Cookie Controversy: Hydrox Accuses Oreo of Retail Sabotage

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iStock

Like Coke and Pepsi, Oreo and Hydrox have been engaged in a century-long retail product feud. Released in 1908, four years before the first Oreo rolled off the factory lines, Hydrox has long had to contend with the perception they’re the knock-off. Oreo became the preferred chocolate-and-cream cookie snack, with most citing Nabisco (and now Mondelēz) as having the marketing muscle to smother their smaller competitor.

But according to a new Federal Trade Commission complaint filed by Hydrox, Oreo’s success isn’t strictly the result of deeper corporate pockets. Leaf Brands, the current owners of Hydrox, are alleging that Mondelēz is engaged in acts of store sabotage to keep Oreo the king of the cookie hill.

According to a story in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Leaf is arguing that their kosher-approved Hydrox isn't getting fair representation at the retail level. They claim Mondelēz sales representatives that do the stocking directly for stores rearrange product so that Hydrox are obscured or otherwise out of sight for consumers while Oreos are displayed prominently.

A Facebook post on the official Hydrox page confirms that the company has taken its allegation to the FTC in the hopes of getting Mondelēz to stop the delicious espionage. “We … have been very frustrated with the hiding of our cookies at major retailers [so] we finally filed an official complaint with the Federal Trade Commission last week in which we claim they have been trying to make it hard to find our cookies in stores nationally, in hopes of lowering sales volume and having us discontinued.”

The company goes on to state that Hydrox are stocked by store employees, not Hydrox representatives, and any cookie-shuffling on Mondelēz’s part is hard to correct. Leaf says they became aware of the problem when a major food buyer expressed reservations about carrying Hydrox, citing concerns that Mondelēz “will hide your cookies” in stores. The Facebook post is accompanied by several surveillance photos of Hydrox packages being obscured by other products or hanging shelf displays. In one instance, the cookie was buried under a cloak of Nutter Butters.

Gizmodo reached out to Mondelēz, which issued a statement saying that the company was “confident” the accusation “had no merit.”

[h/t Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

10 Amazing Pieces of Peeps Art

“Edgar Allan Peep” by Christian Twamley / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council
“Edgar Allan Peep” by Christian Twamley / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

Some people paint, some scrapbook, and others create Game of Thrones-inspired dragon sculptures made of 5000 marshmallow Peeps. Candy art may seem like an unusual form of craftsmanship, but it’s more common than you might expect in the lead-up to Easter, when organizations around the country host Peeps art contests.

The aforementioned dragon, as well as the artworks pictured below, were all submitted to the “PEEPshow” contest—a fundraiser for the Carroll County Arts Council in Westminster, Maryland. According to event organizers, the event became the first exhibition of Peeps art when it debuted 12 years ago.

Keep scrolling to see some of the best Peeps sculptures from recent years (2017-2019), and visit the Art Council’s website to see all of this year's participants. (As of Friday afternoon, a Warhol-inspired artwork of "Marilyn Peeproe" appears to be in the lead.)

A space-themed Peeps display
“First Peeps in Space” by International Delight / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

A samurai sculpture
"Sugar Samurai" by Tristar Martial Arts / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

The rabbit from Alice in Wonderland
“I’m Late, I’m Late (for the PEEPshow)” by Vivian Davis / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

A caterpillar sculpture
“The Very Hungry Caterpeeper” by Lia Finch and M / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

A sculpture inspired by a painting
“Peep with the Pearl Earring” by Sandy Oxx / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council


“Edgar Allan Peep” by Christian Twamley / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

A Belle sculpture
“Beauty and the Peep” by Candace Birger, Westminster Cake Studio / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

Fish sculpture
“The Rainbow Fish” by Jen, Justin, Connor, and Jacob Myers / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

A Gumby sculpture
“Just Gumby” by Sydney Blacksten / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

A sculpture of a monster
“Percy the Purple Peeple Eater” by the Koontz Family / Courtesy of the Carroll County Arts Council

Vlasic Is Working on Pickle Chips Made Entirely of Pickles

iStock.com/bigacis
iStock.com/bigacis

It's easy to find pre-sliced pickle chips in a jar, but if you prefer to eat your snacks out of a bag, your pickle options are limited. Both Doritos and Lays potato chips have released products where pickles are used as flavoring and not the main ingredient. Now, the experts at Vlasic are developing bags of chips that don't just taste like pickles, but are made from real pickle slices, USA Today reports.

Vlasic's parent company Conagra Brands confirmed during a recent investor event that crunchy, snackable chips made entirely of pickles are in the works. Instead of struggling to open a jar every time you crave pickles, you'll be able to eat these chips straight from a bag. They will be vacuum-fried, making them dry and crispy like potato chips.

Vlasic hasn't revealed when the pickle chips will be released, or where they will be available to buy. But according to USA Today, Conagra co-chief operating officer Tom McGough did reveal that they "taste absolutely fantastic."

Can't wait to for Vlasic's pickle chips to arrive in your local grocery store? Here are some products that taste and smell like pickles to try in the meantime.

[h/t USA Today]

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