Oreo (stylized as OREO ) is a sandwich cookie. Oreo has become the best selling cookie in the United States, through the 20th century and into the 21st.
The "Oreo Biscuit" was first developed and produced by the National Biscuit Company (today known as Nabisco) in 1912 at its Chelsea factory in New York City. The name Oreo was first trademarked on March 14, 1912. It was launched as an imitation of the Hydrox cookie manufactured by Sunshine Biscuits company, introduced in 1908.
The original design of the cookie featured a wreath around the edge of the cookie and the name "OREO" in the center. In the United States, they were sold for 25 cents a pound in novelty cans with clear glass tops.
In the mid-1990s, health concerns prompted Nabisco to replace the Lard in the filling with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Starting in January 2006, Oreo cookies replaced the trans fat in the cookie with non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.
In May 2008, following stocking of Oreo (called Oreo biscuits in UK) in the supermarket chain Sainsbury's, Kraft decided to fully launch the Oreo across the UK, repackaged in the more familiar British tube design, accompanied with a £4.5M television advertising campaign around the 'twist, lick, dunk' catchphrase. Kraft recently partnered with McDonald's to bring the Oreo McFlurry (already on sale in many countries) to a few McDonald's locations during its yearly Great Tastes of America promotions. An Oreo flavored "Krushem" drink was also on sale in UK KFC stores. The UK Oreo website gives a slightly different ingredients list to that of the US product.
On 6 December 2011, Kraft announced that Oreos would start to be produced in the UK. Their Cadbury factory at Sheffield in South Yorkshire has been selected to manufacture Oreos in the UK for the first time. Construction of the Oreo plant in Sheffield was due to start in March 2012.
UK oreos originally contained whey powder and so were not suitable for people who avoid milk products. As the whey powder was sourced from cheese made with calf rennet, UK Oreos were also not suitable for vegetarians. However since Spring 2013, the whey powder has been removed and UK Oreos are now suitable for vegetarians and vegans. In 2014 Oreos also became vegan in the US.
According to the FAQ on Oreo UK siteThey are not vegan  as they have the cross contact of Milk. This maybe just being over cautious just because of possible cross-contaimation risk, the same as products that are labelled as may contain milk.
The following email was received 4 November 2014:
Oreo is not suitable for Vegans as they have the cross contact of milk. According to our Mondelez guidelines; a product that contains no directly added animal-derived ingredients is still not suitable for a Vegan diet if there is milk, egg, fish, or shellfish cross-contact. Thus as milk is a cross contact (=milk not used in the recipe) in Oreo we do not consider it as suitable for vegans. Kind regards, Eleanor Humphries Consumer Relations Team Mondelez UK Limited
Golden Oreos are also vegan
The origin of the name Oreo is unknown, but there are many theories, including derivations from the French word 'Or', meaning gold (as early packaging was gold), or the Greek word 'Oreo', meaning beautiful, nice or well done. Others believe that the cookie was named Oreo because it was short and easy to pronounce.
According to a statement from Kim McMiller, an Associate Director of Consumer Relations, a two-stage process is used to make Oreo cookies. The base cake dough is formed into the familiar round cookies by a rotary mold at the entrance of a 300-foot-long oven.
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- Oreo FAQ
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- History of the Oreo Cookie