Almost a year after the Twinkie's return, Hostess is reintroducing its elusive chocolate-covered cousin — the Chocodile.
Available only intermittently on the West Coast before their discontinuation in 1999, the chocolate-covered Twinkies established their own off-market following, as boxes sold online for $30 to $40. Now Chocodiles join Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Sno Balls on the market again, appearing in stores nationwide this week.
"We see basic consumer trends for Twinkies and we see trends of everything being dipped or wrapped in chocolate, and we thought that by putting the two together we would get a wonderful, fun snack," said William Toler, president and chief executive of Hostess Brands. "And it was always part of our desire, as a part of rebuilding Hostess, to bring out the wonderful icons that we have."
Hostess called the return of its Twinkies last year "the sweetest comeback in history ever," after the brand came back from bankruptcy and started reintroducing its classic snacks. This year, it says the Chocodile's return marks the "summer of Twinkies," a slogan printed on each new Chocodile box.
The company reports that there is a lot of demand for Chocodiles again, especially over Facebook and Twitter. Now, after decades of absence and intermittent West Coast appearances, Chocodiles are available at grocery and convenience stores across the country.
"It's got a bit of that hip, edgy name to it ... and I think the buzz on social media make it something people want and will try," said Toler.
The new Chocodiles are "fun sized," coming in smaller portions than the 1990s version. However, even though the recipe has changed slightly, Hostess says the pastries look and taste pretty much the same. The retail price is about $3.99 for a box of nine pastries.
Hostess is also calling for recipe submissions to its Twinkies cookbook "comeback edition." Recipes, either savory or sweet, can be sent to www.hostesscakes.com by July 31.