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non GMO oreo

Sales of Oreo Cookie’s Biggest Competitor Skyrocket as Company Officially Goes Non-GMO

By On January 22, 2018

The best-selling cookie in the United States is Oreo by a wide margin, racking up nearly $700 million in sales for Nabisco in 2017.

But the cookie is far from healthy, as most consumers know, and the issue is made worse by the fact that it contains GMO ingredients and has even tested positive for concerning amounts of the controversial Monsanto chemical glyphosate.

Now, however, Oreo’s biggest rival has officially gone non-GMO, and it could help lead to much-needed changes within the industry in due time.

Oreo Rival Hydrox Pledges to Go Non-GMO

According to a press release posted to PRNewsWire.com, the Oreo competitor Hydrox, known for its similar looks and long history on American store shelves, is planning to ditch GMO ingredients, and will begin using new labels in order to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Hydrox has been around since 1908, and while it doesn’t make the top 10 list of best-selling cookies in the U.S., it is well known among people who have eaten it before and noticed its similar taste to the aforementioned best-selling Nabisco brand.

While Oreo is far more popular, the Hydrox sandwich cookie actually pre-dates it: Oreo officially made its debut four years later in 1912.

Now the company is hoping to cut into Oreo and other cookies’ market shares by offering a non-GMO product at a time when sales of foods in this category are sharply rising.

“Many of the largest ice cream manufacturers, bakeries and candy makers in the U.S. have approached us to replace their current cookie with our non-GMO, ‘clean label’ Hydrox, and we see this as a growing trend in the market,” said Garvey Daniels, VP of Sales for Leaf Brands, in a press release.

“While Mondelez is focused on lowering costs with Oreo, our focus is on making a superior cookie and it’s paying off. We see this reflected in our growing requests for crushed Hydrox within the foodservice and Industrial segments.  Next up in the pipeline are mini Hydrox cookies which we expect to hit stores in 2018,” Daniels continued.

Hydrox also became the #1 new sandwich cookie on Amazon.com in December after the company started selling its new version, showing the power of going clean and ditching Monsanto ingredients (although the hope is that they will still go organic sometime in the future).

“The new Hydrox® cookie is exactly the way customers remember it, circa 1908 to 1999, with its dark chocolate flavor, crispier cookie crunch, and less sweet character that made Hydrox famous,” the company’s press release states. “Hydrox is made with REAL cane sugar and without any hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or colors.”

Whether or not the new non-GMO distinction can put a dent in Oreo’s massive market share remains to be seen, but if sales continue their upward trend you can be sure that the Nabisco giant will take notice.

Sales of Hydrox rose by 40% in 2017 according to Quality Assurance & Food Safety‘s website.

Oreo has been struggling from negative press after its cookies tested positive for glyphosate at levels of 289.47 ppb according to one measurement. Just .1 ppb is capable of causing harm to human health.

Hydrox may also contain glyphosate residues as it is not organic, however the switch to non-GMO is fairly rare in the packaged food industry and could help lead to changes if the company remains successful.

For more information, check out the full press release by clicking on this link.

Editor’s note: The cookie is not Non-GMO Project Verified so exercise caution when buying. You may want to choose Newman’s Own organic or similar certified organic products instead.