Hostess Brands, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Hostess Brands, Inc. managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is an important technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Hostess Brands, Inc. is facing in its current business environment.

The Hostess Brands, Inc. is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Hostess Brands, Inc. maintains its dominant position in market by carefully analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis.  SWOT analysis an immensenly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the firm such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.


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The SWOT Analysis framework facilitates an organization to identify the internal strategic factors such as -strengths and weaknesses, & external strategic factors such as - opportunities and threats. It leads to a 2X2 matrix – also called SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix helps the managers of the Hostess Brands, Inc. to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Hostess Brands, Inc. swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The primary purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Hostess Brands, Inc. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Hostess Brands, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Hostess Brands, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Hostess Brands, Inc. has numerous strengths that help it to thrive in the market place. These strengths not only help it to protect the market share in existing markets but also help in penetrating new markets. Based on Fern Fort University extensive research – some of the strengths of Hostess Brands, Inc. are –


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  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Strong Free Cash Flow – Hostess Brands, Inc. has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Strong dealer community – It has built a culture among distributor & dealers where the dealers not only promote company’s products but also invest in training the sales team to explain to the customer how he/she can extract the maximum benefits out of the products.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Hostess Brands, Inc. is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Hostess Brands, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Hostess Brands, Inc. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Successful track record of integrating complimentary firms through mergers & acquisition. It has successfully integrated number of technology companies in the past few years to streamline its operations and to build a reliable supply chain.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.


Weakness of Hostess Brands, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Hostess Brands, Inc. can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where an organization can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.


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  • Days inventory is high compare to the competitors – making the company raise more capital to invest in the channel. This can impact the long term growth of Hostess Brands, Inc.
  • Financial planning is not done properly and efficiently. The current asset ratio and liquid asset ratios suggest that the company can use the cash more efficiently than what it is doing at present.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Hostess Brands, Inc. is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • There are gaps in the product range sold by the company. This lack of choice can give a new competitor a foothold in the market.
  • The marketing of the products left a lot to be desired. Even though the product is a success in terms of sale but its positioning and unique selling proposition is not clearly defined which can lead to the attacks in this segment from the competitors.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Hostess Brands, Inc. needs to put more money in technology to integrate the processes across the board. Right now the investment in technologies is not at par with the vision of the company.

Opportunities for Hostess Brands, Inc. – External Strategic Factors


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  • New environmental policies – The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represent a great opportunity for Hostess Brands, Inc. to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Hostess Brands, Inc..
  • Organization’s core competencies can be a success in similar other products field. A comparative example could be - GE healthcare research helped it in developing better Oil drilling machines.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Hostess Brands, Inc. to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Stable free cash flow provides opportunities to invest in adjacent product segments. With more cash in bank the company can invest in new technologies as well as in new products segments. This should open a window of opportunity for Hostess Brands, Inc. in other product categories.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Hostess Brands, Inc. to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Hostess Brands, Inc. to practices differentiated pricing strategy in the new market. It will enable the firm to maintain its loyal customers with great service and lure new customers through other value oriented propositions.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Hostess Brands, Inc. products by the state as well as federal government contractors.

Threats Hostess Brands, Inc. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • The demand of the highly profitable products is seasonal in nature and any unlikely event during the peak season may impact the profitability of the company in short to medium term.
  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Hostess Brands, Inc. profitability.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Hostess Brands, Inc.’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Hostess Brands, Inc.
  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • No regular supply of innovative products – Over the years the company has developed numerous products but those are often response to the development by other players. Secondly the supply of new products is not regular thus leading to high and low swings in the sales number over period of time.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Hostess Brands, Inc.

Although the SWOT analysis is widely used as a strategic planning tool, the analysis does have its share of limitations.

  • Certain capabilities or factors of an organization can be both a strength and weakness at the same time. This is one of the major limitations of SWOT analysis . For example changing environmental regulations can be both a threat to company it can also be an opportunity in a sense that it will enable the company to be on a level playing field or at advantage to competitors if it able to develop the products faster than the competitors.
  • SWOT does not show how to achieve a competitive advantage, so it must not be an end in itself.
  • The matrix is only a starting point for a discussion on how proposed strategies could be implemented. It provided an evaluation window but not an implementation plan based on strategic competitiveness of Hostess Brands, Inc.
  • SWOT is a static assessment - analysis of status quo with few prospective changes. As circumstances, capabilities, threats, and strategies change, the dynamics of a competitive environment may not be revealed in a single matrix.
  • SWOT analysis may lead the firm to overemphasize a single internal or external factor in formulating strategies. There are interrelationships among the key internal and external factors that SWOT does not reveal that may be important in devising strategies.

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Weighted SWOT Analysis of Hostess Brands, Inc.

In light of the above mentioned limitations of the SWOT analysis / matrix, corporate managers decided to provide weightage to each internal strength and weakness of the firm. Organizations also assess the likelihood of events taking place in the coming future and how strong their impact could be on company's performance.

This method is called Weighted SWOT analysis. It is better than doing simplistic SWOT analysis because with Weighted SWOT Analysis Hostess Brands, Inc. managers can focus on the most critical factors and discount the non-important one. It also solves the long list problem where organizations ends up making a long list but none of the factors deemed too critical.

Limitation of Weighted SWOT analysis of Hostess Brands, Inc.

This approach also suffers from one major drawback - it focus on individual importance of factor rather than how they are collectively important and impact the business holistically.

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Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis

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SWOT Worksheet & Template

If you like to do your own SWOT analysis or want to make your own Weighted SWOT SWOT matrix then feel free to download Fern Fort University SWOT Analysis Template.


References / Citations & Bibliography

  • M. E. Porter, Competitive Strategy(New York: Free Press, 1980)
  • A. D. Chandler, Strategy and Structure (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962)
  • O. E. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies(New York: Free Press, 1975);
  • L. Wrigley, Divisional Autonomy and Diversification (PhD, Harvard Business School, 1970)
  • R. E. White, Generic Business Strategies, Organizational Context and Performance: An Empirical Investigation, Strategic Management Journal7 (1986)