The Best Oreo Flavor, According to America

Pattern Data Science

February 16, 2022

Hope you’ve got a fresh glass of milk (standard, oat, almond, or otherwise), because National Oreo Cookie Day is right around the corner!

That’s right, March 6th is dedicated to America’s best-selling cookie–the Oreo. The Oreo was invented in 1912 by The National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco) at a factory in New York City where it was launched to compete with the Hydrox cookie that hit the market a few years earlier.

As we all know, the Oreo quickly won the war of the chocolate and creme sandwich cookies, and today approximately 34 billion Oreo cookies are sold across the world every year.

So with National Oreo Day rapidly approaching, we of course had to celebrate the only way we know how: by diving deep into our data to learn more about Americans’ love affair with the Oreo.

When is online demand for Oreos highest? Does National Oreo Day move the needle? Which types of specialty Oreos are the most popular?

Dig into a sleeve of Oreos and keep reading to find out the answer to these questions and more!

When is online demand highest for Oreos?

Does the allure of an ice cold glass of milk and a stack of Oreos bring a surge of demand in the summertime? Or, perhaps the holidays see the cookie reach the height of its popularity. To find out, we started by analyzing online demand for Oreos during every week of 2021.

Last year, online demand for Oreos surged in the first weeks of February, then began a mostly steady decline through the spring and summer months. It then trended upward again in late August and early September before dropping again as the holidays approached.

As for National Oreo Day, it did not appear to really move the needle when it came to online demand last year.

But to truly understand consumer trends, it helps to understand longer-term trends. So let’s take a look at demand over the past three years.

When examining monthly demand for Oreos over the past three years, one thing clearly jumps right off the screen, and that’s the absolutely massive surge in demand during the early pandemic in 2020.

January 2020 actually saw demand lagging behind the previous year’s, but things changed quickly as the pandemic began to hit, and monthly demand in March 2020 was 102% higher than it was in March 2019.

April also saw demand far outpace that of 2019, and even once it leveled out after the early-pandemic surge, demand remained elevated throughout the rest of 2020.

2021, as you can see, saw demand fall back to nearly identical pre-pandemic levels. This is likely due to people returning to more in-store shopping for items like Oreos, but perhaps some of us were also doing a little less stress eating last year.

In any case, there’s simply no question that COVID-19 had a tremendous impact on online demand for Oreos.

What were the most popular specialty Oreos last year?

For many, many years Oreos were nothing more than a little bit of creme filling between a pair of chocolate sandwich cookies. Since then, we’ve seen the release and rise of classic specialty flavors like Golden Oreos and Mint Oreos, as well as the annual release of brand new limited time flavors like carrot cake, peanut butter, and even wild flavors like Peeps and Swedish Fish.

We examined some of the more popular specialty flavors to see which ones were the most popular last year. So, what is the best specialty flavor of Oreo according to demand?

Lady Gaga Oreos, a limited release Oreo featuring bright pink cookies with an electric green filling, saw the most online demand last year – even surpassing Golden Oreos, which by now are practically a standard issue Oreo flavor themselves.

After those top two, there’s a noticeable drop to the next group, led by Mint and Lemon Oreos, followed by Red Velvet, Fudge Covered, and Peanut Butter.

From there, we see a sizable gap before we hit carrot cake, chocolate, birthday cake, and pistachio.

Of course, when it comes to what is truly the most popular type of Oreo, the standard issue still reigns supreme:

When we add the total demand for regular ol’ Oreos into the chart, it’s clear nothing else compares. Oreos saw 679% more demand than Lady Gaga Oreos, and 55% more demand than the rest of the field combined.

But let’s turn our attention back to some of those more popular specialty cookies. Are there specific times of the year that are driving demand for each of them?

Here’s a comparison of the change in monthly demand for some of the top specialty cookies in our analysis:

Lady Gaga Oreos were released as a limited run in late January of 2021, which makes it all the more impressive that they topped the list for total demand last year. February was a relatively strong month for each of the other cookies, though.

Fudge Covered Oreos experienced a healthy 72% increase in monthly demand, likely on the back of Valentine’s Day. Red Velvet Oreos also got a cupid-inspired bump, with demand up by 44%.

Mint Oreos clearly got a St. Patrick’s Day bump, with monthly demand peaking in March. While Fudge Covered Oreos were the ones that clearly rely most on the holidays to drive demand, with demand peaking in December.

Golden Oreos and Lemon Oreos, meanwhile, saw remarkably consistent demand throughout the year.

