US baked goods giant Hostess Brands has joined forces with Mars to make Milky Way and M&M brownies under license.
Hostess Brands, makers of the iconic Twinkies brand, has unveiled the new individually wrapped single-serve cakes in the US, after signing a licensing deal earlier this year.
“Intensely rich brownies will satisfy most chocolate lovers, but pair them with two of America’s most beloved chocolate candy brands – M&M’s and Milky Way and you’ve got a truly irresistible treat’ said Burke Raine, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Hostess Brands.
The company said this was part of its expanding innovation efforts, and it would continue to explore new flavours, creative product extensions and potential partnerships with other brands.
“With brownies being such an important segment of the category, Hostess set out to elevate the brownie experience, and in doing so, co-branded with Mars through this strategic licensing deal,” added Raine. 
This is the first foray for Hostess Brands into such a partnership.
Meanwhile, the company is in the process of reformulating some of its other products in response to consumer demand for simpler ingredients. Hostess Mini Muffins, for example, now contain 8g of whole grains per serving, while in other products such as snack cakes sold at schools, the company has removed dubious ingredients like high fructose corn syrup.
Hostess owners, Apollo Global Management LLC and C Dean Metropoulos and family, said yesterday (5 July) that it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell a majority stake in the company to a publicly-traded affiliate of investment firm the Gores Group for around US$725m.