Twinkies are here to stay

November 21, 2012

For fear they may disappear, shoppers rush to supermarkets to buy up their beloved Twinkies. While Twinkies sits on opportunity to be bigger than ever.

Last Friday, Hostess Brands Inc. in Sacramento, California made the decision to liquidate its brands after failing to resolve demands by striking workers that refused to return to work. The result: a Twinkies supermarket sweep by brand loyalists afraid those cream-filled cakes that many of us loved as a child will ultimately disappear. However, what shoppers may not realize yet is that Twinkies is in a position for rebirth with line extensions that will make the brand stronger than ever.

In a broadcast on Money Markets and More, branding strategist, Adam Hanft of Hanft Projects made a strong case for Twinkies' prime opportunity to reinvent the brand despite the unfortunate circumstances leading to Hostess' bankruptcy.

Twinkies embodies "classic brand awareness," says Hanft, and also "represents a trend in America that is pure hedonism." Although health and wellness is a growing trend, there's still a demand for pure self-indulgence, and in Twinkies' case, that type of satisfaction is accompanied by nostalgic appeal.

So how does the brand reinvent itself to have modern appeal? Hanft suggests the brand focus on today's culture, today's flavor profiles, and in addition position the brand to have a "hipster" profile. Two suggestions from Hanft are perhaps license the brand for a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor. Or what about a Smirnoff Twinkie-flavored vodka?

Hanft also points out that through a partnership with Lady Gaga, iconic brand Polaroid has found a way to dodge death, so Twinkies may benefit largely with similar help from a celebrity personality.

Before the Twinkie hoarding gets out of control, shoppers may be relieved to know that the brand's potential has yet to be seen. Think Twinkies cereal or breakfast pastries, new flavors such as pistachio or raspberry, or how about a Twinkie cake with a healthier profile? Consumers may get more than the wished for if Twinkies' future new owner can quickly leverage this opportunity.