The facility employs 20 researchers, product testers and bakers whose mission it is to create snack cakes that will resonate with consumers.
The Hostess Innovation Lab builds upon the legacy of the Hostess brand, which includes the classic Twinkies – first produced in 1930 by the Continental Baking Company in Illinois as a way to use shortbread pans that were no longer in use – along with several new products, including Hostess Iced Lemon CupCakes and Pumpkin Spice Twinkies.
“The Hostess Innovation Lab enables product innovation to the highest level of consumer delight, ensuring that the most desired products are going to market with the utmost quality and sustainability,” said Darryl Riley, Hostess’s SVP of Quality, Food Safety and R&D.
“The Innovation Lab gives us the testing capabilities, analytics and market research insights we need to support innovation that meets consumer needs and expectations – such as the Hostess Hot Fudge Sundae CupCakes recently conceived and tested for early 2021 production. As the category leader, we take it upon ourselves to make a sustained investment in this consumer-centric area of our business.”
Harnessing consumer insights
The centre acts as an inspirational testing centre to develop new product prototypes, which are then tested in custom-built sensory booths and a focus group room. The data collected enables Hostess to develop products that perform well on store shelves in a quick-to-market manner that accommodate the needs of retail partners.
“The Innovation Lab expands our ability to accelerate the speed at which we bring new products to market, meanwhile deepening our innovation roster and ensuring that these newest additions to our brand portfolio are fan favourites for many years to come,” added Riley.
“For consumers, the Innovation Lab also provides a peek behind the curtain, as well as an opportunity to be a part of that process, demonstrating our commitment to consumer insight-based product invention.”