Why Chocodiles Disappeared For More Than 15 Years

The Chocodile: one of the snack food world's most elusive beasts. While younger readers may imagine some kind of crocodile-shaped chocolate candy, those who remember the Chocodile may still recall those halcyon summer days eating packet after packet of the chocolatey, creamy sponge cake treat in youthful fervor.

What is the Chocodile exactly? To put it simply, it's a Twinkie that's — get this — dipped in chocolate. Knowing the love folks have for the classic Twinkie — with 21.96 million consumers eating about one to three servings of the cream-filled cake each day (via Statista) — then it needs no explaining why the Chocodile is so popular. Yet, it's not just the combination of Twinkie and chocolate that makes it so mythical; it's its scarcity. 

As D Magazine explains, Chocodiles were found almost exclusively on the West Coast, similar to Whataburger or In-N-Out, making them valuable prizes for Hostess fanatics, to the point you would pay an absurd amount for a single Chocodile to be shipped to your home. But even then, the Chocodile was somewhat sparse, drifting slowly in and out of store shelves before finally disappearing around the tail-end of the 1990s for what was assumed to be an eternity.

That is, until 2014 when, in an event comparable to Twinkie the Kid riding in on a sponge cake horse like a knight of yore, the Chocodile returned to store shelves.

Why did Chocodiles keep disappearing and reappearing?

If people go crazy for Chocodiles and would pay ludicrous amounts of money to have just one, you would think that Hostess would be keeping them on the shelves as one of their most popular products. Why kill the golden goose (or, in this case, Twinkie)? Fortunately, Hostess seemed to heed this wise advice and, in 2014, made the announcement that the Chocodiles would return as a "permanent part of the Hostess family" (via HuffPost). To further sweeten the deal, Chocodiles would also be re-released with a variety of new flavors, such as Strawberry Creme, Chocolate Creme, and Banana Creme.

But why were Chocodiles so hard to find to begin with? Why were they limited exclusively to the West Coast? Some sources such as the Chocodile supplier aptly named Chocodiles123, citing the Wikipedia page for the snack cake, claim that it was simply because only a few select factories were making the Chocodile. To preserve freshness with what relatively small stock they had, Hostess sold the cakes on the West Coast instead of shipping them across the country. 

The only question remaining to ask is whether or not Hostess will bring back Chocodile mascot Chauncy Chocodile in some way. But, hey, one step at a time, right?