Chances are good that you’ve known about Oreos since you were a kid. What you might not know about the world’s top-selling cookie, however, is that the brand is 112 years old. Oreo attributes part of that longevity, aside from it just being delicious, to its efforts to stay culturally relevant—a strategy that is now boldly taking Oreo where no cookie has gone before.
On Tuesday, Oreo is launching a new limited-edition line of Space Dunk Cookies, which are stuffed with layers of blue-and-pink marshmallow-flavored “cosmic creme” and popping candies that “create a supernova bursting sensation with every bite.” For the first time in Oreo history, the cookies also include a small cutout on the cookie itself, which allows fans to see the colored creme inside.
While definitely a unique snacking experience, the cookies’ main draw may be the prize you can win when you purchase a pack: a six-hour journey to the edge of space in a pressurized, luxury capsule propelled by a space balloon. That’s right—you can dunk that space-themed cookie in a glass of milk while you’re literally in space, or at least at the edge of it. The experience will be powered by Space Perspective, the only carbon-neutral space tourism company that is currently booking consumer flights.
“It’s our first big, bold move of 2024 for Oreo,” Michelle Deignan, vice president of Oreo U.S., tells Fast Company. She says that one of Oreo’s ongoing goals is to try to remain front and center of the cultural zeitgeist. We’ve seen that in the past with the brand’s collaborations with big names in music and TV, such as Lady Gaga and Game of Thrones, or last year’s partnership with Super Mario.
“Marrying the brand with things that are rich in culture to drive a lot of cultural conversation, I would say, is a key part of our relevancy strategy,” Deignan says.
And what could be more relevant right now than space travel?
“It’s very hot, topical—more and more companies are looking to get into it,” says Deignan, making it a great fit for the company.
“At the heart of everything Oreo does is playfulness. We’re a playful brand,” she adds. “We thought, what is more playful than having someone dunk their Oreo in a glass of milk in space? It’s really about some of those worlds colliding, and it was the perfect opportunity to bring them together for us.”
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Deignan says that staying on top of what’s popular in culture, and making sure that the brand shows up in ways that drive conversation, has been part of its success over the decades.
“Innately, partnerships like this for us let us bring the playfulness of the brand front and center,” she says. “It’s really about taking a playful spin on sometimes everyday things and how we have them show up differently for our consumers.”
It’s a strategy that Oreo hopes will continue to make it relevant for another 100-plus years.
“I think it’s always important to think big and bold on a brand like Oreo because it has been around for [so long] and it’s so iconic,” she says. “As we and my team think about the brand and our activations, that’s how we think about driving the brand into the future. For me, I think this is a great example of that.”
Oreo’s Space Dunk Cookies will be available for presale starting today (Tuesday, January 23) from Liftoff.Oreo.com. Customers can scan the QR code on the back of the pack or simply visit the website in order to enter to win the spaceflight experience.