There was nothing lacking with the black-and-white sandwich cookie in the first place. (Except filling. The more filling, the better. And the crumbs-stuck-in-teeth issue.) We loved you before, just as you were.