If you want to leave Santa a cookie with a little extra special holiday flare this season, Oreo is on the case, thanks to an online gifting effort spearheaded by a small e-commerce and supply chain team working out of Bellevue, Wash.
The cookie — and the team, for that matter — are part of a new initiative by Mondelez International, Inc., a world leader in consumer package goods which also makes Trident gum, Triscuits, Cadbury chocolates and more. The team is headed by former Amazon executive Neil Ackerman.
Oreo, the best-selling cooking of the 21st century, is a $2.5 billion global brand, and Ackerman’s team is seizing on that popularity by releasing a web experience (gifts.oreo.com) that serves as a direct-to-consumer gifting destination for a limited run of white fudge-covered Oreos. Two dozen cookies are packaged in festive holiday tins and are priced at $19.99, with shipping included. Shoppers only need a recipient’s email address or mobile phone number to set a gift in motion in the U.S.
“For the holiday season we knew that we wanted to do something fun,” said Ackerman, who serves as global director of e-commerce for Illinois-based Mondelez. “It’s a pretty cool technology and the process is pretty slick. This is a seamless and brand new innovative e-commerce ordering experience for consumers and Oreo is the first large snack food company to do this.”
Ackerman said his 15-person cross-functional team developed the entire program, from idea to market, in 45 days. Jifiti, an Israel-based startup with a focus on e-commerce gifting, served as a partner.
“Our goal is to become the leader in e-commerce snacking by providing the best product assortment, value and convenience for consumers,” Ackerman said. “We’re piloting a more flexible, agile supply chain model that will allow us to have a more direct interaction with shoppers during a time of year when they’re increasingly turning to online sources to research gift ideas and complete purchases.”
Ackerman said the Oreo initiative is especially important for Mondelez because of the insights and knowledge the company will gain and possibly direct toward future projects and worldwide scalability.
“This is a very exciting thing for us, and frankly for the whole industry,” Ackerman said. “We’re the first CPG company that’s able to do first-party direct-to-consumer shipping from our own plants. We have a great supply chain infrastructure that we didn’t have before that’s going to be able to scale across the world if we choose to. And we have a great website that if we want to we could use again one day to do this kind of cool gifting scenario.”
Thanks to a Facebook community of 42 million Oreo lovers, Ackerman encourages fans to act fast, as the holiday cookies are limited and will disappear quickly.
“The price is right, the selection’s right, the content’s right, the product’s beautiful, it tastes amazing — I mean, it’s a vanilla fudge-dipped cookie.” Ackerman said.
Pass the milk!