The Rebirth of the Original Sandwich Cookie

By Mike Pomranz |

Courtesy of Leaf Brands

In 1908, the life-altering snack strategy of stuffing crème between two chocolate wafers came to market. That first sandwich cookie was awkwardly dubbed “Hydrox”—purportedly hoping to evoke the “purity and goodness” of water by using the names of that compound’s two elements, “hydrogen” and “oxygen.” (Because nothing goes together like cookies and… water?)

In 1912, the Oreo came along, and the rest is history; or, at least, by 2008, Hydrox was history. The brand struggled through a number of ownership changes and reboots, but never came anywhere near Oreo’s global popularity. (Oreo is currently the world’s best-selling cookie. Suck on that, Water Cookie!)

But mark September 25, 2015, on your calendar. That’s the date Hydrox will make its glorious return. The cookie will begin its comeback campaign selling through Amazon—and is currently available via preorder—but Leaf, the company attempting to revive the brand, says the simultaneously maligned and beloved dessert will be on store shelves soon after. “We are talking to all the major chains, including big box, and they are very interested,” Leaf CEO Ellia Kassoff told the OC Register. “It’s going to be a national product.”

The new Hydrox claims to be a return to the old Hydrox, bringing back the original taste by using most of the original ingredients, swapping high-fructose corn syrup for real sugar and choosing only high-quality cocoa. The packaging look is decidedly old-fashioned, as well—that is, except for the bright red stripe that proclaims, “We’re back!”

Will the 21st century finally be Hydrox’s century? We’ll see. Last year, Oreo sold about 40 billion cookies. That’s a lot of Amazon preorders.

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