KANSAS CITY — Offering greater visibility into the company’s plans for the in-store bakery (I.S.B) market, William D. Toler, president and chief executive officer of Hostess Brands, Inc., on March 14 announced the launch of the Hostess Bake Shop for the I.S.B. category.
Mr. Toler introduced the brand in a call with investment analysts in connection with the company’s 2016 financial results (see related story).
The potential for Hostess in the I.S.B. category has been highlighted by Hostess executives on numerous occasions since the company acquired Superior Cake Products in June 2016. Still, details of how Hostess would build out the relatively modest Stockbridge, Mass.-based business had been scant.
|William D. Toler, president and c.e.o. of Hostess|
“The (I.S.B.) category is currently growing around 4% annually, which last year was faster than the center-of-the-store, sweet baked goods category,” Mr. Toler said. “Superior’s product line includes eclairs, black and white cookies, madeleines brownie bites, and creampuffs, all new products to Hostess. We plan to leverage our distribution model and resources so this primarily northeastern-centric company can be rolled out across the country in conjunction with our launch of the new Hostess Bake Shop line into the in-store bakery.”
In addition to introducing a Hostess Cupcake cookie, a version of the Superior black and white cookie with the Hostess squiggle, Mr. Toler said the Hostess Bake Shop line will feature triple-dipped Ding Dongs and decorated Twinkies.
Asked by an investment analyst to quantify the potential on the initiative, Mr. Toler said it was too early to say much.
“The Hostess Bake Shop is literally just starting,” he said. “Literally. I think our first shipments on the cupcake cookie were in late February, early March. It’s not material in any of the financials, but we are starting to get some exposure in the marketplace, which is good. That’s important for the future.”
The chance for Hostess to sell beyond its traditional center-of-the-store home in supermarkets is among the reasons Mr. Toler said the company’s hopes for Hostess Bake Shop are so high.