An Oreo is a sandwich cookie consisting of two (usually chocolate) wafers with a sweet crème filling. Introduced in 1912, Oreo is the best-selling cookie brand in the United States. The version sold in the U.S. is made by Nabisco.
Oreos are available in over one hundred countries and in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, they are referred to as Oreo biscuits. Many varieties of Oreo cookies have been produced, and limited-edition runs have become popular in the 21st century.
The “Oreo Biscuit” was first developed and produced by the National Biscuit Company (today known as Nabisco) in 1912 at its Chelsea, Manhattan factory in the current-day Chelsea Market complex, located on Ninth Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets. Today, this same block of Ninth Avenue is known as “Oreo Way”. The name Oreo was first trademarked on March 14, 1912. It was launched as an imitation of the Hydrox cookie manufactured by Sunshine Company, which was introduced in 1908.
The original design on the face of the Oreo featured a wreath around the edge of the cookie and the name “OREO” in the center. In the United States, they were sold for 25 cents a pound in novelty metal canisters with clear glass tops. The first Oreo was sold on March 6, 1912, to a grocer in Hoboken, New Jersey.
The Oreo Biscuit was renamed in 1921 to “Oreo Sandwich” in 1948, the name was changed to “Oreo Crème Sandwich”; and in 1974 it became the “Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie”, the name that has remained to this day. A new design for the face of the cookie was launched in 1924 with the modern-day Oreo design developed in 1952 by William A. Turnier, incorporating the Nabisco logo.
The modern Oreo cookie filling was developed by Nabisco’s principal food scientist, Sam Porcello who retired from Nabisco in 1993. Porcello held five patents directly related to his work on the Oreo. He also created a range of Oreo cookies that were covered in dark chocolate and white chocolate. In the early 1990s, health concerns prompted Nabisco to replace the lard in the crème filling with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Oreo cookies are popular with people that have certain dietary restrictions, such as vegans as the crème filling does not use any animal products.
According to the Kraft Foods company, the Oreo is the “World’s Best Selling Cookie”. Time magazine reported that Oreo cookies were available in more than 100 different countries. Overall, it is estimated that since the Oreo cookie’s inception in 1912, over 450 billion Oreos have been produced worldwide.
Today there are several types of Oreo cookies including: Golden Oreos, Double Stuff Oreos, Mini Oreos, Mint Oreos and Oreo Thins (to name a few)!!!