Nov 24, 2018


by Darrin Vindiola

OREOs fascinate me.  I mean.. how could they not?  What's almost equally as fascinating, is the phenomenon of the perpetual shrinking OREO package. It bugs me when I see a "Family Size" package of food that not too long ago was in fact standard sized.  Case in point.. OREOs.  Check it out..

OREO Package of my youth 
(these contained 54 cookies)

On the rare occasion that we would have these in the house as a kid, I remember them lasting all week.  Why is it, that in 2018 my family kills a package in one day?  Oh yeah, the new packages can almost fit in the palm of my hand.

 Modern Day OREO Package
I can pretty much palm the new OREO packages

What The...?
Don't even get me started on how tiny the Limited Edition packs are.

That's more like it!

Now we're cooking with Peanut Oil!  As you can see, OREO packaging has once again come full circle!  However.. the new "family sized" package now costs substantially more than the standard sized packs.  Oh well, what can you do?  Everything from 'Doritos' to my bars of 'Irish Spring' soap have been downsized while their price remains unchanged.  It may irk me, but it hasn't stopped me from buying these products yet.  Yup.. they've got me and they know it.

Now what do we have here?  A Party Size pack that offers 33% more cookies than Family Sized packs.. albeit with a heftier price tag.  I used to go with the family size which still wasn't as big as the 80s packaging, but have now started buying the Party Size for my family of five.  I absolutely love the behemoth Party size package.  With 52 OREOs in the Party size pack, it's almost as big as the original.  At a price point of about $4.50, it's also a pretty fair value in my opinion. 

The only thing left I have to be disappointed about, is the amount of cream that are between the cookies.  Now you have to buy 'MEGA STUF' OREOs to get as much cream that used to be in 'DOUBLE STUF OREOs', and don't even get me started on the quantity of cream in a regular sized OREO!  So in the end, we've taken one step forward.. and one step back.

The cream filling controversy is a discussion for another day, but maybe I should just move on and enjoy the larger packs they are selling now. However.. I just know the whole cream thing is going to keep bugging me.  Don't be surprised if you see a 'Where's the Cream Filling?' post soon.


  1. The classic case of this was the Hershey bar. For much of its history the bar sold for a mere nickel, and the Hershey company proudly proclaimed that it was still only a nickel as the years wore on. In order to maintain that price, however, they kept making the bars smaller and smaller. At the point when the chocolate bar had become roughly the dimensions and thickness of a playing card, they relented and raised the price. I understand that rising prices, are part of the economic game we all play. What irks me is when companies try to maintain the illusion of low prices by incrementally reducing the size of the product. Like them or not, I can accept the realities of the game, but I don't like the feeling that I'm being tricked.

    1. You hit the nail on the head buddy! My kids were shocked to learn that "Family Size" used to be the normal size. It bugs the heck out of you and me, but just think.. there are a whole generation of kids (who will be consumers) that have no clue.

  2. UGH! This bugs me to no end and it has been for years now! And there really isn't anything we can do about it because the companies have all gotten together on this and they are all doing it. Actually, there are probably only a few parent companies out there that own everything, so as consumers, we are stuck. I first noticed the product shrinking with the cartons of ice cream. All of a sudden, you could no longer buy a half-gallon. They were only 1.75 quarts. Well, they have shrunk them once again. Now they are only 1.5 quarts.

    Then I started noticing that the tubs of margarine were no longer 8 oz. Well, that messes you up when you are cooking and a recipe calls for one cup of butter or margarine. An example of that is the Toll House cookie recipe. I used to be able to just use one tub of margarine without "dirtying" a measuring cup, but now you have to use more than one tub and measure it out. And speaking of Toll House cookies, the packages of chocolate chips have shrunk too.

    Then there are the bars of Dial soap that I have been buying for years. A few years back, they stopped making them even in thickness and started selling them with a "scooped out" area that makes them thinner in the center than they are on the edges. This makes them wear down unevenly. Instead of wearing down to a very thin sliver like they used to, they wear down in the middle first and then fall apart, leaving you with two end pieces. Frustrating! And when they first started doing this, they had the nerve to print on the package, "NEW SHAPE!" As if we are supposed to get excited over the fact that they are giving us less. Or do they think that we are just too stupid to notice that we are getting less?

    They shrunk the diameter of the toilet paper rolls a while back, but they just recently shortened them in length. The cardboard tube inside as well as each square, are not as long as they used to be.

