Food & Drink

What’s the verdict on the Firework Oreos?

Are the Firework Oreos worth sending up a flare?
Are the Firework Oreos worth sending up a flare? Kathleen Purvis

“Brand extension” is business wisdom these days. That’s the idea that if you sell a lot of your original thing, you should come up with a way to change it to make another thing that will sell even more.

Witness: Nabisco’s Oreo cookie. Once the sublimely perfect combination of two crunchy chocolate cookies and a stiff, sweet white filling, the perfect thing to dunk in a glass of cold milk.

But than, regular Oreos begat Double Stuf (twice as much filling) begat Big Stuf (bigger cookies) begat Mini (bite-size). Then it took off: Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Cool Mint Oreos, Birthday Cake Oreos. When the Peeps Oreo arrived this year for Easter, we sort of hoped perhaps it was coming to an end.

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The latest Oreo release has bits of red and blue Pop Rocks in the filling. Kathleen Purvis

No: This week brought the newest Oreo innovation – Fireworks Oreos. With a filling dotted with bits of Pop Rocks, the candy that fizzes in your mouth, it actually sounds kind of fun. Oreos that bite back? Well, why not?

Here’s why not: The Pop Rock action is ultimately disappointing. Basically, you get gritty filling, more like “Beach Towel Oreo” than foaming, popping Oreo. The only action we got was tiny, short-lived and almost indetectable.

So will the Oreo creativity stop? Probably not: Along with the limited release of Fireworks Oreos, Nabisco is holding a contest, #MyOreoCreation. You post your idea for a new Oreo flavor on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #MyOreoCreation and #contest. If they pick your idea, you get a chance to win $500,000. There are other ways to enter: The details are at www.myoreocreationcontest.com.

Here’s hoping someone will submit “Retro Oreo” – two chocolate cookies, stiff, white filling and a cold glass of milk.

Oh, wait. That’s a Hydrox.

Kathleen Purvis: 704-358-5236, @kathleenpurvis

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