Those small, fluffy, cream-filled snack cakes, immersed in hot oil long enough to crisp the cake while leaving a warm, gooey center. Deep-fried Twinkies. Once only available at state fairs, now in your freezer. Direct from Hostess and solely at Walmart through October. Then the delectable treats will be widely available at a store near you.
Available in both Chocolate and Original Golden flavor, each box contains 7 cakes and only take 6 minutes to bake at 350 degrees. And while obviously not good for you, they are apparently quite good. In fact, one reason Hostess began developing the product and why Walmart decided to begin carrying the cakes was because they are bad for you.
“It has a “retro cool factor,” says Ellen Copaken, Hostess’ vice president of marketing. “It plays into the comfort food trend. And it’s fun”.
“Most of our customers have a desire to eat healthier,” Charles Redfield, executive vice president of food at Wal-Mart, said. “But at the end of the day, it has to taste good. Great healthy things that don’t taste good don’t do well.”
Additionally, Walmart was very excited to fill a need for their customers:
“When I started as a buyer for frozen snacks at Walmart a few years back, I knew there was a desire to push the envelope on the products we offer. Part of the way we do that is by working with our suppliers, helping them further refine items they’re testing so we can bring them to market. So when I heard rumblings that Hostess was considering a deep-fried Twinkie, I was intrigued. Not only was it something different for the frozen aisle – it filled a need, too, as we were looking to add more dessert choices to our mostly savory assortment.
“We set up a meeting with Hostess to discuss the details. Why this product could succeed. How it lines up with our philosophy of making shopping fun and exciting again. How consumer trends tell us to focus on both products that are healthy and overindulgent – those “sometimes” foods that are so good they’re worth the calories. I talked about the way this product appeals to everyone: from the Boomers who have fond memories of Twinkies as children, to millennials craving a cool midnight snack.
“The first prototypes Hostess brought to our kitchens were a far cry from the product you will see on shelves, but the potential was evident. So we continued to give feedback on taste, appearance, packaging and naming based on tests and what we’ve learned about consumers all over the business. Eventually, we got to the delicious final version now arriving in our stores. And thanks to Walmart, Hostess is growing by entering the frozen food aisle for the first time ever.
“Opportunities like these are the reasons I have so much fun with my job. The fact that my fellow buyers and I get to interact and collaborate with vendors like Hostess is awesome to me. There’s so much room to be creative in serving our customers here at Walmart. That’s really who all this is about. Shopping isn’t only about prices; it should also be a fun experience to try new things. And what’s more exciting than a product that was previously only available at state fairs once a year, now being up for enjoyment anytime from your freezer?”
In other words, Walmart wanted to provide deep-fried Twinkies to their customers throughout the country so badly that they worked with Hostess to develop a frozen food which as closely as possible mimicked a culinary curiosity previously found only at state fairs and intrepid individuals who own a personal deep fryer. Because generations of Americans need deep-fried Twinkies. And should indulge in fun experiences and try new things.
Like deep-fried Twinkies.
Have a nice day.