According to Jacobs, what makes Hostess stand out above its competition is product innovation.
“We will always continue to innovate – it is who we are and what we do. We will continually drive flavor news and form news on all our core brands, like Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Donettes, along with new products like Bakery Petites.”
Bakery Petites are bite-sized snacks, made with no artificial colors, flavors or high fructose corn syrup that are presented in a stand-up, resealable pouch that is portable.
Jacobs said Hostess has been driving the sweet baked goods category growth with a focus on both breakfast and all-day snacking.
Moving into the breakfast category
Earlier this year, the Chicago-based company acquired the Cloverhill Bakery brand from Aryzta to capitalize on the growing breakfast space, in particular.
The acquisition included the 137,000 square foot Cloverhill Bakery facility, which the company said ‘represents the largest individually-wrapped Danish pastry facility in North America.’
“This acquisition will enhance our competitive position as we have the opportunity to further build our branded distribution and market share in the breakfast category within sweet baked goods, as well as enhance new and existing retailer relationships, particularly in the complementary club and vending sales channels,” said Jacobs at the time.
With consumers increasingly wanting fast grab-and-go breakfast options, in Q4 2018, Hostess will be launching individually-wrapped multipacks of Danish pastries and cinnamon rolls.
Snacking more than ever
“The good news is that consumers love to snack and they are snacking more than ever, so we are not worried about snacking consumption going down,” he added. “In fact, we are seeing snacking consumption increasing, and it’s also at all times of the day. I think what is driving snacking today is product innovation, but also innovation in packaging formats.”
He noted the sweet baked goods company has updated several of its well-loved brands, including introducing a peanut butter Ding Dong, Jumbo Donettes – “an oxymoron on the mini donut format” – and a sliced Ice Lemon Cake.
Hostess launches new products twice a year – the biggest introductions taking place in the fourth quarter to hit the retailers in the first quarter of the following year.
“So, we launch in October, and you’ll find our new products on shelf around February and March,” said Jacobs.