Last week, the jokesters over at Little Debbie, beloved maker of American confections, posed something of a threat in the form of... uh, a tweet.
Pictured in this tweet were four of the company’s items: Christmas Tree Cakes, conifer-shaped sponges of vanilla dipped in white icing and drizzled with red icing garlands and green sprinkles; the Nutty Buddy, fudge-encased peanut butter wafers; Oatmeal Creme Pies, those coagulated discs of cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies; and Honey Buns, glazed spirals of honey and cinnamon pastries.
“One gotta go forever,” the text above the photograph read, aping the vernacular of millennials. “Which one?” the caption asked. Little Debbie, you pranksters!
The tweet went mildly viral, amassing retweets in the hundreds and likes in the low thousands, but it garnered over 7,000 direct replies. A follow-up post the next day, subtly poking fun at the chaos it had created, drew in almost 4,000 replies.
Those tweets, after all, gave some pockets of Twitter palpitations, raising its collective anxiety tenfold. Hell, R.L. Stine even chimed in, pleading with the company to salvage his beloved Oatmeal Creme Pies. William Shatner just couldn’t decide which one to sacrifice.
Here was a brand engaging in some grade-A trolling, though the company, as of writing, still hasn’t quite cleared up on Twitter that the initial post was just in jest. The company wanted engagement, and, well, that’s what it got.
“Our goal for the tweet was to start a conversation and to engage with our product fans,” Mike Gloekler, Corporate Communications & PR manager for Little Debbie manufacturer McKee Foods Corporation, wrote MUNCHIES via email Monday morning. It was a way, to his mind, of playing off the nostalgia that’s become so fundamental to Little Debbie’s brand. “We sell a product that is intended to be fun, and that attitude is carried into our social media presence as well," Gloekler maintained. "We often seek to engage with fans—sometimes we ask for a memory associated with our brand, sometimes we jump on a meme bandwagon.”
Gloekler explained that Oatmeal Creme Pies, Honey Buns and Nutty Bars are the company’s top three sellers, while the company threw the Christmas Tree Cakes into the mix because it was “one of, if not the most, popular seasonal cake” the company sells. As such, he told Today last week that it’d take “something major” for it to ever truly discontinue products that have endured throughout the decades, a stance he clarified to MUNCHIES thusly: “My point about special circumstances was nothing more than an attempt magnify the gravity of what would have to take place for us to even think about discontinuing such iconic products.”
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Anyway, Gloekler confirms that there are no current plans to discontinue any of those products at any point soon. “Absolutely not!” he wrote when asked if any of those products will be retired at any point soon. “All four of those Little Debbie favorites are safe.”