It’s hard not to love Oreos. I mean, what’s not to love about chocolate wafer cookie and sweet cream filling? Add a little milk, and it truly is a child’s dream snack.
Born in 1912, Oreo cookies are far and away the best-selling cookie franchise in the United States, with global sales at $3.2 billion. The next best-selling cookie franchise? Mexico’s Gamesa at $1 billion in sales.
At such scale, it is hard to fathom tinkering too much with such a cash cow brand. Surprisingly, Oreo brand continues to explore ways to continue to delight its consumers in far and wide places, though many in fairly expected, not-far-from-the-tree places, following five predictable portfolio management tangents.
First, explore adding more or less of the product:
Second, flavor changes and combinations. Keep the main product the same but change the flavor:
- While the list is surprisingly quite long, here are a few more interesting flavors:
- Then comes the savory flavor trend that Oreos tapped into fairly heavily:
Third, change the shape of your product to create new news:
Fourth, go after guilty pleasure/indulgence consumers with:
I have to hand it to the brand team for testing and launching flavors to see what works, what doesn’t and move on.
Five, go play in someone else’s sandbox and steal their show.
While the recent launch of Oreo Thins should come as no surprise, after such indulgent flavors and stuffings, the idea that these would be targeting “sophisticated” palates seems a bit of a stretch. The sophisticated cookie market (think Pepperidge Farms) use different shapes, textures, and packaging to communicate premium sophistication with small portions. The Oreo Thins are just thinner versions of the same old Oreo cookies we all know and love, but no match to the category expectations they are aimed for. It is an interesting brand play, but the brand has been dominating the slightly less than healthy cookie indulgence for so long that it will be quite challenging to stretch into this new area with so little product, flavor, texture and packaging modifications to dominate in this new sandbox. It will just end up further segmenting its own consumers, though hopefully profitably.