A user with the handle u/LehmanParty (don’t dig too deeply into the origins of that username) posted this wild theory: “Markets crash every time Oreo releases an even greater-stuffed cookie”.
The research the Redditor used to reach this conclusion is rather straightforward. Simply comparing the timeline of the releases of the desert snack cookie flavors to the times in the past when global stock markets have experienced sudden movements reveals some interesting, if hardly scientific, insights.
As the original poster writes in his forward, tongue planted firmly in cheek:
“The increasingly-depraved debuts of Oreos with more stuffing indicate unstable amounts of greed and leverage in the system, serving as an immediate indicator of that the makings of a market crash are in place.”
It actually gets more interesting when you look at the inverse. Apparently, the markets enter a more bullish stance whenever Oreo’s new cookie variants include less sugar-based filling. This bizarre coincidence is certainly intriguing, but does it hold any merit? Of course, snack foods don’t directly influence the stock market, but is the correlation actually there?
The Oreo Market
In 1974, the very first Double Stuf Oreo came out. And, yes, it is spelled “Double Stuf.” Some people online swear that these cookies were at one point called “Double Stuff” or “Double Stuffed,” but this is not the case. Many enthusiasts on the internet consider this an example of another semi-humorous rabbit hole, the Mandela Effect.
In any event, in 1974, just after the release of the Double Stuf Oreo, the markets crashed. The Dow Jones tumbled 45%, and the FTSE dropped 73%. Okay, so that’s just one year, not too strange, right?
Well, in 1987, Oreo released another snack cookie variant, this time a Big Stuf Oreo. Once again, the single “F” in the word “Stuf” is a purposeful misspelling that continues to confuse junk food fans. And once again, a newer, bigger Oreo coincided with a market crash. Black Monday in 1987 saw the market collapse 20% in a single day and sent the US into a bear market.
Are you still not convinced? Well, there’s more. In 1991, Oreo introduced their first Mini Oreo. Also in 1991, the Japanese stock market was booming with an asset price bubble that pushed the country’s economy into a bull market and saw them making huge amounts of money on a national level. This was the start of an era of extreme economic prosperity for Japan.
In this case, the cookie worked in reverse, with a smaller-sized snack predicting a bull market, unlike previous extra-stuf’ed variants preceding bear markets.
Modern Oreo Variants
As we get closer to the modern-day, ever more Oreo variants continue to be released. And the stock market continues to be a roller coaster.
But in 2011, Oreo released their biggest cookie yet, the gargantuan Triple Double Oreo. I think you know what comes next. The year 2011 was a terrible year for the markets, with the S&P dropping a full 21% during one of the longest bear markets in modern US history. This massive five-month bear market matched just how massive the Triple Double Oreo was.
In 2015, another reversal of fortune occurred when Oreo released their new Oreo Thins. And, you guessed it, the market soared. The S&P entered a roaring bullish stance in 2015 that it stayed in for years. Now, I’m not saying that this was Oreo’s doing, but the Oreo Thins are very thin, and Oreo hasn’t steered us wrong yet…
Now, if you’ve been doing your own research, you might be thinking that this theory is completely wrong because one new Oreo variant didn’t cause any market damage, despite being a massive new cookie. The Most Stuf Oreo was briefly released in 2019, but no bear market followed it. Here’s the thing: the Most Stuf Oreo didn’t spend enough time on store shelves to count. It was discontinued before any havoc on the stock market.
Until now, that is. The Most Stuf Oreo was re-released in early 2021. As of yet, there has been no strong response from the market. Only time will tell if the Oreo Theory will hold and the hubris of Oreo brings about another bitter market crash.
Correlation and Causation
No, there’s no deeper meaning to this report. Snack cookies don’t foretell the stock market, and correlation does not equal causation. With enough data points and timelines, you can correlate anything to anything. Proving causality between those two things is often much, much harder, though.
So, there you have it. The Oreo Theory of the Stock Market. If you really believe it’s a thing, call up Nabisco and ask them to exclusively release smaller, thinner Oreos from now on so the market just stays in bull mode all the time!
Curious to find out just how tasty these Oracle Oreo variations are? We’ve ranked every Oreo flavor from best to worst. How many have you tried?