Before we close out this section, let’s take an even closer look at weekly demand for Lady Gaga Oreos, just to underscore just how wildly popular those cookies were for such a short period of time:

As you can see, the pink and green Oreos experienced nearly all their demand during the weeks of Jan 24 and 31, dropped significantly by early February, and became nearly nonexistent for the rest of the year as the cookies were no longer available.

Even still, those two weeks were enough to propel this specialty cookie to the top of the end of year list.

So what is the best oreo flavor?

Based on consumer demand, it seems that the Best Oreo is classic Oreos by far (at least on the Amazon U.S. marketplace). Among the many Oreo varieties, the favorite oreo flavor in 2021 was the Lady Gaga Oreo, followed closely by Golder Oreos.

Don’t worry if your favorite oreo flavor didn’t make the top of the list, that just means more for you. Whichever “stuf” you choose to indulge in on National Oreo Cookie Day, we hope our data analysis makes the moment a little sweeter.

A lesson for brands

National Oreo Day might not really move the needle when it comes to online demand for America’s most popular cookie, but when it comes to specialty Oreos, several holidays make a clear difference.

Valentine’s Day brings a boost for fudge covered and red velvet Oreos, while mint Oreos are particularly popular during St. Patrick’s Day. Standard issue Oreos and their golden and lemon counterparts, meanwhile, seem to enjoy pretty consistent popularity throughout the year.

Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.

To stay up to date on consumer behavior and ecommerce news, info, and trend analyses, be sure to subscribe to Pattern Insights on the right.

And, if you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, get in touch today.

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Improve Your Amazon Advertising Strategy With One Simple Metric: True RoAS
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Improve Your Amazon Advertising Strategy With One Simple Metric: True RoAS

The purpose of advertising on Amazon is simple: increase traffic and conversions. But the approach to get those conversions is not always so simple. Your Amazon advertising strategy is based on current ad data and performance results such as your return on ad spend (RoAS). 

At a minimum, your RoAS number tells you how well you’re maximizing your ad spend. The problem is the RoAS you’re getting from Amazon or an advertising agency isn’t always accurate. 

As a top 3P seller on Amazon, Pattern helps brands improve their Amazon advertising strategy and results by providing them with one simple metric: true RoAS.

Understanding True RoAS

To understand why true RoAS is helpful to brands, you need to understand how Amazon and other agencies calculate and present your RoAS.

The key to growing your brand and maximizing your ad spend is to drive incremental traffic, rather than cannibalizing what has already taken place. For example, if you are selling probiotics, and paying for sponsored ads to win the keyword “probiotics for women”, but also organically ranked in the top results with the same keyword, that’s cannibalization. The RoAS score you would receive from Amazon includes that level of cannibalism, which inflates the number, causing you to pay more on ad spend. The best ads drive incremental growth instead of cannibalizing organic sales. 

At Pattern, we’ve created the acceleration software to make sure brands are getting their “true RoAS”. Pattern’s patented tool applies artificial intelligence to advertising to maximize incremental growth or true return on investment. 

Our software helps brands optimize their efforts by providing live and updated information on where your brand is not organically ranking, and what you should be paying for. If your ranking improves in one area, the ad spend will automatically decrease for those words or phrases until the software detects a drop in ranking, signaling that your ad spend should go up again. This dynamic monitoring of ad spend will help you maximize incremental growth and improve your RoAS.

Improve Your Amazon Ad Strategy with Pattern

Knowing your true RoAS is key to improving your Amazon performance. Advertising agencies and marketplace account managers often give you an inaccurate RoAS ratio or value, which only incentivizes you to spend more on advertising, ultimately increasing revenue for the agencies and/or marketplaces.

At Pattern, a 3P partner on Amazon and other marketplaces, we view our brands just as that: a partnership. When you win, we win. You succeed on Amazon by maximizing your ad spend and we have the data and resources to help you do just that. Accurate, transparent data and reporting will help improve your advertising strategy to drive more traffic to and conversions on your products. 

Ready to finally get your true RoAS? Contact us.   

