Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Do cookies actually have a personal relationship with each other? The Jerk Who Wrote The Following Dumb Ass Article About Oreo And Chips Ahoy Seems To Think So. (GRIN)

Oh, I heard this was disappointing

By Chris O'Brien

Oreos and Chips Ahoy! have the most fascinating relationship in the entire grocery store. They're not adversaries like Coke vs. Pepsi, but they're not partners like peanut butter and jelly. They sit next to each other on the shelf cheering each other on, not once getting jealous of the other one's success.

When I grab a thing of Chips Ahoy!, you can sense the Oreos saying, "Hey, good call, tonight feels more like a chocolate chip night." Likewise, when I grab a thing of Oreos, the Chips Ahoy! shows nothing but support. "Oooh, you went with the new mint flavor, let me know how that is!"

It is truly an impressive level of support because they really should be more like rivals; frenemies at best. Both are best dunked in milk. Oreo even claims to be "Milk's favorite cookie." Both are Nabisco products. You would think there might be some level of jealousy, some perceived favoritism going on. And both, again, compete directly for my cookie purchase. I never go home with a box of each, and I rarely choose anything else (on the rare occasion those Keebler M&M cookies will pull off the upset, but we're talking like once every three years).
A Cookie History Lesson

Nabisco (National Biscuit Company) was the result of a few bakery mergers that took place in the late 1890s. Their first big hit was with Animal Crackers in 1902. Nabisco would go on for another ten years before introducing what became their ultimate rockstar: the Oreo cookie.

The first Oreo was sold on March 6, 1912. And this Oreo of a hundred plus years ago was pretty much the same as the Oreos we have today. Only differences being the design on the face of the cookie (the 1912 version "featured a wreath around the edge of the cookie") and then in 2006 when the trans fat was swapped out for non-hydrogenated vegetable oil (depending on how the Keto diet craze continues, look for a switch back in 2026).

In 2018, Oreos seem to be going through an identity crisis in the grocery store. Seems like a new flavor is rolled out every other week. This wasn't always the case. DOUBLE STUF (never noticed it was only one "f" until doing the research) wasn't introduced until 1974-75; Halloween Oreos (1991) and Christmas Oreos (1995).

Oreos have a pretty compelling argument as the packaged cookie G.O.A.T. With "over 362 billion Oreo cookies sold since 1912," Oreo was the clear statistical leader of the 20th century.

Chips Ahoy! (talk about a high-energy cookie, even its name yells at you) stormed onto the scene in 1963. The concept was simple - could you mass produce chocolate chip cookies that could rival homemade versions. Chips Ahoy! had a ton of confidence from the very beginning. Their early slogans, "You cannot take a bite without hitting a chocolate chip" or "Becha bite a chip" were almost taunting their consumers, challenging them to find a better chocolate chip cookie in the store or, dare I say, even against Grandma's.

Now, to be fair, nothing will ever beat your mom/grandma's chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, but if a company could even come close to this, mastering the store bought take on America's favorite cookie, then Oreo would truly have some competition on the shelves.
For years the two cookies have been able to get along, I think mainly because Oreo was able to say I'm the best at my thing, Chips Ahoy! is the best at its thing, we can live in harmony.

But what happens when those revenue numbers get closer and closer?  

Or how about when Donald Trump was boycotting Oreos as an attack at Nabisco. Chips Ahoy! somehow dodged the call-out, which had to create at least some level of tension on the shelves or in the 1.8 million-square-foot Chicago factory. Or what about in 2014 when 

Oreos had to feel like a line was crossed. Dude, we never put chocolate chips on ours, stay in your lane! 

With all of this cookie relationship crumbling going on, I was pleased to be strolling down the ice cream aisle last week and found Breyers playing the role of peacekeeper. To my knowledge, this is the first time the two have been side-by-side in one ice cream. And, unlike the Chips Ahoy! with Oreo creme` filling cookie, this one felt like both agreed to team up.

So, needless to say, I was extremely excited. Oreo ice cream is awesome. There's a strong case to be made that the Oreo McFlurry is the best fast food ice cream option on the market, dare I say even knocking out a DQ blizzard. And chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is just as good as any cookies-and-cream Oreo option.

Put those two forces together? I was ready to declare this the greatest ice cream ever, even before the first spoonful.

I got to the checkout line, put the ice cream on the belt, watched it slide forward. The cashier scanned the container and then said a shocking but maybe the most effective sentence possible.
"Oh, I heard this was disappointing."

I work in the world of sales and every piece of advice is about providing value, communicating value, showing ROI, etc. And so when I heard this sentence, I imagined the look of horror on her manager's face if they had overheard this exchange. I heard this was disappointing?! What were you thinking?!

But it was exactly what I needed to hear. I had elevated this ice cream way too high in my mind, my expectations were borderline absurd. This went from "Oh cool, 2-in-1 Oreo + Chips Ahoy!" to, "God's gift to ice cream, 55 years in the making."

When I prepared a few scoops later that night, I wasn't disappointed at all. Was it great? Not really. I'd say a little bit above average. But since the wind was already taken out of my sails by the cashier's innovative sales approach, lowering my grandiose expectations, I enjoyed the ice cream more than I would have if she had said, "Oh wow, I heard this was the greatest ice cream ever."

I'm now fascinated by this technique. I want to find ways to pull the 'Oh, I heard this was disappointing' card in other areas of life. Stay tuned for Wednesday where I'll show you a slight variation of this strategy that can result in you and your friends enjoying your vacations more.

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