News Roundup: Looking for Ho Ho, Dan River Runs Again, Nabisco Push, A&P Fruitcakes

SARASOTA – A roundup of branding recent items in the news:

  • Big House POS Display of Nabisco: Nabisco, a brand of the oddly named Mondelez International,  is receiving a major Christmas push. For this Christmas season, Mondelez has invested in large point of sale displays that push cocktail time crackers such as Wheat Thins and Sociables. This is a good signal that they understand the need for the Nabisco connected with brands such as Wheat Thins; a few years ago they actually sold a bag of Wheat Thins without the familiar Nabisco red triangle. However, the split does present some problems as Kraft Easy Cheese is branded with the name of the company that was split off.
  • Success at A&P: Jane Parker Fruitcakes continue to be a successful holiday promotion for A&P, the struggling grocery retailer. It is proof that older store brands can have some value. The A&P Website now leads visitors to a website. The success of Jane Parker, which found a big renewed push online in 2009, has shown that the once-great company can succeed by mining its history and repackaging those traditions for a new audience. Can A&P be like Holiday Inn, which went from the market leader to the bottom, and then back up? Yet to be seen. But in the meantime, you can order some Jane Parker cakes online by looking below or visiting our BrandlandUSA history page here. 
  • Hostess Replacements:Tastykake and Entenmann’s have quickly moved into and grabbed the shelf space of Hostess as desperate grocers try to find replacements for favorites.
    • Tastykake is selling their own version of Hostess Cupcakes, except that they are frosted upside down, in the style of Richmond’s Sally Bell’s Bakery. This is actually better.
    • Hostess Ho Ho’s already had a replacement in a Little Debbie version.
    • Hostess’ Sweet Sixteen mini white doughnut brand has been replaced by an Entenmann version. Sadly, that brand had been ruined by Hostess when it modernized the package and deleted the Merita brand.
    • We don’t know what’s happening to the storied Drake’s Cakes brand, which is less known nationally but beloved in the Northeast. Oh what has happened to Devil Dogs this Christmas season?
    • And Hostess’ Fruit Pies have also not resurfaced, though they no longer had the store presence of products like Twinkies and Ho Hos.
  • Virginia Classic: Dan River, which was once one of the nation’s great textile companies before shutting down, has now resurfaced as a cheap licensed good sold at Big Lots. Pictured here is an inexpensive Fleece Throw. Mercifully, it does say “Since 1876” to indicate that there is some history there. Sad to see such a great brand reduced to this, but at least the brand is being used and kept alive. This is analogous to Seward Trunks of Petersburg, which was once America’s Louis Vuitton but is now only sold in national retailers, mostly discount.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

1 Comment

  1. I’m looking for I.g.a. Spanish raisin bar cake

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