The favorite snack of ’90s kids is back. But why now?
We asked General Mills.
After mysteriously disappearing from American grocery store shelves in 2012, Dunkaroos are back. General Mills announced on Monday that the knuckle-sized cookies with miniature tubs of dippable frosting will once again be sold nationwide, this summer.
Brad Hiranaga, General Mills’s chief brand officer for North America, answered our burning questions. This interview has been edited and condensed.
How long has a Dunkaroo renaissance been in the works?
It’s been years in the making, probably is a fair way to state it. We get literally thousands of consumer requests for the product, since it’s not been being sold in the U.S. recently. We knew we wanted to bring it back for a while.
Why did Dunkaroos disappear from the United States in 2012, but remain available in Canada until 2017?
We run our businesses kind of by geography. In the U.S., our focus back in 2012, in snacking, was really trying to build out more of our healthy, nutritious snacking portfolio. And so there was a lot of work to put investment behind that. Things like Lärabar, different iterations of Nature Valley — there was a big push.
How do you start making Dunkaroos again? Do you just take the old Dunkaroos machines out of storage?
I honestly don’t know, or can’t answer, specifics around equipment or lines or how they’re doing it. But our supply chains are really good. They’re able to creatively solve problems quite a bit in terms of making great food and figuring out ways to do it.
(A spokesperson for General Mills confirmed separately: “The original manufacturing that we used back in the ’90s has changed.”)
Are the ingredients in new Dunkaroos identical to the old ones?
We’re planning on bringing back the same exact cookie and frosting as before.
On Twitter, Dunkaroos announced their return by quote-tweeting a Kim Kardashian tweet from April 2018, in which she begged Dunkaroos to come back on the market. What was the process of selecting that old Kim Kardashian tweet? Was it in a file on someone’s desktop?
There’s so much great consumer insight and information. People want to share things, whether it’s Twitter, or Instagram or whatever channel. We’re able to kind of say, “O.K., where’s the conversation going? And what are people talking about?” And we get consumer data from people too. Like, people call us directly all the time and give us their thoughts. But yeah, for sure, we can go back and look through and see where there’s heat around our brands.
What’s to say you won’t rip these Dunkaroos out of our hands once again?
We’re very committed to launching them. So you don’t have to worry at this point about stocking them up and putting them in your zombie apocalypse locker. We should have them out there so you can buy them.