The Supreme Oreo And Other Astonishing Food Commerce

Supreme Oreo And Other Astonishing Food Commerce

For those seeking streetwear-themed food, there is a cornucopia of options. Ground zero seems to have been Taco Bell and Forever 21’s 2017 team-up to combine fast food and fast fashion into a single entity – fast-food fashion. The initiative got a lot of attention, sold a lot of T-shirts and managed to become, if not exactly a trend, at least something of an inspiration to other brands.

Notable examples include Popeyes, which recently realized that their employee uniforms bore a striking resemblance to various fashion items that Beyonce’s Ivy Park label put out in collaboration with Adidas earlier this year. (Beyonce’s stuff sold out almost immediately.)

Luckily, Popeyes has some recent experience in how poorly customers handle sell-outs – in 2019, they started selling a fried chicken sandwich so delicious that people actually rioted when they couldn’t get them. Hoping to stop a similar wave of violence, we assume, they decided that for the good of the people, the only thing to do was to put their uniforms – and fashion items inspired by them – up for sale.

“Popeyes is offering fashion seekers who missed the boat the first time a chance to score something nearly identical,” the company said in a statement. “Enter a fast food fashion collection that features some of the brand’s most iconic maroon and orange uniform designs.”

The company also tweeted: “Love that look? It’s our uniform. Has been for a while. And now you can buy it.”

Not to be outdone, McDonald’s as of this week has thrown its hat into the ring, sidestepping straight fashion for accessories like a 14-karat-gold McDonald’s locket and a line of Quarter Pounder-scented candles for superfans.

“Because there’s no better smell than 100 percent fresh beef and a perfect combination of toppings,” according to a press release.

Clearly, when it comes to food-inspired clothing and accessory plays, the concept is somewhat old hat at this point.

Food inspired by clothing and accessories, on the other hand? As of this week, it seems to be the hot new trend.

In fact, if the reported numbers are accurate, consumers are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to get their hands on the hottest dessert to hit the market since the discovery of chocolate.

And what is this wonderful dessert consumers are spending a Toyota Camry’s worth of money to enjoy?

Oreo cookies, of course.

Oreo Supremacy

Granted, it’s not just any Oreo cookie – one can still unlock the magic at their local grocery store for a few dollars. But those are just classic Oreos – black with a white creamy interior. Maybe they’re double-stuffed, maybe they are the Most Stuf Oreos – but they will still be standard-issue Oreos.

But this week, for a few brief hours at the Supreme store in Manhattan, consumers had a chance to purchase the Supreme Oreo – a Double Stuf Oreo in Supreme’s signature bright red color, with its logo printed in the center of each cookie. The packaging is also a red rectangle, iconic to the brand, with Supreme’s logo printed across the wrapper, along with Oreo’s signature.

The taste? According to early reports, it is pretty much identical to a regular Oreo.

Not that very many of these cookies are going to be eaten, we wager, since their price tag is climbing by the moment. If one happened to have made it to the front of the line and snagged a pack in-store, they would have paid $8 for three cookies. By comparison, a regular bag of Oreos has 39 cookies and costs about $4 on average. The cookies dropped along with the rest of Supreme’s seasonal collection on Wednesday (Feb. 19), and by mid-day, they were gone.

Gone from the shelves, anyway. They made it onto eBay, though that $8 price tag shot up to $500, $1,000, $4,000, $10,000, $14,000, $18,000 and – as of the writing of this story – around $23,000 on the online auction site. Which, as we noted, is roughly the price of a top-of-the-line Toyota Corolla. In fact, if you didn’t want a sunroof, the Corolla would actually be cheaper than the Oreos.

And that price is likely to go up – the auction it was pulled from doesn’t end until Tuesday of next week.

Explaining the Madness

Exclusive brands with limited product drops that generate absurd mark-ups online are far from a new phenomenon. In fact, for Supreme, a streetwear firm most famous for its ability to generate hype and get enthusiasts lining up outside their stores for days ahead of the release of a new collection, this is more or less standard operating procedure.

Resellers are in that early line-up – they snap up as much as they can (Supreme limits how much buyers can get on release days to slow down the resale market) and then head off to eBay and other auction sites to collect their 10,000 percent mark-up.

In the era of virality and social media promotion, after-market feeding frenzies for hotly anticipated, limited-release goods have become pretty common over the last three years. In 2016, eBay nearly melted down over the consumer madness that broke out over the release of the latest line of Yeezys, Kanye West’s sneaker brand. The most desired and rarest shoes went for around $20,000 – and paying $10,000 for a slightly less desirable model was considered average.

The obvious distinction is that clothes and shoes can be worn for a long time if one is careful. Three Oreos, on the other hand, will be fully consumed in under a minute – leaving one with only a $20,000 wrapper to prove they ever existed. Alternatively, one could keep the Oreos, which preserves the purchase but does make it fundamentally useless. After all, the point of Oreos is, you know, to eat them. A buyer who leaves them in the package will never so much as see them, let alone taste them.

But the Supreme Oreo, even with its aftermarket mark-up, is just the latest in a long and glorious series of extremely expensive dessert items. For example, one could travel to the Lindeth Howe Hotel in England and purchase the world’s most expensive chocolate pudding for $35,000. The dish’s ingredients include a two-carat diamond (not for eating), edible gold leaf, four flavors of Belgian chocolates, and gold and champagne caviar.

But if that seems a bit rich for your blood, there is also the Haute Chocolate Sunday from Serendipity 3 restaurant, priced at a much more reasonable $25,000. The sundae contains five grams of 23-carat edible gold, and is topped with the $250 La Madeline au Truffle. It also comes with a golden spoon, an 18-carat-gold bracelet with one carat of white diamonds, and ice cream served in a goblet with a gold crown.

And if that sounds good, but you would feel uncomfortable actually eating out of a crown with a gold spoon, here’s some good news: Krispy Kreme’s Luxe donut can be eaten with your hands. How is a luxury donut made? A lot of 24-carat-gold leaf, a few edible diamonds and Dom Perignon champagne jelly filling. Comparatively, this one is a bargain – it costs a measly $1,700 after tax, less than one-tenth the price of a Supreme Oreo.

And, of course, one might observe that most five-figure desserts come with a shiny piece of gold or diamond hardware that isn’t meant to be eaten – whereas all you get with the Supreme Oreo is a branded wrapper.

That’s a long way of saying that for Oreo, the move is brilliant – since it is not every day that a product that hasn’t changed its recipe for over 100 years manages to become the hottest commodity on eBay with just a little food coloring and a lot of hype.

But our advice to our readers this weekend?

Maybe stick with the original. We suspect that when the hype dies down, you just might find some bright-red Oreos for sale in a store near you (probably without the Supreme logo) that cost a whole lot less than a compact sedan.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.