Happy 100th Birthday to Oreo! – Part One: The History

Oreo cookies are not a candy – they’re a cookie.   Even so, I wanted to find a reason to post about this notable anniversary for the brand.  So I searched my files and you know what?  I found that I had a few Oreo branded candy bar wrappers from Japan.  With those as my lead-in; welcome to CollectingCandy.com’s dedication to 100-years of Oreo!

First up, lets take a look at the Japanese Oreo candy bar wrappers I have.  Two of them are from 2009 and the other pair are from early 2010:

Japan - Nabisco Macadamia Nut Oreo chocolate bar wrapper - 2009

Japan - Nabisco Strawberry Oreo chocolate bar wrapper - 2009

Japan - Oreo chocolate bar - Caramel Coffee flavor - wrapper - 2010

Japan - Oreo chocolate bar - Strawberry Mlik flavor - wrapper - 2010

That’s all of the Oreo-branded candy bar wrappers we have to show today.  But it’s Oreo’s 100th birthday, and here at CollectingCandy we want to celebrate that – we also have a great selection of vintage Oreo packages we want to share.

Oreo has been around since 1912, but for the purpose of today’s piece, we’ll be focusing on the last 60 years of Oreo packaging history.

First up is a fragile cello pack for Oreo that was originally saved along with a group of candy wrappers from the 1950’s:

Nabisco Oreo Creme Sandwich cello package - 1950's

Next up are a pair of images from a Nabisco sales binder from the 1960’s:

Oreo Cookie box - late 50's early 60's

Oreo cookie package - 1960's

I’m fortunate that, starting with  a 1960’s pack, I have a selection of full size Oreo cello packages.  These are all unused examples, recovered from the plastics factory that manufactured the packaging for Nabisco.

Nabisco - Oreo cookie package - 1960's

The 1960’s design, which I quite like, gave way to the classic 1970’s Nabisco look, and for a short time, a fun Oreo mascot – The Middleman:

Nabisco - Oreo cookie package - Middleman - 1974

At the time that I acquired that great Middleman packaging, I also picked up an example of the very first Double Stuf package.  What’s notable about this very first Double Stuf is that it lacks any Oreo branding.  These were not Double Stuf Oreos, these were simply Nabisco Double Stuf brand cookies:

Nabisco - Double Stuf creme sandwich cookie package - 1973

In another year or two, Double Stuf would join the Oreo family proper.

By 1977, Middleman had retired, leaving packaging looking largely as they would for many years to come:

Nabisco - Oreo cookie package - 1977

It’s worth noting that Nabisco was a full-fledged candy company by this point in their own history – then overseeing several marquee brands including Sugar Babies and Chuckles, but that’s a tale for another time.

Nabisco candy trade ad - 1977

In 1981, Nabisco would launch another pair of Oreo-like cookies, with an ice-cream flavor theme called I Screams:

Nabisco - I Screams - Double Dip Creme Sandwich - cookie packages - 1981

I Screams didn’t last very long, but they’re fondly remembered by those who had the chance to try them.  Ice-creme themed Oreos have worked their way back onto store shelves, and I’ll be covering a few of those tomorrow.

Moving on into the 1980’s, Oreo packaging retained the design and look it had introduced in the early 1970’s.  Here’s an example of the 1983 packaging, which looks much as the packaging did a decade earlier:

Nabisco - Oreo cookies package - New One Pounder - 1983

By the early 1990’s, Nabisco had begun to expand the reach of the Oreo brand into other areas.  These might seem obvious now, but at the time it was unusual.  Here’s an Oreo ice cream cone box:

Nabisco - Oreo Chocolate Cones box - 1990's

Next up is an Oreo snack packs box from 1995, showing us the look of that era.  The early computer design age is evident on this one:

Oreo cookie snack packs box - Super Nintendo Sega Genesis coupon - 1995

By the later 1990’s, the Oreo brand had begun a significant expansion, but it was the early 2000’s when things really took off.  I’ve been able to determine that 2002 was when the first Uh-Oh! Oreos were sold:

Nabisco - Uh-Oh Oreo cookies package - 2002-2003

Uh-Oh! Oreo cookies must have struck a nerve with consumers, because soon Nabisco opened the brand up to all manner of variations.  And my how the variations have come.

These days, the variety of Oreo cookies available year-round is half-a-dozen, but when you include seasonal and limited edition flavors, it can balloon to over twenty varieties.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with Part Two to showcase all of the contemporary Oreo packaging I’ve collected.  Then on Sunday I’ll be back with candy-proper.

About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others. Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books. Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com. My Google Profile+
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6 Responses to Happy 100th Birthday to Oreo! – Part One: The History

  1. phairhead says:

    the Ice Creams cookies remind of another cookie from the 80s trying to ride on the Oreos success train, Giggles. Do you remember Giggles?

  2. YES! I’m so glad you are doing Oreos. I love them and I love all of their variations. Golden Oreos with the white filling may be the greatest snack cookie ever (next to the original Double Stuffs).

  3. Tom says:

    In our house, we could never afford Oreos. Instead, we got the cheaper competitor Sunshine’s Hydrox cookies. My sister and I drew our own Whacky Packages of these under the label “Hard Rocks”.

  4. VioletMaria says:

    WOW! These are all great, but I’m especially awed by the unused cello bags, especially the one from the ’60s (the logo looks so much like a neon restaurant/takeout place-type sign from the era!) And the Double Stuf in colors I’ve never seen before!

  5. VioletMaria says:

    They really should bring back ‘I.Screams’…they were among my very earliest cookie memories…(that oval-shaped ‘hole’ fascinated me)

  6. “I Screams!” – wow, that’s all new to me. I never tried them, obviously.

    I do remember Nabisco’s stamp on the front of the Pearson Nips hard candy packaging during the mid 1980s. As the brand was sold to Nestle in 1989, I’d say it was part of the Curtiss/Standard Brands portfolio before Nabisco.

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