In an election year, everything and anything becomes politically charged — even sandwich cookies. Donald Trump made headlines last August after declaring he would boycott Oreo after manufacturer Mondelez moved some of its production to Mexico. Intriguingly, the driving force behind that may have been competing cookie brand Hydrox.
The Wall Street Journal reports the CEO of Hydrox maker Leaf Foods, Ellia Kassoff, tweeted at Trump in July to alert him that Mondelez was preparing to send its manufacturing south of the border, while Hydrox — which was in the midst of an attempted comeback after fading into obscurity following a buyout of its original maker, Sunshine — was making its own cookies in the U.S. There's no longer any evidence of this reported tweet, but as the WSJ notes, "Within weeks, Trump was proclaiming he’d never eat Oreos again."
Hydrox happily capitalized on Trump's anti-Oreo stance by sending cookies to his campaign headquarters and posting highly partisan messages of support to its social media accounts:
The timing for Hydrox couldn't have been better; by aligning itself with Trump's "make America great again" messaging and emphasizing itself as the "original" sandwich cookie (it launched four years prior to the Oreo, in 1908), it seems the cookie company has thrust itself back into relevancy — at least where Trump supporters are concerned.
The cookies are currently available via Amazon and are slowly trickling back into various grocery stores, recently signing a distribution deal with Kroger. It seems unlikely Hydrox will ever make a significant dent in Oreo's business, though: The WSJ points out that maker Leaf Foods had total sales of just $1.5 million last year, while Oreo's sales hover around $2 billion a year.