In 1964, Sunshine thought their Hydrox cookies were good enough to be served on a silver platter...
Pop Quiz time! What is the name of the original cream and chocolate sandwich cookie? If you said Oreos, you're WRONG-O!
Hydrox cookies - yep, the correct answer - are set to return to grocery store shelves by the end of August for a limited time. This year marks the 100th anniversary since they were invented. It took more than 1,300 telephone inquiries, 1,000 petition signatures and countless online board postings to entice Kellogg to bring them back.
The Hydrox story is a bit sad in that its thunder was stolen by a competitor who eventually convinced the public that their version was better. The whole saga is a little involved (you can read all the details if you like on this Hydrox tribute site), but the gist of it is that Hydrox cookies were created in 1908 and sold under the Sunshine company. Nabisco, a much larger company, developed their Oreo cookie in 1912. Hydrox eventually lost market share and fell out of favor due to Oreo's popularity. Many fans were sad to see Hydrox discontinued. They're said to be larger and better tasting than Oreos.
I've pulled some vintage Hydrox ads from the tribute site, circa 1951, 1957, and 1972 respectively:
I didn't know that Alfalfa was a child model!
And this boy with his sleeping bag and Sunshine goodies...I doubt we'd see that ad run today, with child obesity being such a major problem in today's society. Not that Mr. Sunshine himself and his 50 inch waistline cares. Chips Ahoy, potato chips, HiHos, Krispy crackers, and Hydrox...part of a complete, nutritious pajama party breakfast!
By the way, Kellogg's is running a contest for Hydrox fans. You can submit an essay to the new Hydrox site and win one of three prizes including a trip to NYC.
Now I don't know about the taste, but as a marketing person I firmly believe that Hydrox was a victim of an unfortunate brand name. Oreo for a cookie name is much more pleasing to the ears than Hydrox is. Who come up with the unfortunate name Hydrox? Sounds like Botox...or like something you'd use to clean your bathtub or toliet. "Who, who, who, who's that kid with the Hydrox cookie" does not a good memorable commercial jingle make.