Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The not-so-mysterious demise of Hydrox sandwich cookies

Editor's note: This is the first installment in a 12-part series on sandwich cookies and other assorted sandwich-like snack items.

I often think about what I would do if I owned a functioning time machine. And I'm pretty sure my very first mission would involve traveling back to 1908 to convince the geniuses at Sunshine Biscuits that "HYDROX" is an awful name for a sandwich cookie. Surely you remember Hydrox. They're like Oreos, only better. But sadly, thanks to a name that conjures up images of laundry rooms and Mr. Yuck stickers, Hydrox never stood a chance against it's hotshot rival.

How easy was it for Oreo to waltz in and steal the sandwich cookie crown? Think about it. It's the early 1900s. You're stuffing your face with Hydrox cookies, each bite more delicious than the last, when you realize, "wait a minute, if I could create a sandwich cookie half as tasty as this, but with a catchy name that doesn't sound like something that will burn my skin upon contact, I'd be rich!"

And that's exactly what happened in 1912, when Nabisco introduced the Oreo, a vastly inferior product that remains incredibly popular to this day, almost a full century later. Where's Hydrox? The cookie no longer exists, but if you're ever in the Home & Garden section of Sears, ask for it by name and they'll supply you with a bottle of something sure to keep the slugs off your heirloom tomatoes.


Brian Woz said...

I look foward to Part Two of your 12-Part series on sandwich cookies. Will there be a section on Nutter Butters?

AaronS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AaronS said...

As a former employee of Sunshine Biscuits (Cheez-It division), I must agree that pretty much everything Sunshine makes is better than Nabisco products. Fortunately for us though, they got the Cheez-It name right - and Nabisco went with with the unfortunate title of "Cheese Nips." Really, who wants "nip" in their product name? Cheez-Its - better name AND better product. Hydrox - better product, terrible name. Lesson learned, Sunshine Biscuit.
Also, I read this on Wikipedia - not sure if it's true:
"Sunshine Biscuits made the Hydrox chocolate sandwich cream cookie, before it was discontinued in 1999. They were reintroduced in August 2008, and retain the Sunshine branding."