Did Oreo Rip Off Hydrox Cookies?

Hydrox vs Oreo cookies

If you’re like most younger people, you’ve heard of Oreo cookies and never heard of Hydrox cookies. However, it is entirely likely that Oreo ripped off Hydrox and convinced consumers that it was the other way around! These days, both cookies are still around but Oreos are much easier to find in stores. So, what the heck happened?!

Hydrox cookies were first introduced in 1908 and the name was inspired by hydrogen and oxygen elements in the water molecule because they wanted the brand to be associated with purity. Kind of odd for a chocolate sandwich cookie filled with cream. Anyway, just a few years later, the Oreo cookie was created in 1912 as an imitation. Unfortunately for Hydrox, Oreo eventually took off and passed Hydrox in popularity. Hydrox cookies have been discontinued and re-introduced several times in the past century, including a brief reformulated cookie called Droxies.

Oreo Cookies are seen May 13, 2003 in San Francisco. Attorney Stephen Joseph filed a lawsuit in the Marin County Superior Court May 1, 2003 seeking a ban on Oreo Cookies in California arguing that the trans fats that make the filling creamy and cookie crunchy are dangerous for children to eat

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In 2015, Leaf Brands took over from Kellogg’s and re-introduced the cookies. They changed the recipe, removed artificial flavors, and obtained non-GMO status. In 2018, Leaf Brands came after the maker of Oreo, Mondelez International for hiding Hydrox cookies from consumers in stores. Although it seems nothing really came from it.

Hydrox Cookie Ad


Over the years, consumers have felt as though Hydrox cookies were for a more advanced palate and had a more adult taste than the super sugary Oreo. Unlike today, in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s both cookies seemed to perform well and were more like Coke and Pepsi. Basically, the same product but people were divided and lived and died by their favorite. At one point, Oreo began advertising more toward children and got the upper hand. By the time the ’80s and ’90s rolled around, Hydrox cookies were seemingly gone.

1950s: Nabisco Oreo billboard with two girls watching TV and old cars parked, old cars parked below, circa 1950 in Los Angeles, California. 1950s Nabisco Oreo billboard, girls, tv, old cars

Gary Leonard/Corbis via Getty Images

Unfortunately for Hydrox cookie worshippers, they are getting harder and harder to find. Reportedly, they are still available at Cracker Barrel restaurants. They are also on Amazon, although some reviews complain that they don’t seem to be the same ones they remember as a kid. Tell us… what’s your favorite: Hydrox or Oreo?

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June 2023

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