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The Oreo turns 100!

While it has only been available in this country since 1999, the most celebrated cookie in the world has to be Kraft Foods’ Oreo – and this week, on March 6 2012, it turned 100! Known as “milk’s favorite cookie,” these creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies are considered the best-selling cookie brand of the 21st century, making $1.5 billion in worldwide revenues.

While Oreo cookies have been a part of Americans’ lives for 100 years, they are also are popular around the world in more than 100 countries and they come in a variety of international flavours.

Designed to compete with British biscuit cookies, Oreos were introduced in New Jersey on March 6, 1912. By the mid 1990s, Oreos were selling in 30 countries. In China, Oreos have been sold since 1996, eventually becoming the country’s best-selling cookie in 2006.

This press release from Kraft Foods South Africa tells the Oreo story and the global social media campaign that Kraft has launched for this notable centenary:

The world’s favourite cookie invites fans from around the world to “Celebrate the Kid Inside” with every twist, lick and dunk.

Magic happened on March 6, 1912 when two decoratively embossed chocolate-flavoured biscuits met up with a rich crème filling: Oreo was born! In honour of this delicious milestone, the World’s Favourite Cookie is on a mission to reignite the spirit of childhood by celebrating the kid inside all of us. And, it couldn’t come at a better time.

The recently released Global Spirit of Childhood Report revealed that the majority of parents surveyed across 20 countries believe today’s kids are growing up quicker than did previous generations and should have more time to “just be kids”. The report also showed that parents all around the world long for the carefree fun of their youth.

“In today’s hectic world, people have more responsibilities and pressures than ever before,” said Mike Middleton, marketing director, Kraft Foods South Africa. “Despite this, the simple act of enjoying an Oreo cookie and glass of milk continues to speak to a universal, human truth: inside all of us, whether grown-up or still growing, there’s a kid that deserves to be set free every once in a while.”

This truth has helped Oreo cross oceans and borders to capture the hearts of fans in more than 100 countries. Since the first Oreo cookie was sold in Hoboken, NJ, this unbeatable biscuit has grown to become the world’s top-selling cookie from the United States to South Africa where the first Oreo cookie was sold in 1999. With about 25 million Facebook fans globally, Oreo is one of the most adored cookie brands in the world.

Unplug, log-off and make a moment count

At 100 years young, Oreo is asking the world to put down its cell phones, close its laptops and take a moment to celebrate the kid inside us all by inspiring and collecting one million moments of slowed down, carefree fun.

At and on the Oreo Facebook page, fans can share how they have let their inner child free by posting a photo, story or video to the Oreo Moments Gallery. The “Million Moments Meter” will track submissions so fans can see what others are doing all around the world. People are already sharing moments, such as a father and his daughter sharing an Oreo cookie and milk over webcams.

The celebrations will be captured through video and photos, and shared in real-time on the Oreo Facebook page for fans in more than 200 countries to enjoy.

In addition to sharing their moments on the Oreo Moments Gallery, Oreo Facebook fans around the world will have the chance throughout 2012 to be featured for the brand’s “Birthday of the Day,” which spotlights a new fan on his/her birthday every day. Fans also can choose to send personalised birthday card greetings through Facebook to family and friends, which includes a customised greeting from award-winning country music artists, Lady Antebellum.

See OR

Click here for the Oreo Fact Sheet.

What’s in the name?

The Oreo name is displayed in all capital letters on the packaging, which might make one think that the letters stand for something. No one apparently is really sure where the name comes from, but there are a few ideas.

The first two letters “OR” may stem from the French word or, which means gold (the original packaging was in fact gold). Or the name could stem from the Greek word oreo, which means beautiful.

Throughout the years the cookie has had its identity altered – originally it was known as Oreo Biscuit, but over the years it has changed to Oreo Sandwich (1921), Oreo Creme Sandwich (1948), Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (1974), and today as plain Oreos.

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