NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — Leaf Brands L.L.C. officially relaunched Hydrox cookies on Sept. 4 with the onset of production at the company’s facility in Vernon, Calif. Leaf acquired the trademark for Hydrox sandwich cookies, Tart n Tinys, Wacky Wafers and Quicksand Bubblegum in May 2014.
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.
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.
|Ellia Kassoff, c.e.o. of Leaf Brands.|
“You will notice the ‘Other Guys’ use high-fructose corn syrup and other low quality ingredients because they’re all about increasing margins, even if that means moving to Mexico,” said Ellia Kassoff, chief executive officer of Leaf Brands. “We think it’s more important to sell an American-made product that only uses the best ingredients. That’s why we rolled back the formula to a recipe that doesn’t include any hydrogenated oils or HFCS, which were added to the cookie when Kellogg’s and Keebler owned it. The project took a while, but after a year of product development, we are extremely excited to start production.”
Leaf Brands said it has partnered with Amazon for the initial roll-out of Hydrox.
“There are many consumers waiting for the cookies as soon as they come off the line, and what better company to fulfill the initial influx of orders than Amazon,” Mr. Kassoff said.
Many of the major national and local supermarket and chain stores also will offer the cookies.
“The hardest part of bringing back such a well-known brand is managing the initial run on product and keeping up with production,” said Cody Sheean, vice-president of marketing and international sales for Leaf Brands. “We call it, ‘The Twinkie Effect,’ relating to the huge rush of consumers buying Twinkies after they were brought back a few years ago.”At the time of its acquisition of the Hydrox trademark last March Leaf said its strategy was to rebuild one of the largest candy and snack companies in the United States, through acquisition and development of new and fun products for people to enjoy.