Hydrox hits Kroger

by Eric Schroeder
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Hydrox cookies, Leaf Brands
Kroger has begun stocking Hydrox cookies in its 2,600-plus stores nationwide.

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — Hydrox cookies, which were relaunched last fall by Leaf Brands L.L.C., are now available at The Kroger Co., Cincinnati. Kroger, one of the world’s largest food retailers, has begun stocking Hydrox cookies in all its stores nationwide, including Scott’s, City Market, Dillon’s, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s among others. In addition to Kroger, other chains carrying Hydrox include Wegman’s (Northeast), Dierberg’s (St. Louis), Schnuck’s (St. Louis), Gelson’s (California) and Tops Market.

Ellia Kassoff, Leaf Brands
Ellia Kassoff, c.e.o. of Leaf Brands

“The demand for Hydrox has been so incredible, we spend most of our time making sure regions are covered,” said Ellia Kassoff, chief executive officer of Leaf Brands. “With Kroger’s 2,600-plus stores across the country, we’re really excited to partner with them and get the cookies to the people.”

Hydrox cookies debuted in 1908 and were manufactured by Sunshine Biscuits. Keebler purchased Sunshine Biscuits in 1996, and in 1999, Keebler replaced Hydrox with a similar but reformulated product named Droxies. Keebler later was acquired by the Kellogg Co. in 2001. Kellogg removed Droxies from the market in 2003 and then revived Hydrox in 2008 in celebration of the cookie’s 100th anniversary. Distributed under the Sunshine label, Hydrox cookies shipped in late August 2008 with a slightly different recipe from the original. Less than a year later the products again were off the market.

Hydrox cookies sold under the Sunshine brand in 2008
Kellogg revived Hydrox in 2008 under the Sunshine brand with a slightly different recipe than the original.

After acquiring Hydrox last year, Leaf Brands said it set out to rebuild the cookies in their original formula, using sugar and high-quality cocoa. Leaf Brands partnered with Amazon for the initial roll-out of Hydrox.

Cody Sheean, Leaf Brands
Cody Sheean, director of marketing for Leaf Brands

“As we ramped-up production for Hydrox last year, the calls from both consumers and store buyers hit the roof as they all wanted their favorite cookie back on shelves,” said Cody Sheean, director of marketing for Leaf Brands.

Since its relaunch, Leaf Brands said it has noticed new groups of consumers looking for Hydrox, including younger adults who have been exposed to the cookies via television shows such as “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Modern Family” and “Better Call Saul.”

“Millennials look for original products, and we fit that profile well,” Mr. Kassoff said. “These are new groups of customers we’re really excited about, and we see a tremendous growth potential. We use the highest quality ingredients possible, like real sugar, and make them in the U.S.  This extends the brand to younger generations and gives consumers the ‘experiences’ they remember, while creating new ones with younger generations.”
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