Little Debbie vs Hostess. Which is Better?
Little Debbie vs Hostess. Which is Better?
When you talk about the snack cake world, the first thing that comes to mind is Little Debbie vs Hostess. As articulated over at runrex.com, these two have been big competitors for the longest time, with each of them having a massive following. From Twinkies vs Cloud Cakes to HoHos vs Swiss Rolls, and so forth, these two have been big competitors for quite a while. These two are the market leaders in the snack cake industry, controlling about 20% of the market each, with Little Debbie being slightly ahead as revealed in discussions on the same over at guttulus.com. On the surface, these two brands look pretty similar, but the companies behind these brands are very different from each other. This article will look to compare the two brands and see which one is better.
As is covered over at runrex.com, Little Debbie’s story is one of the most inspirational ones, when you think about starting a business from nothing. Around 1930 when the stock market crashed and the great depression started, which was one of the toughest times economically in US history, lots of banks failed. This had a huge impact on the public as it happened at a time leading up to the creation of the FDIC, which means that if you had your money saved up in the 9000 banks or so banks that failed, your money was gone. Two of the people affected by this were a young married couple, O.D. and Ruth McKee, who responded to losing their savings by moving their family to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they hoped to start over at discussed over at guttulus.com. Their story is a well-known one, with a lot of tough times including the family moving to Charlotte, NC, before returning to Chattanooga, and in the 1960s they introduced their famous product line Little Debbie snack cake, and the rest is history. When comparing the two, it is always important to highlight the history of Little Debbie which is one that is extremely inspiring according to the gurus over at runrex.com.
Comparison between the two
Let’s now get to the comparison between the two where we are going to look at how these two brands compare based on several factors as discussed below.
When it comes to how these two companies have grown to where they are today, there is a very huge difference as the two have gotten to where they are through two very different paths according to the gurus over at guttulus.com. Little Debbie’s growth has been more natural, and its growth occurred methodically as well as internally since the company has introduced new products in new areas, and hardly ever acquired an outside company. As is revealed in discussions on the same over at runrex.com, Ruth McKee was known for being risk-averse, which is why they played it safe over the years. Hostess, on the other hand, has taken lots of risks in its journey, expanding almost exclusively through acquisitions as outlined over at guttulus.com. Its growth has, therefore, been very different from that of Little Debbie in this regard.
Another area where these two differ when you pit them against each other is as far as ownership is concerned. Little Debbie is the most family-owned and operated brand you will ever come across. As is explained over at runrex.com, ownership of the company has been passed through one generation of the McKees to the next. Here, when O.D and Ruthe McKee retired, ownership was passed to their son Ellsworth McKee, who is Little Debbie’s father. The face of the company, Debbie McKee, is currently working as a vice president in the company. When Ellsworth left, his brother Jack McKee took over, who was succeeded by his son, Michael McKee, who has been in charge since 2002 as per guttulus.com. Hostess, on the other hand, is the exact opposite, and the company has had lots of owners over the years, too many to start listing here.
Number of bankruptcies
Another big difference between the two is in the number of bankruptcy filings. Since Hostess has changed ownership so much over the years and taken on so many risks as explained over at runrex.com, the company has built higher amounts of debt, which has led to Hostess filing for bankruptcy in 2004 and then again in 2012. For Little Debbie, this has never been an issue, and although it is a private company that doesn’t release its figures, based on the company’s conservative nature and lack of bankruptcy filings, it is safe to assume that debt has never been an issue for Little Debbie.
While none of these brands could be considered to be high-end, pricing is another area where the two differ. Little Debbie, as per the gurus over at guttulus.com, has historically been successful by keeping its prices lower than its competitors. The company has always positioned itself as a value brand and its low overhead and likely lack of debt have allowed Little Debbie to price its products below the competition, including Hostess.
The shelf-life of the products is yet another area where the two differ. While there has been a big joke over the years stating that Twinkies last forever, this is not true. In fact, historically, Little Debbie products have been known to last considerably longer due to their natural preservatives. This longer shelf-life has been a huge advantaged for Little Debbie as far as logistics is concerned as it allows the company to send out fewer orders of higher quantities, which is cheaper. It is also worth pointing out that, as a result of this, in 2001, Hostess made an effort to extend the shelf-life of its products by changing the ingredients. While the new products did last about twice as long, many considered their quality to be lower, which is one of the many issues that led to Hostess’s 2004 bankruptcy as covered over at runrex.com/