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.

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

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