The Hostess Brands category management team dedicated to convenience retail met with more than 40 retail chains and distributors throughout 2022. The team built comprehensive packaged bakery category reviews designed to help retailers have a better understanding of their individual performance and what should be done to drive growth and reduce risks. Hostess leveraged a large assortment of data resources and tools, including Nielsen, IRI, customer data portals, panel data, assortment/incrementality tools, and research-driven consumer insights.
Last year also saw the activation of a packaged bakery merchandising test that Hostess fielded to optimize the sweet baked goods planogram in c-stores. With its retail partners, the company tested multiple layout options for the breakfast and all-day snacking subsegments within sweet baked goods. Hostess was able to validate over/under placement of the two subsegments as the best way to drive category growth. The test also provided learnings on optimal segment placement; for example, where to merchandise cupcakes, honeybuns, doughnuts, etc. The results were shared with Hostess' retail partners and implemented in the Gold Standard planogram recommendations that are provided to all customers.
Additionally in 2022, the Hostess Consumer Insights Team fielded a study on the significance of bagged doughnuts to the packaged bakery category, specifically for c-stores. This study provided learnings on customer demand and assortment expectations across multipack and single-serve doughnuts, as well as the different usage occasions for each pack type. The findings were shared with multiple c-store retailers to help them optimize their packaged doughnut offering.