LITTLETON, Colo. — A local woman says she entered the My Oreo Creation contest, her idea was picked as a finalist, yet she's never been acknowledged by Oreo as a winner.
Taylor Young, of Lone Tree, submitted her idea for a cherry cola flavored Oreo last May.
Shortly after submitting her idea, she received a note from Oreo and its parent company, Mondelez International, Inc., that read, "Dear Taylor Young, Thanks for sending us your idea. We thought it was so delicious, we turned it into this one-of-a-kind creation just for you. Straight from the wonder vault. Enjoy!"
They also sent her a small packet with two cherry cola flavored Oreo cookies inside.
"It is pretty good,” Young said. “I tried it.”
Young was on cloud nine.
The contest states all finalists are awarded $25,000. And it states the person who submits the winning flavor will win $500,000.
“I, from what I can tell, was the first person to tweet that idea," Young said.
But then, for Young, the contest went from sweet to sour. Oreo stopped communicating with her. Months went by and then she saw her cookie on store shelves.
“I reached out to them and I said, 'I'm seeing that my cookie won," Young said.
Oreo finally responded saying in part, cherry cola was already in development - so it wasn't her idea, it was theirs.
"That's not cool," Young said. "If they claim that they already had it in their back pocket, then they don't need to provide prizes to anyone."
We reached out to Oreo and its parent company. They sent this statement:
"We received very positive response to the My OREO Creation Contest with nearly 700,000 consumer submissions during the contest period.
In order to surprise and delight fans throughout the program, we created more than 300 samples to send to fans who submitted flavors to us as part of the promotion. This was separate from the finalist selection and intended simply to surprise and thank some of our fans for participating (as stated in the contest rules), and did not indicate that they were a winner. In fact, several fans received “cherry cola” samples following their submission of that flavor.
We did select one “cherry cola” submission as a winner in this contest, and that entrant has been notified.
As expected, many consumers submitted the same flavor suggestions, including “cherry cola”, but did so in different and creative ways. Knowing that this would happen, the winning submission was based on more than just identifying the flavor... but also on the creative way in which the entrant presented the flavor..."
Young says it's just a crummy deal.
“I'm old enough to realize that life isn't always fair,” Young said. “But, if there was a kid who came up with this - and their mom and dad submitted it and they saw it on the shelves, that's really sad. No one deserves that.”