The re-launch has been successful, according to the company: Almost 85 million Twinkies have been shipped, and re-order demand has been steady. With no new product news, the brand has been riding the excitement of returning an iconic brand to the people.
Once that wears off, experts agree, the brand will need to focus on adding new devotees; a harder proposition given healthier lifestyle trends. The question that needs to be answered is what the company will do to grow the brand. Twinkies sales had been declining before the sale, according to court papers, so nostalgia will only be able to take the brand so far.
Twinkies has a very strong brand. Perhaps the new owners will be able to expand the footprint and launch new products or find complementary associations that can increase the brand's value. The brand might even license its use in other categories to find additional profit. As for the proposed product innovations, it remains to be seen whether there is a market for portion-controlled or better-for-you Twinkies.
For now, Twinkies continues ride the wave of snack food fans, happy to have Twinkies back in the starting line-up.
My wife put on a pot of coffee and leisurely enjoyed her Twinkies between sips. Although she is glad they are back, she doesn't think she'll buy them any more frequently than she has in the past and warned me that I shouldn't get in the habit of bringing home snack food for her consumption. And that was a domestic demonstration of the current brand challenge.
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Larry D. Woodard is CEO of Graham Stanley Advertising and the co-author of the book, "Advertising as a Branding Tool."
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