Packaged food manufacturer Hostess Brands opened a new research and development lab in Lanexa, KS on June 15 that will help the firm to capitalize on consumer-driven snacking trends, the company announced in a recent release.
“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,” Darryl Riley, senior vice president of Quality, Food Safety, and R&D at Hostess, said in a statement. “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”
About 20 researchers, product testers, and bakers will staff the Hostess Innovation Lab in Lanexa, creating new varieties of snack cakes. Product prototypes will be tested in custom-built sensory booths and the company will solicit feedback from consumers in a focus group room at the site.
“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 favorites for many years to come,” said 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.”
Hostess produces Twinkies, CupCakes, Zingers, and Ding Dongs snack cakes.