Drake’s Finally Returns!
Went out on Monday night, the promised date of the 23rd (just now), and both “Food Bazaar” (Bogopa) supermarkets had them. For Hostess, it would take weeks for them to show up there, and they couldn’t be found anywhere I looked the first week, and then they would be sold out when finally appearing in Target and Duane Reade. But the Drake’s are still fully stocked, in their own space, taking up all the shelves of the fixture (as shown).
So I started with Devil Dogs. Tastes just as they did before! (Even though they promised they would, there was still this nagging fear they would nevertheless end up as just Little Debbie “Devil Cremes” under a new label).
Though my wife says the icing tastes different. As an “introverted Sensor” (SJ) she’s more aware of sensory subtleties than I am. Not sure if she’s comparing them to the last ones we had in December, or just how they were back in the day.
That latter difference I notice too. As I’ve said elsewhere, there was nothing like coming home from college and loading up a bag of them, after not having them (down South) for months! The use of corn syrup instead of sugar is probably the biggest factor. (Though sugar is still listed). The taste is basically “syrupy”, and has an aftertaste. But then this is just how I remember them for the last few decades or so up until a year ago.
Inside the box, the cakes are wrapped individually, and fully marked for individual sale! So they can theoretically appear individually in corner stores at any time.
OF course, finally gone is the “By Hostess” logo in the front, and now, the McKee logo appears above the company address in the back.
Also gone is the Borden-assigned old UPC mfr code of 41261, and McKee’s 24300 is adopted; 1200 series for the boxes, and 1400′s for the individual cakes. (Devil Dogs=1201/1401, and the others run from 02-04).
Unlike the Twinkies I got, and tasted a couple and left the box in the crew room at work (avoiding wheat and sugar as much as possible, remember), I’m not doing this with my Drake’s. (Only 8 in a box; my wife and I just had one a piece, so I’ll try to spread the rest out, so it’s not too much affect on the blood sugar).
When I get paid, then I’ll try the Yodels. (Won’t try Ring Dings, because they basically are Yodels in a different shape and I always leaned toward Yodels for some reason; and I won’t bother with Coffee Cakes right now, because I was never really big on them, and actually always preferred Hostess).
On the Facebook page, people have really continued to clamor for Funny Bones (Never into these because I never liked peanut butter sweets, but they are a unique product and should be brought back). People from all over the country (where Hostess had spread them, or people who simply grew up with then in the northeast remember them) are also asking for Drakes to come to their areas.
And I of course also want Yankee Doodles and Sunny Doodles to come back (the only “homemade” style cupcakes among the major brands, with the paper baking cups, and the simple “risen” top with icing hole visible not having the top flattened and covered with icing like the Hostess cupcake with the swirl and all its imitators. The taste was very unique as well, the devil’s food likely using the same or similar formula as Devil Dogs, and the yellow cake tasting like common pound cake). As well as their own version of Swiss Rolls (which again was one large roll with a lot of creme, but without any frosting, and at times, there were two smaller ones. This different from what LD and others calls “swiss roll”, which again is more like a funny tasting Yodel).
Not that I’ll even be eating a lot of this, with my diet and all. But good to have around for that occasional treat.
So now, we have the new Drake’s website: http://www.drakescake.com and on Wednesday, a new “product locator” will go online. On the “Products” page http://www.drakescake.com/www/cakes, we also see in addition to the four original products returning, several existing Little Debbie products will be branded as well (though they’re not in the store yet):
Banana Nut Muffins
Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
Blueberry Mini Muffins
Cherry Cheese Danish Pastry
Cheese Danish Pastry
You also see “Zoinks “, which was Drake’s name for their imitation Twinkies. (Which before this 1987 rechristening were known as “Shortcakes”, and also came with different flavored cremes).
These are obviously a rebranded “Cloud Cakes” (I thought that was a cool name they should have kept. Like Tastykakes have adopted Flowers’ “Dreamies” from their third party “Mrs Freshley” label; where the first party “Bluebird” brand uses the old “Bingles” monker). “Zoinks” I always thought was silly, ripping off Shaggy’s exclamation from Scooby Doo.
Even though Little Debbies are generally sweeter than Drakes (and most everything else), they always did remind me of Drake’s for some reason, in having such unique tastes. So hopefully, they will go together well, and McKee will resume spreading Drake’s everywhere (at least a few on Little Debbie shelves if nothing else), and not just the original northeast 11 states.
So since they are doing the third party rebranding (as I had hoped they would), then I would like to see:
•Banana Twins, or perhaps a banana roll, like the old swiss roll, but using the current Banana Twin recipe.
•Zebra Cakes (two smaller ones in a pack like in the family pack boxes). Perhaps round them into vanilla Ring Dings. (Someone posted an old ad or something, and it seemed Drake’s once had something like this, including with the chocolate stripes!)
•Banana Pudding Rolls
•Perhaps also Fancy Cakes (which are white cake) and Frosted Fudge Cakes
The idea would create more balance in Drake’s, since they are heavy on the chocolate side.
I was also saying Apple Danish, but I finally got to try this one (finally saw it in a single pack), but it’s too “bread-y” tasting and didn’t taste the apple enough for me).
I would also say, to differentiate products between both brands (If ever sold on the same shelves):
•Devil Cremes – Change back into Devil Twins to avoid confusion with Devil Dogs
•Swiss Rolls – Change into Boston/Banana sized rolls to avoid confusion with Yodels
•Cocoa Cremes – Replace with Ring Dings or change shape