- Hostess Brands is adding caffeine to its popular Donettes doughnut brand with the introduction of Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes. Each doughnut contains 50 to 70 milligrams of caffeine, slightly less than one cup of coffee.
- The Boost Jumbo Donettes are three times bigger than the average mini Donettes, and are caffeinated with coffee bean extract. They are available in two flavors: Chocolate Mocha and Caramel Macchiato.
- Consumers are looking for more than nourishment or hydration from many of their favorite foods and drinks. Increasingly, shoppers are seeking out functional attributes like caffeine, probiotics and relaxation that they can enjoy at home or on the go.
For many people, grabbing a doughnut and a cup of coffee is a routine part of their morning. Now Hostess, the company behind snacks such as Twinkies and Ding Dongs, is bringing the breakfast staples together into one portable offering. The caffeine-infused sweet treat will begin rolling out to convenience store shelves this month.
“For adults who are increasingly looking for alternative sources of caffeine, our new Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes offer a tasty, energy-boosting, grab-and-go way to jumpstart the day,” Christopher Balach, general manager of Hostess Brands, said in a statement.
The doughnut could better position Hostess to thrive in the current moment where some adults are returning to the office while others remain confined to doing their jobs at home. During the pandemic, more consumers forgoing their morning commute had time to sit down for breakfast, and having a sweet doughnut loaded with caffeine could be an enticing option should that continue.
But for others being summoned back to the office, the new Boost Jumbo Donettes could be the perfect grab-and-go snack as they head out the door. It could be less messy than holding a doughnut in one hand and a cup of joe in the other as they run to the car or catch the subway.
Disruptions to the supply chain also could marginally work in the product's favor. The Wall Street Journal noted restaurants and suppliers are running out of disposable cups thanks to shipping delays while paper mills are facing a worker shortage that is curtailing output. With fewer cups and higher prices for coffee, consumers may look for other alternatives to get their daily jolt.
The demand for coffee and caffeine has infiltrated other products in the food and beverage landscape beyond the doughnut.
Limitless Coffee & Tea, a coffee roaster and retailer in Chicago, has Lightly Caffeinated Sparkling Water; Molson Coors Beverage is distributing ZOA, a nonalcoholic energy drink made with caffeine derived from green tea and unroasted coffee beans; and Coca-Cola launched Coca-Cola with Coffee in January 2021. Pocket Latte, Picky Bars and Clif Bar are just a few of the food makers who had added the stimulant to some of their products.
For Hostess, the new Boost Jumbo Donettes give people another reason to consume its products beyond just the desire for a sweet treat. In addition to the morning, someone looking for an afternoon pick-me-up could grab one of the doughnuts while stopping at their local convenience store to fill up their tank with gas.
While Hostess' line of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and coffee cakes has been at the company's core since its resurgence in 2016, it has been bulking up its portfolio to attract consumers in adjacent areas where it didn't have a major presence. Its brands have made an appearance in other categories, with the iconic Twinkie making an appearance in cereal, hot beverages and ice cream. Hostess also acquired Voortman, a manufacturer of premium, branded wafers and sugar-free and specialty cookies, in 2019.