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Oreo Thins: Mondeléz taps 'light bites' trend with new SKU but is it chic enough?

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Mondelēz targets 'sophisticated' adults with Oreo Thins U.S. launch
Mondelēz targets 'sophisticated' adults with Oreo Thins U.S. launch

Related tags Oreo Price Cookie Mintel U.s.

Mondelēz International’s skinny cookie Oreo Thins cater to demand for lighter bites in the U.S. but analysts question the product’s billing as a sophisticated adult cookie.

Mondeléz International will roll out Oreo Thins across the U.S. from July 13 this year after the brand enjoyed some success in China following its launch last year.

Patty Gonzalez, senior brand manager Oreo at Mondelēz International, said the new product was for adults who had grown up with Oreos and were now looking for “a more sophisticated cookie" ​with the same taste.

Oreo Thins come in a pack of four cookies totaling 140 calories; slightly less than the original three-pack Oreo cookies which contain 160 calories.

Thins doing well

Dare cookie Chips
Dare seized on the trend for thins last year by launching Cookie Chips in Canada.

Jodie Minotto, food and drink analyst at Mintel, told ConfectioneryNews it was likely Mondelēz was hoping to lure back lapsed consumers and the Millennials generation.

“More adult biscuits such as biscotti and other thin, crispy formats have done well in recent times, and Oreo Thins are an attempt to play in that segment of the market," ​she said.

Other recent innovations in thins include Dare’s Canadian launch of Cookie Chips last year - a thin cookie with the crispy texture of potato chips.

Wiggle room for sophisticated flavors

Minotto said of Mondelēz’s Oreo Thins: “This new format opens the door to a whole raft of more adult innovation. Expect to see sophisticated flavor variants based on nuts, spice, cocoa, chilli, liqueurs even.”

For the US launch, Oreo Thins will come in three flavors: Original, Golden and Mint, for a suggested retail price of $4.59 – the same price as regular Oreos, according to the Associated Press, despite the reduced pack size.

Does it scream sophistication?

Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for food and drink at Mintel, said the thinner cookie with a reduced cream filling may appeal to U.S. consumers looking for lighter options but added: “There is nothing else about the new brand that screams ‘sophisticated’”. 

“The packaging is reminiscent of the packaging used for the regular product, and of course the name is an iconic reminder of American youth,” ​she said.

However, both analysts said the thinner SKU had to sacrifice Oreo’s ‘twist and dunk’ image, which has long been a nostalgic appeal of the brand.

Some success but less popularity than original...

Oreo thin crisps
Oreo previously introduced lighter calories variant Oreo Thin Crisps

Mondelez has previously developed slimmer variants of its power brand - for example, its 100 calorie pack Oreo Thin Crisps which come without the original cream filling.

Mogelonsky said: “In all likelihood, the product will have a flurry of success and will likely do better than the first ‘off-piste’ iteration of Oreos​ [the 100-calorie packs]. But the nostalgic pull of the ‘real’ Oreo will remain strong, and the lure of the playfulness associated with it will mean that the new version will be considerably less popular than the original,”​ she said.

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