Usually a new Oreo flavor would be the big Oreo news of the day, but not today, my friends. There is a new flavor, but there’s also a chance to see the novelty Oreo of your dreams become a reality, and win “$500K and VIP OREO access to upcoming releases and top-secret prototypes.”
We’ll talk about the contest in a minute, but first let’s talk about the new flavor. It’s called “Firework,” and there’s popping candy in it. You’ll like it if you like popping candy. You won’t like it if you don’t. Moving on.
Really, it makes a certain amount of sense that Oreo is crowd-sourcing cookie ideas. The whole Swedish Fish incident made it abundantly clear that they need some new inspiration, which is where we all come in.
I have tasted quite a few novelty Oreos in my time, and I have a lot of thoughts and opinions on what separates the good from the bad. Though I would like to keep all of this Oreo-specific wisdom to myself, my sense of duty prevents such. So, here you go. Here’s some cookie-creating advice from an experienced Oreo journalist.
- Think about others: This is not about you. This is about winning. Pick something that will get the attention of and appeal to the most amount of people. I would love an Oreo with a juniper-flavored cookie and a Campari-flavored creme, but only like, 75 other people would also enjoy the brave new world that has such cookies in it.
- Don’t be too seasonally specific: What you’re aiming for here is broad appeal. If Oreo is going to pay someone $500,000 for their idea, they’re going to want to profit from that idea for as long as possible, so don’t paint yourself into a Christmas corner. Aim for something that will grab attention and be relevant year round.
- Be just weird enough: Look, the Swedish Fish Oreo was disgusting, but people purchased it. They didn’t re-purchase it, but they purchased it at least once just because they “had to know.” Your job is to strike a balance between “what the heck?” and “obviously delicious.”
- Play to current food trends or nostalgia: I hear Lisa Frank-inspired food is in right now, as is avocado toast. (I actually don’t think an avocado toast Oreo would be the worst possible flavor, as creamy avocado lends itself quite well to sweet applications.) Think of food marketing trends that have worked well on you and your friends—aim for the 90’s kids—and go from there.
- Don’t forget the cookie: The best novelty Oreos are those that have a special creme and a special cookie. The s’mores Oreo, the red velvet Oreo, and the cinnamon bun Oreo were all so good because they changed the cookie flavor to match the theme along with the filling. You know what would have made the root beer float Oreo amazing? A little extra vanilla in the cookie, to mimic the implied ice cream. Some vanilla bean-type flecks would have gone a long way too, appearance-wise.
- Experiment: You may not have a flavor laboratory in your home, but you have a kitchen. Grab some currently extant Oreos and start smearing stuff on them. Add a little balsamic to the chocolate strawberry Oreo, if that’s still around. Mix espresso powder or ground chiles into the chocolate creme. Open your pantry, spice cabinet, and fridge for inspiration, and test test test.
Once you’ve perfect your creation, send it in. Starting May 8 through July 14, U.S. fans can submit their idea via Instagram or Twitter using #MyOreoCreation and #Contest. Now go forth, my cookie geniuses, go forth and make me proud with your delicious creations. Just remember me when you’re famous. That’s all I ask.