Slowing Inflation is Music to Consumers’ Ears
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Slowing Inflation is Music to Consumers’ Ears

**Instrument Pricing Changes Tune Amid Record Inflation** Compared to 2022, consumers should expect to pay more for musical instruments, but the rate of inflation shows signs of slowing. **The backstory:** America’s most popular musical instruments saw a notable price increase in 2022 compared to 2021, but the rate of inflation eased in Q4 ’22. **Why it matters:** Slowing inflation within this product category could indicate economic pressures like increased demand, rising labor costs, and supply chain disruptions are easing across the consumer landscape. **What we’re seeing:** The average cost of musical instruments increased 7.5% from 2021 – 2022; however, when analyzing individual increases year over year, some instruments saw price increases as high as 21%. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Instruments — 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-02Lwk" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/02Lwk/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="379" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * Trombones experienced a 21.73% increase compared to 2021 * Trumpets +20.08% * Flutes +18.6% * Recorders +16.13% * Saxophones +13.63% * Clarinets +10.55% * Drums +5.41% * Ukuleles +5.17% **However:** Inflation among these same instruments was significantly less in Q4 ’22 compared to Q4 ’21. In some cases, prices decreased from Q4 ’21 – Q4 ‘22: <iframe title="Price Change for Instruments — Q4 2022 vs. Q4 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-6X6GZ" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6X6GZ/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="379" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * Trombones +11.23% * Flutes +10.41% * Saxophones +5.94% * Clarinets +5.59% * Trumpets +3.10% * Recorders +2.85% * Drums -2.59% * Ukuleles -8.46% **Moreover:** Certain instruments saw inflation reverse in 2022. On average, prices for melodicas, guitars, and violas saw their prices decrease by 4.41%, 3.19%, and 0.97%, respectively. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Instruments — 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-0Tefk" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/0Tefk/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="259" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **Diving Deeper:** Inflation was more significant when comparing Q4 ’21 to Q4 ’20 than when comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, indicating a slowing down of price increases for consumers. <iframe title="YOY Q4 Price Change for Instruments — 2020 – 2022" aria-label="Stacked Bars" id="datawrapper-chart-p6iqt" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/p6iqt/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="206" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * In Q4 ’21, average prices for all instruments were up 8.89% compared to Q4 ’20. * When comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, the average price for all instruments only increased by 2.65%. **The takeaway:** While consumers should expect to pay higher prices for instruments this year, overall inflation impact within this product category appears to be slowing down. With National Ukulele Day coming up on February 2, now is a great time for ecommerce brands to take advantage of slowing economic worries and reach new consumers. * Want Pattern’s data science team to power your brand with consumer insights like these? Contact us to [request more information](https://pattern.com/contact-us/) today.

Slowing Inflation? What Musical Instrument Pricing Tells Us
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Slowing Inflation? What Musical Instrument Pricing Tells Us

It’s safe to say consumers and brands alike are eager for a change to the pattern of rising inflation, steadily increasing in many ecommerce categories . Pattern’s internal team’s data scientists analysis of instrument pricing shows a glimmer of hope that inflation may be slowing, which would be great news for brands selling online.

At Pattern, we’re interested in and monitoring trends and news related to pricing since price is a key factor in a brand’s profitability (as explained in the Ecommerce Equation). When brands are able to optimize their price, conversions, and traffic, they can optimize their profitability. And profitability leads to better allocation of resources, better brand control, and gives leaders the ability to expand their presence to new markets worldwide.

YoY Instrument Pricing Increased at a Slower Pace

When analyzing the pricing changes of instruments from 2021 to 2022, our teams found that prices increased, but at a slower rate than from 2020 to 2021.

As shown below, the year over year Q4 changes show quite a lower rate of increase.

Inflation Improvements Raise Profitability

Because inflation impacts online shopping behaviors, lower inflation can lead to better overall profitability for brands. This idea, of course, is nuanced, but Pattern’s Ecommerce Equation can help illustrate the general principle.

When inflation rises, consumers change their spending habits. Shoppers spend more time researching products, forego premium, higher-priced brands, and buy more in bulk. Brands tend to see a loss of loyalty as they’re forced to raise prices.

Price is a key variable in the Ecommerce Equation: price x conversion x traffic = profitability. As inflation lowers, brands can expect better performance in all of these areas—more traffic as spending habits return to normal, higher conversion from returning customers, and price that better fits consumer demand. As inflation lowers and these variables stabilize, brands will see profitability increase.

Raise Your Profitability with Pattern

As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern is obsessed with gathering data that helps our brand partners succeed. We’ve created best-in-class technology, models, and analytics to understand changes on the horizon and inform our decisions. With an incredible team of data obsessed Pattern employees, we see what makes the difference in truly great ecommerce performance and apply those learnings for brand partners. 

Ready to improve your profitability? Contact us here.