Twinkies Are Forever, Thanks to the Rise of Snacking and Strong Execution
Americans love snacking — and big brands will do whatever they can to fuel your cravings. In 2022, US snack sales jumped 11%, with half of consumers snacking at least three times a day — up 8% from two years ago, per Circana Group.
Experts have pinned the growth on busier schedules, increased video gaming and popularity among younger generations. According to Mondelēz’s global head of insights, millennials and Gen Zs consume, on average, 10% more snacks daily than previous generations. And food giants are setting their eyes on snacks for future growth:
- Kellogg (NYSE:K) is spinning off its business, which will be called Kellanova, anticipating $13B in sales — seeing snacks as its growth driver.
- On its recent earnings call, Hostess said its Family Packs for Twinkies, CupCakes and Ding Dongs launched last year are performing well — and is planning to expand the format to other brands.
The rise in snacking has aided the revival of one of America’s most iconic snack brands — after Hostess faced bankruptcy twice in both 2009 and 2012.
Surviving more than a nuclear apocalypse
In 2012, a private equity firm purchased Hostess Brands out of liquidation, resurrected it and took it public in 2016. Today, the company is a fraction of its size during its peak — but the business is thriving under a new CEO, is profitable and growing its market share.
- Since 2018, Hostess’ sales have grown over 60% — and it has launched new brands and even acquired others, including cookies and wafers maker Voortman in 2019.
- Hostess could become an attractive target for food conglomerates like Mondelēz — which has purchased at least nine brands, including Clif Bar and Give & Go, since 2018.
Per food analyst Ben Bienvenu, Hostess is “smarter, sharper” and has “executed really well compared to some of their bigger peers” (Food Dive). In the past five years, $TWNK has returned nearly 97% — outperforming the S&P 500’s 59%. But it’s uncertain whether pandemic snacking trends will last — and how weight-loss drugs, meant to suppress appetite, will further drive snacking habits.