Twist, Dunk and Ideate: Oreo Opens Flavor Competition to the Crowd

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It’s not as if they don’t have their own ideas about these things—Oreo’s flavor menu has exploded in recent years, and expanded this week to include a Firework flavor with a “popping candy” creme filling.

Oreo Firework

But now the Mondelez-owned sandwich cookie is following the lead of other CPG favorites and asking fans’ help in crowdsourcing its next flavor.

“The brand also invites fans further into the Oreo Wonder Vault buy kicking off the #MyOreo Creation #Contest, a search for future Oreo creations,” Mondelez announced. Comedian Ellie Kemper helps illustrate the process in the video below.

Fans will be invited to submit their flavorful ideas for what the Oreo Wonder Value should create and release next, for the chance to win up to $500,000 as well as “unprecedented fan access to top-secret Oreo creations.”

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay, of course, became the big-CPG giant of crowdsourcing flavors with Lays’ four-year-old “Do Us a Flavor” campaign, which this year offers a million-dollar prize. Other brands besides Oreo are crowdsourcing flavors as a way to engage fans as well, such as KIND bars, which has launched a contest to choose its next bar flavor.

“Our newest limited edition flavor got us thinking—if we fans create a Firework Oreo cookie, what else could we create?” said Madeline Vincent, Oreo brand manager. “And who better to ask than those who are already sharing their flavor and creation ideas?”

Already, Oreo lists 59 different SKUs for Oreo on the brand’s’ product web site, reflecting a huge variety of flavors as well as formats, including Golden, Mint, Lemon, Peanut Butter and Birthday Cake. That list doesn’t even include the many other seasonal and “limited” flavors that Oreo rolls out besides the new Firework.

Oreo promised to select three finalists on the basis of the taste appeal of their idea (40 percent), creativity (30 percent) and Originality (30 percent).

In its press release, Oreo tried to provide food for thought about the kinds of new flavor suggestions that might be yielded by crowdsourcing, including the curiously named Galaxy and Mardi Gras. There’s also Funnel Cake and Pistachio, which might seem more obvious.

And at least one flavor whose mental connections might go in the wrong direction. Does a “Movie Theater” flavor of Oreo taste like popcorn, Mike & Ike—or old chewing gum on the bottom of a theater seat? Either way, it could be curiously delicious.

This article first appeared in www.brandchannel.com

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