The US food manufacturer has introduced seasonal and limited edition Twinkies with different fillings, such as pumpkin pie and green slime, but its traditional golden cake has to-date “gone untouched”.
Hostess said the chocolate cake Twinkies received high scores in concept tests, and also performed well in a blind tasting during which the vast majority of consumers said the product met or exceeded expectations.
Extending Twinkies in new ways
Hostess’ senior vice president and CMO, Burke Raine, said: “Twinkies are [one of] the most recognized brands in the sweet baked goods [category]. Be it new flavors, new formats or different part of the store, we have endless opportunities to extend the brand in ways that others can’t.”
In terms of targeting different channels, Hostess extended into the frozen food market last year with Deep Fried Twinkies, and then partnered with Nestlé in early 2017 to add frozen Twinkies to its product stable.
The latest Twinkies are available at retailers across the US, sold in single-serve, twin-pack and multi-pack formats.
Growing sweet baked goods
Hostess’ sweet baked goods segment saw a net revenue increase to $609.9m in 2016 from $607.4m the year prior.
The segment represented more than 92% of the company’s net revenue in the 2016 financial year.
Bill Toler, CEO of Hostess, commented during the quarterly earnings call that: “Per Nielsen, our market share of the sweet baked goods category has grown consistently since relaunch and is now at 16.7% for the 52-week period ending December 31, 2016".
Toler also told BakeryandSnacks the company had an “exciting and robust” pipeline of new products set to debut this year, including sugar crunch Donettes, white fudge-covered Ding Dongs and peanut butter Ho Ho.
He also said the bakery industry can expect to see more partnerships between retailers and brands in 2017.