Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"Sweetest Comeback in the History of EVER"? Twinkies Return From the Dead

When Hostess Baking went under last November, the cries were fast and furious--"SAVE OUR TWINKIES!" Devoted fans of the golden sponge cake with the creamy white filling ran to the nearest big-box store to put away a few cases (and according to urban legend, those cakes should last a century or two with no appreciable degradation). But almost immediately, the recipe and rights to the brandname and packaging were snapped upby Apollo Global Management, with a promise that the Twinkie would rise again!

Now that day has come, and marketing experts are left scratching their heads. Can the little snack cake do the near-impossible in the world of branding? Can they come back from the dead after years of a long slow decline and being taken off the market? With their original consumers aging and the next generation too health-conscious to take them to heart, will anyone care?

Hunter Communications Original News Source:

Link to article:
Excerpt: "Of course, there's no question that Twinkies have a devoted following—a big one. When labor troubles plunged Hostess into bankruptcy last November, unplugging the ovens that had been baking the 'Golden Sponge Cake With Creamy Filling' since 1930, legions of hardcore fans howled in disbelief, some of them even launching a 'Save the Twinkie' Facebook page. 'We love our Twinkies and, though I’m not sure why, it is a solid relationship,' said Steve Ettlinger, whose 2007 book Twinkie Deconstructed scrutinized the Twinkie’s 37 oft-baffling ingredients (anyone know what sodium acid pyrophosphate is?). 'There’s nostalgia, sex and loyalty all wrapped up in that plastic cover,' Ettlinger said.

Yep, and they taste good, too. Which is why Hostess is obviously betting on nostalgia to carry the day—at least for now. Everything about the resurgent Twinkies (box design, cake recipe, even the $3.99 price tag) will be exactly like before. 'The decision to keep the packaging and product consistent with what [the] consumer loved was an obvious one,' said Dave Lubeck, vp of Bernstein-Rein, the advertising agency of record that Hostess announced just yesterday. 'There was no question that consumers wanted the product they knew and loved back.'

But now that the Twinkie is back, some marketers say it has its work cut out for it. While Twinkies purportedly sold 500 million cakes annually and were absent from stores for less than a year, that was enough time for pretender brands including Cloud Cakes, Dreamies and Bingles to bite off some of Twinkies' market share. 'As a brand, one thing you don’t want is your customers trying alternatives,' said Allen Adamson, managing director of marketing consultancy Landor’s New York office. 'They might say, "If I can’t see or taste the difference, why am I paying the difference?"' Adamson added that Twinkies’ real challenge won’t be winning back 'old friends,' but 'figuring out how to make it fun and get younger consumers to connect.' "

No comments:

Post a Comment