Why Have Brands Like Oreo Cut Back on Wacky Flavor Offerings?

June 10, 2020
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Consumers wait patiently for their favorite snack brands to drop new varieties of old classics, but they may have noticed recently that the announcements of wacky flavors have been few and far between.

Turns out, there's a pretty good reason for brands' seeming lack of creativity as of late. Companies like Mondelez, General Mills, PepsiCo, J.M. Smucker, Campbell, Coca-Cola, and others have seen a massive spike in demand for their classic products, CNN reports.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, consumers rushed to the grocery stores to grab their favorite snacks and cabinet-fillers to stock up in preparation of a long quarantine. Unfortunately, some of the wackier-flavored items didn't make that list.

Brands were forced to speed up production on their company favorites, which also, in turn, meant cutting out some of their fringe offerings. You may have noticed less varieties of things like Jif peanut butter, Oreos, and Frito-Lay chips at the store.

Jonathan Nude, General Mill's group president of North America retail, explains this phenomenon a little bit more. "There's significant time required to change lines," he says. Making fewer varieties of products is an easy way to speed up production of favorites.

During the pandemic, companies were forced to focus in on what people were buying most - staples and straightforward flavors. Now is not the time to be testing out any wacky new items.

Glen Walter, president of North America for Mondelez, says, "Some of the innovation flavors that we have in the pipeline...we've chosen to either postpone or cancel to allow us to make sure that, from a production standpoint and an execution standpoint, we can continue to deliver to consumers what they know and love."

That being said, you won't be without innovative new offerings for long, as experts predict that companies will likely launch new products in the second half of the year to meet the demand of the consumer.

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