Oreo lovers gladly pay a higher price to customize their cookies

Source: Oreo.com
Nov 17, 2020

Oreo has launched a feature on its website, OREOiD, that gives fans a way to customize their own cookies.

The customization relates to a change in aesthetic design, or the look of an item, rather than a functional change, such as the flavor.

Fans have two options, according to Geekspin. The first is “Just the creme color” that lets the customer choose among eight different filling colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink or white. After picking a color, users choose between several quantities and packaging options, from plain cellophane bags to gift boxes. Quantities range from two-count packs of cookies for $2.50 each (minimum order of 20) to a set of 24 cookies for $19.95, or about 83 cents a cookie.

Oreo’s standard 14.3-ounce package containing 36 regular Oreo cookies currently costs $3.20, or about nine cents a cookie, at Kroger.

The second option, “Customize everything,” not only lets customers choose different creme colors, but to dip cookies in classic or white fudge, add rainbow-like sprinkles and decorate them with a photo or text. The costs, which includes fancier packaging, range from 20 one-count packs that sell for $2.50 each to 24-count boxes for $52.95, or about $2.20 a cookie.

“The OREOiD platform provides the opportunity to combine the playfulness of our cookie and the imagination of our fans,” Oreo brand manager Olympia Portale said in a statement.

Other examples of aesthetic customization programs include “Nike By You” for sneakers, “My Hydro by Hydro Flask” for water bottles and Timbuk2’s “Customized By You” for bike messenger handbags. In the food and beverage space, customized design hasn’t moved much beyond the birthday cake, but the increasing frequency of limited-edition lines appears to point to customization’s potential.

Among some other aesthetic customization examples in food and beverage: 

  • M&M’s can be personalized with a picture, clip art and text.
  • Coca-Cola fans can place a special name or personal message on a classic-shaped, 8 fl. oz. glass bottle of Coke.
  • Hershey fans can personalize a chocolate bar wrapper.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see a major or minor opportunity for brands across the food and beverage space to offer aesthetic customization similar to OREOiD? What categories appear to pack the most potential?

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"It’s a novelty that plenty of people will order at least once."

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17 Comments on "Oreo lovers gladly pay a higher price to customize their cookies"

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Dr. Stephen Needel

I love the idea, but I think it’s a small idea — mostly because of a.) the price tag and b.) the fact that it is likely a one-time use by a family, maybe by an extended family.


The cost is a huge deterrent for me, especially under current economic conditions where something like this would be a luxury expense.

Gene Detroyer

M&M has been doing this for years. Its fun. People will take advantage of it at a special time. But in the end it will be a rounding error on the P&L.

Richard Hernandez
Richard Hernandez
Director, Main Street Markets
1 year 7 months ago

Yes — I am reminded of the M&Ms that I first saw a few years ago. While I think it’s a neat idea I don’t know that it will encourage other companies to personalize other foods or start a big trend. It’s nice to have a gift idea but I don’t see it as a big market implementation.

Georganne Bender

I see it as a minor opportunity but fun. Custom bakery cookies, cakes and M&Ms are standards at wedding and baby showers, graduations, etc. It’s a novelty that plenty of people will order at least once.

David Weinand

Cool application of customization but definitely not a major play at those price points. They’ll make for fun one-off gifts for birthdays or special occasions but $1-$2 per cookie will not scale. Customization is a great brand extension strategy for many CPG brands and can go a long way to gain or enhance loyalty. That is the lens they should look through vs. a great driver of revenue.

Rich Kizer

It is a cute marketing gimmick — no, a marketing strategy that generates conversation about the product. They will do some business here, but like the people who just had to have a specific color of M&Ms, it will probably age-out sooner than corporately desired.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.

This is fun and people need fun now. If consumers can afford the diversion they will love it once or twice. Repeat business may not be a regular activity but this could be a good option for special occasions.

Mohamed Amer, PhD

Historically, customization has been the antithesis of manufacturing efficiency. When a brand can expand on the range of possibilities and muster premium pricing for these product personalizations, it can create novel consumer niches, discover new price elasticities, and increase manufacturing agility and flexibility.

The direct impact is minor, but the change in mindset combined with infused manufacturing agility and greater alignment between marketing and manufacturing hold longer-term organizational benefits.

Brian Cluster

Brands such as Oreo (which has been around for more than 100 years) need to continue to connect with the next generation to be relevant for the coming decades. The Oreo brand has innovated with new flavors and formats over the years may be maxing out what can be done at the grocery shelf but by offering customization they create new excitement for the more digitally focused customers.

This may be a minor opportunity across the spectrum of their customers and sales overall but a major opportunity to target their newest customers, Gen Z on a digital channel and/or social channels. This newest venture will provide a sales opportunity but perhaps more importantly a source of Gen Z consumer insights and connection with this increasingly important customer group. Oreo ID literally puts the creativity in the hands of their consumers with limitless combinations and also creates an opportunity to make these unique cookies sharable on Instagram to drive awareness and buzz.

Shep Hyken

If all the customer wanted was cake they wouldn’t pay extra at the bakery to personalize it for a special occasion. Food retailers and manufacturers have been selling custom packaging and products forever, so the Oreo example isn’t new. However some products are better suited to this than others. For a brand like Oreo, it’s a way to further connect with a customer. As for making money, it will prove insignificant in the bigger picture. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered, but the revenue will be an insignificant part of their sales.

Doug Garnett

This looks quite fun. And what makes it possible is the incredible degree of play which Oreo has delivered on supermarket shelves.

I may not really want Pumpkin Spice Oreos, but the fact they set consumers up with those types of surprises leads to this idea being a natural. They have set the groundwork and now this can work.

Now — off to order a Christmas present for my Oreo obsessed son. Let’s see, perhaps orange and blue for the Broncos?

Steve Montgomery

Cute idea but as others have stated, more marketing ploy that a money maker.

Craig Sundstrom

I think kids might appreciate this — or people with too much money on or IN their hands — but let’s get real here: no one’s going to want to customize a can of creamed corn or bag of chips (how would that even be done?).

Limited “customizations,” e.g.school or team colors, “Wheaties” boxes — I’m sure have always, and will continue to be done, but it’s a limited opportunity.

John Karolefski

We now pause from mulling over the latest COVID increases and the disputed election results for this Breaking News: Oreo Lovers can design their own cookies with a special online platform.

Dave Bruno

Sorry, did someone say something? I was distracted by the thought of Oreos and may have missed it! I expect the market for customized goodies to be small, but not insignificant, and if it were me, I would invest in marketing to organizations. “Branded” snacks can be a very fun and highly appealing way to build brand. We offered branded Oreos in our booth at NRF in January, and we had to fight people off with pitchforks and tire irons they were so popular!

Ricardo Belmar

It’s a fun, but minor sales opportunity. Consumers may take advantage of this personalization once, or for special gift occasions, but not very often given the price point. It’s more useful as a way to make the brand feel playful to consumers and loyal brand fans. Other brands may follow this example, but not because they see a tremendous sales opportunity. Do it for the brand loyalty value, not for the sales dollars!

"It’s a novelty that plenty of people will order at least once."

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