Social media trumpets Twinkie comeback

Social media trumpets Twinkie comeback

Summary: Hostess Brands, makers of Twinkies has re-launched its most popular cake.

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Twinkies are back on the shelves after an eight month cakeless gap.

Twinkies
Credit: Hostess Brands / Facebook

The ultra sweet cake has been missed and mourned by many on social media since its parent, Hostess Brands fell into financial difficulty.

In November last year the Hostess Brands Facebook page announced that it had been ‘forced to shut down all operations and sell all company assets due to the Bakers Union strike’.

The Hostess Brands wind down was in order to ‘preserve and maximize the value of the estate after one of the Company’s largest unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), initiated a nationwide strike that crippled the Company’s ability to produce and deliver products at multiple facilities’.

In March, Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co bought the Twinkies brand and others for $410 million. Last month the brand started to post on its Facebook page announcing that ‘This summer, Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs, Donettes and other classic treats are making a comeback’.

The return of the cake with an extended shelf life of 45 days, up from 26 days (the indefinite shelf life is an urban legend) has been greeted with delight across social channels.

Crystina tweeted #Twinkies are BACK !!!! All Hostess fans can rest easy.

@kwoess tweeted I don't remember the last time I had @Hostess_Snacks #Twinkies. But I want one today! #TwinkiesToday

Hostess is using a multi platform campaign strategy to engage its users with media. There is a giant Twinkie in Times Square, a cupcake in Los Angeles. Twinkies teams are handing out buttons and a Twinkies food truck tour is planned to tour the country and give out cakes.

Low cost alternatives to traditional marketing strategies are also being used. Social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Vine form the core pillars of that strategy.

The microsite feed your cake face has been populated with Instagram images and Vines showing the first bite of the snacks. 50 million Twinkies are going to be in stores over the first two weeks of the comeback.

 Some people are not so happy about the comeback of the brand. 

Kyle Kiel tweeted: Am I the only one who's NOT excited about #twinkies? Not a fan

@demofem tweeted ‘BOYCOTT#twinkies now made with non union labor. Boycott #TwinkieTODAY and every day’.

@reluctantzealout tweeted ‘Right To Work employees get their turn making Twinkies. Unions didn't like the jobs so now other's will get them! #twinkieToday

Victor Ray posted on Facebook ‘Remember people...made with NON -UNION labor now..cheap labor costs = HUGE profits for the company that bought the HOSTESS brand...never ever will buy that product again!!!!‘

For buzz generation Hostess Brands certainly got things right, sliding out an announcement on its dormant social channels hoping that traditional word of mouth methods would work. They did.

Hostess Brands was unprofitable under its earlier cost structure, much of which was determined by union wages and pension costs. Something had to be done in order for the brand to survive.

But using non-union labour is a thorn in the side for some. The new owners are renowned for turning around brands that are struggling. They are using non-union, cheaper labour and the union has encouraged the owners to change their approach.

Hopefully the turnaround will last for longer than the shelf life of the Twinkie itself.

Topic: Social Enterprise

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5 comments
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  • All the sweetness

    without the scum union labor
    everss02
  • Never ate one

    and never will.
    harry_dyke
  • Boy, those labor unions

    really showed Hostess up, eh? I bet all those out-of-work workers are just giddy about their labor union now, eh? When will liberals learn.... ah, never mind, dumb question.
    ccs9623
    • To the Teamsters' credit...

      ...they actually made a deal with the old Hostess to help make it solvent, but Hostess needed a deal with the bakers' union as well and didn't get it.
      John L. Ries
  • two comments

    One) the labor union angle was a conservative canard that ignored the years of mismanagement.
    Two) Seriously, I am waiting for the snowballs comeback. Green St Patty day snowballs, Orange Halloween snowballs,
    krossbow