The Untold Truth Of Oreo O's Cereal

Even if you don't buy Oreos all that regularly, you probably still notice that every time you're in the cookie aisle, there's always something different going on with the Oreos. Whether it's a brand new flavor or another limited edition one, Oreo is always adding to their ever-growing list of products. And it's not just cookies either.

From frozen churros to Milka chocolate bars, and of course cereal, there seems to be an Oreo version of everything nowadays. But that wasn't the case in 1998, when the Oreo O's cereal first came out (via Today). The only Oreo varieties that existed before then were Double Stuf Oreos, Fudge-Covered Oreos, and Holiday Oreos, but none of them strayed that far from Oreo's original form or recipe (via Thought Co). Regardless, the decision to turn the cookie into a breakfast cereal was a no-brainer for Kraft, which at the time was the parent company of both Oreo and Post, Company Man explains.

Since Oreo's slogan is "Milk's favorite cookie," and milk goes with cereal too, Oreo O's seemed destined to be a permanent staple in the cereal aisle for the foreseeable future.

Oreo O's didn't get discontinued because of low sales

While many snack products introduced in the 1990s were eventually phased out over time after losing their charm, Insider confirmed that wasn't the case for Oreo O's. Contrary to popular belief, Oreo O's were not discontinued due to declining sales, and the discontinuation was simply a byproduct of Kraft selling Post, its cereal division, in 2007. Without their cereal division, Kraft could no longer produce the same cereals it did before, and without the rights to use the name Oreo, Post could no longer continue selling Oreo O's cereal. Had this not occurred, Oreo O's would've never ceased production.

In 2012, however, Oreo's parent company changed from Kraft to Mondelēz International (via The New York Times), opening the door for an Oreo O's comeback. Five years after the parent company switch, Post Vice President of Marketing Roxanne Bernstein announced that Post and Mondelēz International would be collaborating to bring the cereal back in 2017 (via PR Newswire). "Cereal lovers around the world have been asking to bring back this cereal for an entire decade," Bernstein said, "so we are thrilled to be able to work with Mondelēz International to make this sweet dream come true."

There's only one country that never discontinued Oreo O's

If you were seriously craving a bowl of Oreo O's at any point during its 10-year hiatus, the only possible way you would've been able to get your hands on a box was if you ordered an expired one from eBay, or hopped on a plane to South Korea. According to Spoon University, Oreo O's were never discontinued in South Korea, even when Kraft and Post split in 2007.

The reason being that in South Korea, Oreo O's are not distributed directly by Kraft or Post, but rather Dongsuh Foods, a company that formed when Dongsuh Companies Inc. and General Foods Corporation (now called Kraft) merged. With this merger, Dongsuh Foods also acquired a license deal with Post. Therefore, when Kraft and Post split, Dongsuh Foods was unaffected, because it operated as its own entity. Since Dongsuh Foods still held the rights to all recipes and brands within both Kraft and Post, Dongsuh food was able to continue to produce Oreo O's in South Korea.

Every other country, however, was out of luck until 2017 rolled around.

Post tested the market by releasing Oreo O's under a different name first

Regardless of the fact that Oreo O's were in demand — not only during their initial run, but also throughout their decade-long discontinuation — Post still didn't want to take any risks when it came to putting the beloved cereal back on the market. According to Cereal Guru, shortly before advertising the comeback of Oreo O's, Post first released a cereal called Cookies & Cream, advertised as a Malt-O-Meal cereal, a cereal brand Post acquired in 2015 (via the Los Angeles Times).

Though the colors and design on the packaging was reminiscent of the Oreo logo, no specific mention of the cookie was made. Clearly Post's goal was to gauge interest based on flavor alone, because the cereal was sold in a resealable bag instead of a box, and featured the phrase "love it or it's free!" Even without a fancy cereal box or the reputation of a big name brand, the cereal ended up performing exceptionally well. Post therefore decided to give Oreo O's the greenlight in June of the same year, starting with a three-month run at Walmart (via Company Man).

The new Oreo O's recipe isn't exactly the same as the original

If you tried the new Oreo O's cereal and found that it tastes slightly different from how you remember it, that's because it is. Post confirmed that the new Oreo O's don't use the same recipe as the original (via PR Newswire), but assured customers that Oreo O's still "provide a total sensory overload of chocolate and cookies and creme" while invoking just the right amount of nostalgia. As Cereal Time TV further elaborated, the ingredients lists of the original and the new Oreo O's do have noticeable differences, but the recipe was likely updated for nutritional purposes. Original Oreo O's include a variety of milk derivatives and whey, ingredients that are not typically present in modern-day cereals.

In a review comparing Malt-O-Meal Cookies & Cream cereal (now the new Oreo O's) and Oreo O's imported from South Korea (which still use the original recipe), Cerealously shares that the main difference lies in the amount of chocolate. The new Oreo O's have a flavor that's truer to cookies and cream, and they're not nearly as chocolatey. If you like the creme part of the Oreo more than the cookie, you'll probably find the new Oreo O's slightly tastier.

There are Golden Oreo and Mega Stuf versions of Oreo O's

Though Oreo O's return technically wasn't supposed to be long-term, Post is continuing to ride the wave of its popularity. Following its Walmart debut, Post decided to expand availability to include other major grocery stores indefinitely. "Oreo O's are back and here to stay," the brand officially announced (via Thrillist).

By May 2018, Oreo O's were thriving so much that Post created another version of the cereal based on the flavor of Golden Oreo cookies called Golden Oreo O's, which Delish explains is a corn cereal coated in Oreo creme. Oreo O's later introduced a Mega Stuf Oreo O's in May 2019 (via People). Because this spinoff is inspired by Mega Stuf Oreos, it includes Oreo creme flavored marshmallow chunks, an ingredient that was noticeably missing during the 2017 return, but that was technically only included in the Oreo O's Extreme Creme Taste, which Post released in 2001 (via Cereal Guru).

Apparently the wait was well worth it, because Oreo O's is experiencing quite the renaissance. Considering Post went from a decade of no Oreo O's at all, to three consecutive years of releasing new versions of it, it seems the brand is committing to keeping its customers happy with plenty of Oreo cereal.