Following bankruptcy in November 2012, Hostess Brands hit the shelves again in July 2013 under new ownership from C. Dean Metropoulos & Co and Apollo.
Four months on, president of Hostess Brands Rich Seban said the brand portfolio remains strong and could even move beyond US territory.
“While there are no formal plans in place, we have received strong interest from potential partners around the world who are eager to introduce the Hostess brand into countries beyond the US,” Seban told BakeryandSnacks.com.
Matthew Hudak, packaged food analyst at Euromonitor International, previously told this site that the Hostess portfolio could work in international markets, particularly developing markets, given the emphasis on food safety that spurs the appeal of packaged foods.
Seban said that interest in the home market since the re-launch has also surpassed the company’s expectations.
“Following the launch, we experienced record demand for our snack cakes, with products selling out of stores almost as quickly as they hit shelves. Since then, demand has remained strong.”
Healthy product launches planned for 2014
Seban said Hostess has several new product launches planned for early 2014 and that they would have a health twist.
He previously told this site that new product development (NPD) efforts would include health-focused innovation like added fiber, wholegrain and even gluten-free. Asked again if this was still the case, he said these health-orientated products do remain part of Hostess’ strategy.
“Health-orientated offerings are not entirely new territory for the Hostess brand. Hostess’ introduction of 100-calorie pack snack cakes several years ago, for example, was one of the most successful new product launches for the brand in decades.
“Our job in innovating is to stay true to the core of the brand, but at the same time, introduce products that make it relevant to a broader consumer base and keep pace with evolving consumer preferences. It’s no different than potato chip brands adding baked varieties to their offerings,” he said.
Hostess also plans to broaden its distribution network in the US across all channels and invest in upgrading facilities to be more efficient.
“Hostess is one of the most iconic brands in American history. It has stood the test of time, generation after generation – regardless of fads and trends that have come and gone. Our job is to be good stewards of this great brand, to maintain the strong connection it has had with consumers and to work to make it even more relevant and exciting,” Seban said.