Call it a comeback. Hydrox, the cookie brand that invented the ‘two chocolate cookies with white cream in the middle’ archetype that Oreo has ridden to the top, is back in production and ready to claim its chocolatey thrown.
According to NPR, Hydrox began production in 1908 and was taken off the shelves in 1999 after changing ownership multiple times and eventually ending up as a trademark owned by Kellogg’s. Kellogg’s didn’t, and still doesn’t, have any plans to bring back the cookie—but the same cannot be said for Ellia Kassoff.
Kassoff is CEO of Leaf Brands, a company who’s tagline claims they “bring the FUN back to candy and snacks!” (they make a candy called Sour Farts). Kassoff remembered Hydrox from his childhood, and decided he wanted to bring back the O.G. Oreo. The only things standing in his way were that silly little trademark and figuring out how to make an exact Hydrox replica.
To tackle the trademark, Kassoff used a loophole in the law that says if you can prove that a trademark is not being used, you can swoop in and swipe it. Kassoff sent a letter to Kellogg’s posing as a fan, asking if there was anywhere to buy Hydrox. When Kellogg’s returned his letter with one of their own saying that the company had no plans to bring the brand back, Kassoff forwarded that letter to the patent office. The patent office saw it as proof the trademark wasn’t being used, and transferred it to Kassoff.
Now in control of the name, Ellia had to figure out how to make Hyrdox specifically, and not just another Newman-O, but the O.G. recipe. After talking to Hydrox experts and tracking down suppliers, he came up with what he and his testers believe to be the real Hydrox. According to the Leaf Brands website, Hydrox are a crunchier and darker chocolate cookie with a less-sweet filling than Oreos.
Now all that’s left to do is produce and distribute, and take down Oreo… or not. Kassoff readily admits that it’s a tall task to pin Hydrox against the world’s favorite cookie—but he’s not looking for the top spot right off the bat. Instead, Kassoff is aiming at a more niche and nostalgic audience through marketplaces like Amazon.
The Hydrox Twitter was incredibly active on Aug 7, telling people that there were only 23 days until production started. But it has been more than a month since Hydrox made promises via Twitter, and we can’t find any available for purchase. But keep your eyes peeled, and Oreo, watch your back.