Hot take: Hostess has quietly become the most dependable snack company of the Halloween season. Sorry, everyone else! The proof is in the literal pudding:
THOSE BOXES, THO.
They look like cheap backdrops for public access horror hosts, and I mean that in the best way. What’s really endearing is that they’re so classically gothic. You almost never see that anymore.
Can I just say how impressed I’ve been with Hostess since the post-bankruptcy buyout? It’s just been one bizarre thing after another. It’s like they’ve finally embraced the fact that what they produce is basically “edible play food.”
Why play it safe when you’re already selling oblong sponges filled with vanilla spiderwebs? Might as well get funky.
Shown above aren’t all of Hostess’s Halloween offerings, either. There are actually several more, both of the “returning” and “new” varieties. I’m grouping these three together because they’re the only ones that come dressed like Dracula’s bedroom. I like to think of them as a team.
Chocolate S’cream Twinkies lead the pack, and though chocolate-filled Twinkies certainly existed before, I believe this is the first time they’ve been marketed as a Halloween thing. (More commonly, Hostess dyes the filling neon colors but leaves the actual flavor alone.)
This isn’t so much a nitpick as me just wanting impossible dreams to come true, but jeez, imagine if they’d gone all-in and made the chocolate filling an ashy black color? ALL THE GOLD.
(Course, I admit that my preference is more over how they would photograph and less about actually eating them.)
Even as they exist now, the Twinkies are close to perfect. Chocolate is a more natural “alternative” flavor than what Hostess usually comes up with, and I feel fortunate that I don’t have to sit here only pretending to like it. Key lime, this isn’t.
Hostess also dusted off their Glo Balls and Scary Cakes, which sadly haven’t been upgraded beyond the packaging. On the other hand, the fact that they’ve remained unchanged for so many years has arguably marked the snacks as Halloween staples, much like Nabisco’s Oreos with the orange filling.
That’s especially true with the Scary Cakes. There’s a plasticky candy coating that seems unique to their frosting, and without it, Halloween could never fire on every cylinder. I need it as much as I need Count Chocula. I just don’t talk about it as much.
I’m more open to a Glo Balls makeover, though. Here’s my pitch: Go with a deep-yet-faint blue dye, call them Zom Balls, and present them as undead snacks. Note that my pitch will land better if you’re A) drunk and B) a super agreeable drunk.
Rebranding Chocolate Twinkies and resurrecting familiar snacks wouldn’t normally merit a full tribute, but the packaging really is that good. The fact that I now have enough weird cake things to fill a foosball table is just a bonus.
I like to think of them as delicious alien spaceships stuck in a cosmic traffic jam. I am the black hole that slays few but saves many. Messier 666, they’ll call me.