LENEXA, KAN. — Hostess Brands has opened a new Innovation Lab to support ongoing product development.

Located in Lenexa, Kan., the laboratory employs around 20 researchers, product testers and bakers. It houses a laboratory where product prototypes are developed along with custom-built sensory booths and a focus group room.

The new facility builds on the recent introduction of several new products, including Hostess Iced Lemon Cupcakes and Pumpkin Spice Twinkies, the company said.

“The Hostess Innovation Lab enables product innovation to the highest level of consumer delight, ensuring that the most desired products are going to market with the utmost quality and sustainability,” said Darryl Riley, senior vice president of quality, food safety and R&D at Hostess Brands. “The Innovation Lab gives us the testing capabilities, analytics and market research insights we need to support innovation that meets consumer needs and expectations — such as the Hostess Hot Fudge Sundae CupCakes recently conceived and tested for early 2021 production. As the category leader, we take it upon ourselves to make a sustained investment in this consumer-centric area of our business.”