Just a generation or two ago, major food companies tended to be more careful when branching out with their signature brands. Double-Stuffed Oreos were a revelation. Cool Ranch Doritos were accepted with apprehension. But nowadays, the opposite is true: If the name moves product, why not throw caution to the wind? Let’s put out a new flavor of Oreos every week! Like Pringles? We have 25 different flavors!
And though some stalwarts of the old mentality do exist, apparently even they are giving in to the mania. Case in point: Drake’s Cakes. The snack cake brand founded in 1896 has announced it’s created a brand new version of its Devil Dogs creme-filled devils food cakes for the first time since the dessert was introduced in 1926. Drake’s Fudged Dipped Devil Dogs take the classic treat and, as the name implies, dips it in fudge.
Of course, a fudge-dipped Devil Dog is hardly a newsworthy revelation on its own. Drake’s own Ring Dings, Yodels, and Frosted Mini Donuts have all been sitting there, covered in chocolate, as part of the company’s portfolio for quite some time. Still, the fact that Devil Dogs have never had a “companion product,” as Drake’s calls it, in the cake’s 91-year history manages to make Fudged Dipped Devil Dogs discussion worthy.
Discussion topic number one: Why now? One seemingly obvious culprit would be the recent success fellow snack cake brand Hostess has seen by spinning off its recognizable products in every possible direction: From Snow Ball ice cream to Deep Fried Twinkies in the freezer aisle to a White Fudge take on the classic Ding Dongs, Hostess has gone from bankrupt to full grocery store takeover in about four years. Meanwhile, as a regional brand focused on the Eastern US, Drake’s has always taken a more metered approach, but it’s also easy to see why the company might want in on some of that action.
This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com.