    Best Foods Mayonnaise used to come in 32 oz. jars. Now they are only 30 oz.!

    If only some of the companies were doing this, I would just change to another brand, but they are all doing it! Obviously they got together on this one! What happened to the days when the companies would compete with each other to try to get you to buy their brand. Remember when the packaging on a particular product would say, "Ten Percent More For The Same Price!" or something similar to that? We really are being screwed over!

    As with the Hershey bar example given in the comment above, I would think that they are going to have to stop at some point. They can't keep shrinking everything until all of the products are "miniature" or "trial size," can they?

    Sorry for the venting, but your post obviously struck a nerve with me. I'm just glad that I'm not the only one that has noticed. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, a whole new generation won't know the difference and I'm sure that is what those evil corporate monsters are counting on! :-(

    1. The most annoying part is that we can many times get a bigger size.. (for a bigger price). UGH! And my favorite soap suffered the same fate! I could still get it in (Family Size) but they've since went back to the wimpy small version.

  3. It's not just the packaging, but the diameter of the cookie itself as well. They even make the thin oreos which lack the texture because of the lack of thickness. What goes into the CEO head? Does he not taste his food?

    1. I've often thought the same thing. Does the CEO even eat OREOS?

  4. Just ran across your thread. Anything to produce a cheaper (inferior) product. From toilet paper rolls to paper towels to canned goods to, yep, Oreos. My current peeve is perforation. There isn't any...well, there isn't much. I've written to everyone from Kimberly Clark to CVS to find out why manufacturers aren't perforating paper or foil so that it tears easily off the roll into a single sheet. When I spoke to a manager at CVS, she said, "They want you to tear off more than you need. Wasted product means another purchase."

    The above poster is correct about the changing sizes: recipes that have been handed down in my family for years no longer work because of the downsizing.

    The toilet paper at Sam's is shrinking faster than my husband's wool sweater. As you begin to notice the larger sizes disappear, get ready for another announcement of the "new, mega, convention size." It will be the same size as the party size (for a while). But it will cost double what we're used to. It truly is a long con.

  5. The diameter and amount of cream hasn't changed since to 1950's. The recipe has.
    Thins were launched about 4 years ago, also same diameter. There may be some small baking variation across the portfolio, certainly less than 1/32"

    Lard (yes lard) and trans fat were eliminated from the icing and chocoalte cookie formulation in the 1990's. A healthier Oreo that tastes the same.

    Mostly true about size / price / value. It's a competitive market. This like a lot of other products, especially potato chips. I believe Frito party size is almost as big as the 'large pack' size used to be. I remember chips were mostly in 12 - 16oz bags in the 60's. Anything larger came in a can.

    One thing you didn't mention is in the 1990's and earlier packs were in cello bags with a corrugated paper separator and no plastic tray. After the top tag was torn off, the consumer had to figure out how to reclose the bag with a clothspin or put the cookies into another container. Today there's a snack and seal reclosable top and a platic tray. Not to mention now meatlized film that keeps the product fresher.

    I work with this and other Nabisco products for decades. You should be happier next year with Limited editions. It a continuing evolution to keep folks happy and give them multiple selections for various snacking opportunities & life styles. Keep in mind during the 54 cookie package days there were two choices, regular or double stuff, white cream, chocolate cookie. Today there are over 50 size and cookie/icing flavor choices.

    Please keep enjoying Oreo. They're manufactured in absolutely spotless facilities with the latest available technologies. I take pride in this and other Nabisco branded products.

    If you'd like to see a recent marketing toy, search Oreo Record Player on youtube.

    Best Regards.

  6. The vanilla ones seem to still be actually double stuff. But, like everything else, the quantity goes down and the price goes up. I’d rather pay $7 for a pack of double stuff and they actually BE double stuff. They may as well drop conventional Oreos and market the thins, double stuff ad normal and mega stuff as double stuff.

  7. I frequently buy the Oreo family size and recently noticed if I line up the cookies in the plastic tray, each row seems to be missing a few cookies. Yes, the pack is missing like 3 cookies in each row, about a 9 cookie total. I thought this was a packaging error, but I opened a new pack tonight and yup, same thing.

  8. I frequently buy the Oreo family size and recently noticed if I line up the cookies in the plastic tray, each row seems to be missing a few cookies. Yes, the pack is missing like 3 cookies in each row, about a 9 cookie total. I thought this was a packaging error, but I opened a new pack tonight and yup, same thing.


What say you?