March 6 is the holiday you didn’t know you needed in your life: National Oreo Cookie Day.
Nabisco, which introduced the Oreo on March 6, 1912, touts the cream-filled chocolate treat as “milk’s favorite cookie.” In the past 108 years, the Oreo has become America’s favorite cookie, too. With over $600 million in sales in 2017, Oreo is the leading cookie brand in the U.S., topped only by private label cookies.
Thanks to the rampant popularity of the classic chocolate and cream cookie, Nabisco has released dozens of additional Oreo flavors, including limited-edition variants. You may find a favorite oreo cookie in Golden, Peanut Butter, and Double Stuf, but some sources tally up to 85 Oreo flavors, with flavors running the spectrum from chocolate creme to hot chicken wing.
For years, many have debated about which Oreo is America's favorite. As quantitative fanatics obsessed with helping brands grow on ecommerce, we love settling debates with our favorite tool: data.
So, our data science team analyzed consumer demand on Amazon throughout 2019 and 2020 to determine which Oreo flavors consumers clamor for the most. Here’s what we found:
Top 15 Best Oreo flavors, based on Amazon search volume, in 2019-2020
Based on consumer demand (or the number of people shopping on Amazon for a given item during a given period), the classic Oreo seems to be the most popular variety. Consumer demand for the classic Oreo is 206% higher than the rest of the Oreo varieties combined. Of all other Oreo varieties — the Oreo Chocolate Creme was Amazon’s most popular Oreo choice in 2019 and 2020.
In both years analyzed, peaks in consumer demand for the Oreo Chocolate Creme coincide with holidays, including Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. The pandemic did not drastically impact Oreo Chocolate Creme sales, as March was a low month for searches in both 2019 and 2020. Other favorite Oreo varieties in both years include Double Stuf, Most Stuf, Mint, and Thins.
When is consumer demand highest and lowest for Oreos?
In general, Oreo searches are highest in the fall and winter. For this report, we analyzed data between January 2019 and December 2020. During this time period, searches for America’s favorite cookie were at their maximum in March 2020 and at their minimum in June 2019. The spike in March 2020 is likely due to the pandemic. As lockdowns and fear of contracting COVID-19 became widespread, products in all ecommerce categories saw dramatic increases in demand, especially for items you’d typically purchase at a grocery store.
What the data says about the best Oreo flavor and stuffing popularity:
- People love Stuf. In fact, they want the most Stuf possible. Oreo Most Stuf cookies were introduced in January 2019 and instantly saw a substantial increase in consumer demand.** **Between January 2019 and December 2020, consumer demand for The Most Stuf was nearly double that of Double Stuf and more than four times the demand of Mega Stuf. When looking across flavors, Double Stuf is the most popular stuffing level, followed closely by Thins.
- Oreo Birthday Cake cookies see increased consumer demand in August, September, and October. Unsurprisingly, these months correspond with the highest volume months for birthdays. Nine out of the 10 most popular birthdays in the U.S. fall in these three months, making birthday cake a favorite Oreo flavor for birthday themed celebrations.
- Oreo Carrot Cake cookies were initially popular but didn’t stay that way. While consumer demand was relatively high when the flavor was released in January 2019, that’s also when demand peaked. Demand briefly increased in March and April 2020, a pattern we see among other Oreo varieties, but they never reached the high levels seen at the time of the flavor release.
- Oreo Red Velvet cookies were the only variety to see a decrease in March 2020. While other Oreo varieties skyrocketed in popularity on Amazon as online shopping became more prevalent, Red Velvet cookies became less popular at the onset of the pandemic in the U.S.
What about Oreo competitors with a dietary focus?
Even when consumers are on a special diet, they seem to want to find a way to keep their favorite Oreo-style cookies in their lives. Newman-O’s organic cookies, Glutino’s gluten-free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, and Catalina Crunch’s keto-friendly Sandwich Cookies all command a certain portion of the market.
What about gluten-free Oreos?
Gluten-free Oreos were one of Glutino’s biggest search competitors even before gluten-free Oreos existed.** **Interestingly, gluten-free Oreos weren’t announced until November 2020. Between January 2018 and October 2019, gluten-free Oreos and Glutino cookies had very similar search patterns. On average, searches between the two cookies only differed by about 17% of their search volume.
It’s possible that consumers searched for gluten-free Oreos before they were on the market because they knew search results would return a gluten-free cookie similar to an Oreo, even if it wasn’t created by Nabisco. We see a similar effect with Kleenex tissues — consumers search for Kleenex even when they’re not necessarily looking for Kleenex brand tissues. Regardless, consumer demand for gluten-free Oreos skyrocketed in November 2020 when Nasbisco officially announced their gluten-free version of America’s favorite cookie.
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 is Oreo Chocolate Creme, closely followed by The Most Stuf.
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.