For the world’s most famous pop stars, expanding into other businesses is a great way to connect with fans, build a brand and make some money. It’s almost a rite of passage at this point: Beyoncé’s Ivy Park athleisure, Rihanna’s Fenty products and Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories are all just recent examples of popular artists taking advantage of their big names to capitalize in other ventures.
But Gaga’s new Oreos are, well, different. The line of limited-edition cookies is inspired by the singer’s latest release “Chromatica” (2020), a dance-pop album exploring mental health and healing.
Gaga’s Oreos are a spin on the classic sandwich cookies, with pink cookies and green icing in the middle (although there’s no flavor difference from a Golden Oreo). The cookies are inspired by the color scheme of “Chromatica” — Gaga originally imagined the album as a planet inhabited by various color tribes. Of course, these Oreos don’t come in just plain old packaging either; it’s bright pink and clearly visible at the end of the cookie aisle.
Now, wait a minute. Gaga doing a collaboration with Oreos? Doesn’t that seem a little … menial for someone of Gaga’s stature? Well, Gaga anticipated a much more robust promotion for “Chromatica;” however, most of those rollout plans were scrapped thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s easy to mourn what could’ve been — the live performances, campaigns and tours — but at the very least, we have some exciting Oreos to comfort us.
And exciting they are! When the Oreos were released nationwide in January, fans scrambled to stores in search of the pink and green cookies. For this writer, it took some time to actually get a package — multiple stores were sold out, and words can’t express the awkwardness of walking up to a Target worker and asking if they were expecting any more of Gaga’s Oreos anytime soon.
It took a few days and some minor Reddit research to discover where “Chromatica” Oreos would be and when the best time was to order them for pick up. Once the cookies were finally secured, the cashier was fascinated by them. She mentioned something about her family wanting them, but that they had been sold out for a few days. In the car, an immediate taste test ensued.
The cookies are crunchier than a normal Oreo — one may wonder if they’re stale or not — but it’s easy to get used to that. Beyond the crazy colors, “Chromatica” Oreos really just taste like Golden Oreos (if not a little sweeter). They do well when dunked in milk, never getting too soft to crumble. Each bite is satisfying and there’s a good cookie-to-icing ratio; this was a relief, considering Double Stuf Oreos are simply atrocious. Who needs that much icing?
After trying a few, the cookies were shared with some friends. While this writer felt positively about the Oreos, others weren’t as thrilled. Some called them “radioactive,” “food dye” and simply “too sweet.” Another joked that “Chromatica” Oreos stick to your insides for years, like that old wives’ tale about gum. But don’t listen to the naysayers. These cookies are good — try them for yourself!
Beyond the deliciousness of “Chromatica” Oreos, the memes around the cookies are a welcomed part of the experience. One Twitter user compared them to the COVID-19 vaccine — both are “absolutely essential, impossible to get.” Another imagined what “Chromatica” curry would look like —disgusting. And music artist Slayyyter commented that she “bought stock in ‘Chromatica’ Oreos.”
So, it seems that “Chromatica” Oreos are doing their job: being a tasty eating experience and connecting with fans. Of course, it’s a different investment than any Ivy Park or Haus Laboratories product. It’s also certainly not what fans might have expected as a form of Gaga’s album promotion. But during COVID-19, it’s probably better to lower our collective expectations and enjoy what we can get. So, we’ll turn on “Chromatica,” wear some “Rain On Me” merchandise and eat our pink Oreos in peace.