How the Oreo Crumbles

oreoYou can talk about your Twinkies. You may hustle for a Ho-Ho. And I'll admit I have pined for a Pop-Tart or two (blueberry, unfrosted, untoasted, please.) But the childhood craving that is always knocking at the door is the one for Oreo Cookies. Those two, crispy, cardboardy, chocolate wafers, that pseudo-cream white stuff in the middle--heaven was a twist, a lick, and a bite. The grainy brown coating on my tongue was proof of indulgence. Calories didn't count, saturated fats were smiled upon, and worrying about the glycemic index was decades in the future. Sure, I might wind up with a mild sugar buzz, but that was part of growing up.

In those days Oreo was a product of National Biscuit Company, Nabisco.  Nabisco is still around but is now a part of Mondelez International, headquartered here in the northern suburbs. And as reported in yesterday's Tribune, Mondelez is undergoing some shake-ups.  A pair of top officers, Roberto Marques and Dana Anderson, are on their way out, separation packages and stock options in tow.

Not being an avid reader of financial reports or stock analyst newsletters, I am in the dark as to what precipitated the purge. Wikipedia lists at least 60 varieties of Oreos. Was one of those the downfall? Did Fireworks Oreos, with their blue and red popping candy explode in the wrong person's mouth? Did Swedish Fish Oreos swim afoul of proposed import-export tariffs? Or did the FDA get around to perusing the nutritional composition of Triple Double Oreos as closely as it scrutinizes newly developed laboratory tests, and put a big black box warning on the label:  "Warning-Consumption of these cookies may lead to immediate death by disgust"?

The Tribune article reports that former Executive Vice President Marques is receiving a separation package of $895,000. That doesn't seem an incredibly big settlement for a hot shot from a company with almost $26 billion in sales in 2016. But I like to think of it in terms of a stack of Double Stuff Oreos, reaching up to the sky. Would that stack reach the clouds, the stratosphere, the moon? And double that stack if Target was having a BOGO sale. Let's hope there would be no Firecracker Oreos in the mix. A few explosions and we might wind up with a nation covered in granular brown dust. And that's way too much for me to lick off by myself. Care to help?
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