Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Look To The Cookie

Hydrox Redux (WSJ sub req):

Hydrox, the defunct chocolate-sandwich wafer, is returning for one more rematch with its nemesis, the Oreo.

Bowing to more than 1,300 phone inquiries, an online petition with more than 1,000 signatures and Internet chat sites lamenting the demise of the snack, Kellogg Co. has decided to temporarily relaunch Hydrox, the left-for-dead cookie.

"These loyalists can be proud to know they've been heard," says Brad Davidson, head of Kellogg's snack division.

Kellogg quietly killed off Hydrox in 2003, ceding victory to its longtime rival, Oreo, made by Kraft Foods Inc.'s Nabisco unit. Many Hydrox eaters initially thought their cookie had just become more difficult to find, learning only much later that the cookie had been discontinued. The online mourning and efforts to bring it back were the subject of a page-one article in January in The Wall Street Journal.

Freaks. Everyone who grew up in the Hydrox-Oreo battle days knows that Hydrox was a pale substitute for a real cookie. When your mom came home with a box of Hydrox from the grocery store, it was always a bitter disappointment. If you had friends over and your mom broke out the soggy Hydrox for a snack, you were forced to hide your shame. No one ever traded a prize Oreo for a pathetic Hydrox during lunch at school.

The market (and legions of kids) have spoken. Let the lesser of the two cookie brands at long last die.

UPDATE: Rod from Dallas e-mails to fan the flames of cookie (and class) warfare:

In our small Western MN town in the '60s, Oreos were the cookie of the wimpy snot-nose rich kids. We also figured that Oreos were what the prissy kids in the Cities ate. We true children of the earth ate only Hydrox. It was like a Lutheran-Catholic (or Ford-Chevy) split, at least in intensity.

Of course, looking back, I'm sure it was a price thing.

It definitely was a price thing. But when you're a kid such distincts aren't apparent. And anyway when you look back on it now you have to wonder if it would have really killed your mom to spend an extra forty cents to get the good stuff.

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