Dissecting the Oreo Marketing Strategy: Understanding the Global Phenomenon

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The Oreo is a well recognized globalized product. The Oreo has been producing the sandwich like cookie since 1912. Starting out as a humble business Oreo has grown to be a worldwide sensation (Locke, 2008). Oreos have become extremely popular over the last 100 years. Oreos are currently sold in over 100 countries and continues global expansion (Locke, 2008). Oreos are currently sold in North America, South America, Europe, The Middle East, Africa, and Australia (Locke, 2008). Oreo does an excellent job of researching new global markets before expansion. Oreo pays attention to cultural, social, and economic differences of their consumers and how this will affect the consumer purchasing process (Tanner and Raymond, 2014). Oreo’s strategy fits consumers all over the world. Paying close attention to place, product, packaging, and promotion Oreo knows how to market to their consumers. Oreo’s marketing strategy is how Oreo holds the reputation for the world’s #1 cookie. (Locke, 2008)

Global Strategy

Oreos are sold all over the world and continues to globally expand. The iconic cookie uses a detailed global marketing strategy. Globalized companies use advertising and product innovation to plan for new international markets. In the journal article Marketing Mix and brand sales in global markets: Examining the contingent role of country-market characteristics Bahadir, Bharadwaj, and Srivastava (2015) state, “While distribution and price have the largest impact in emerging and developed countries, respectively, product innovation and advertising have significantly larger impacts in emerging markets relative to developed countries” (Abstract). Oreo is aware that price and distribution may not always be the biggest factor when planning to enter new markets. Oreo uses the marketing mix including product evaluation, packaging, and promotion to plan for current and future global expansion.

Promotion –

Oreo’s promotion styles vary based on the demographics of the market. Oreo promotes to children all over the world. Oreo’s promotion styles vary depending on the market but Oreo’s vision remains the same, “Producing moments of child-like delight” (Locke, 2008). In America, the commercials are usually parents demonstrating to their kids how to dunk an Oreo into a glass of milk. This represents passing down the iconic cookie to each generation. In contrast, in places where the Oreo is not a household name yet, the child shows the adult how to dunk the cookie. The length of time Oreo has been selling in a company influences the promotion style. Oreo also does a great job at promoting through social media. On February 3rd 2013 during the Superbowl, the power went out. Oreo was clever enough to send a tweet “Power out? No Problem” (Oreo Cookie, 2013). The tweet had an attached photo that read “You can still dunk in the dark” (Oreo Cookie, 2013). Oreo’s quick response was a huge hit. There was 15,000 retweets. Their response to the blackout was a great chance for promotion because they knew the consumers would be on their phones instead of watching the game. Oreo stays aware for promotional opportunities.

Packaging –

Oreo’s packaging changes based on the market. Oreo’s global strategy pays close attention to the consumer’s preferences and kitchen shelf space. This is important because consumer’s preferences vary country to country. America is familiar with the rectangle style 18oz Oreo packaging (Locke, 2008). Unlike America, Venezuela sells Oreos through street vendors. The Ores are in a single row tube like shape. In Brazil Oreos are sold at Kiosks. Oreo knows the consumer’s kitchen space in Venezuela and Brazil is smaller than America. Consumers in Brazil and Venezuela also shop more times a week than the average American. (Locke, 2008). In result, the packaging is changed to fulfill the consumer’s needs and preference.

Product –

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The sandwich-like cookie of Oreo remains universal however; there are small product differences in global markets. The taste and color may slightly change. For example, Consumers in Venezuela prefer a milk chocolate over dark chocolate. In result, Oreo has come up with milk chocolate Oreo for the Venezuela consumer (Locke, 2008). Oreo pays close attention to the consumer’s preferences and adjusts their product to suit their consumer’s needs. The affiliation of Oreo also varies depending on the market. In America, Oreo is affiliated with Nabisco because this is a trusted brand in America. In Canada, Oreos are affiliated with Mr. Kristy since this is a more valued brand. In China, Oreo is affiliated with Kraft (Locke, 2008). Oreo’s marketing team plays close attention to consumer’s preferences in each country to adjust their product accordingly. This global strategy helps build customer trust.

Cultural Differences

Oreo is aware of cultural differences between markets before expanding to new locations. Oreo’s global strategy studies how new markets are influenced by the local culture. In the journal article Impact of Culture on Global Marketing Cojocaru (2010) states, “Products sold on foreign markets are influenced by the local behavior, tastes, attitudes and traditions in each market” (p. 853). This means the product is a result of what the consumer wants based on their preferences. For example, China’s consumers appreciate highly crafted TV ads. In China, Oreo’s promotion focuses on TV advertisements. Since the Chinese appreciate TV advertisement promotion, Oreo fulfills the consumer’s preference. In contrast, Venezuelan Oreos market to the consumer using billboards and building paintings. Since the people in Venezuela are constantly on the move, the advertisement is primarily outdoors. The world’s #1 cookie does an excellent job paying attention to cultural differences before selling to a new market. (Locke, 2008).

Future Growth

For future growth, Oreo could consider marketing to tourist areas. If Oreo continues to modify the product, packaging, promotion and place it will continue to succeed. If Oreo wanted to open to a new market such as Jamaica, they could use market penetration strategy to sell to its existing customers who are visiting Jamaica (Tanner, Jr. F & Raymond, M, 2014). In a journal article Globalization, tourism and local living conditions on Jamaica’s north coaststates Dodman states, “Jamaica’s tourism industry has grown rapidly in recent decades, with significant implications for national development” (p. 30). Oreo could conduct research to determine what times of the year their consumers visit the island to market the product. For advertisement, Oreo could promote in hotel lobbies, or in advertisements in magazines on planes. The consumer will feel comfortable purchasing a product they are already familiar with.


Oreos marketing strategy has allowed huge global growth. Oreo pays close attention to the consumers needs based on location, social factors, economical factors and local trends .In conclusion, if Oreo continues to use the marketing mix including product evaluation, packaging, and promotion then it will continue to succeed in the cookie industry.

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