|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2015)|
The present Twisties logo
|Product type||Cheese curl|
|Owner||The Smith's Snackfood Company|
|Previous owners||General Foods Corporation|
|Registered as a trademark in||The Smith's Snackfood Company (Australia)
Mondelēz International (Malaysia)
|Tagline||Life's pretty straight without... (Australia)
Life is fun with... (Pacific Islands)
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||2,050 kJ (490 kcal)|
|Dietary fibre||1.5 g|
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Twisties are a type of cheese curl, corn-based snack food product, available in Australia, Malta and many Asian countries such as New Caledonia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji. It was launched in 1950 by the General Foods Corporation. The brand name is owned by The Smith's Snackfood Company. While originally an Australian-owned company, Smith's was acquired in August 1998 by Frito-Lay, the second largest producer of snack foods in Australia, which in turn is owned by American multi-national PepsiCo. In Malaysia, Twisties is a product of Mondelēz International, after having been a part of Danone and later, Kraft previously. In some countries, such as New Zealand, Malta and Italy, Twisties are marketed under different names.
In the early 1950s Melbourne businessman Isador Magid imported a Rotary Head Extruder from the USA. He formed the Twistie Company and experimented with corn in an attempt to create a new snack food. He was unsuccessful and agreed to sell the machine and the brand in 1955 to Monty Lea from Darrell Lea for £12,000. Monty and his brother Harris experimented with the machine further using rice and various flavourings. Twisties became popular in Australia. Some of its early success was attributed to promotional activity that included advertising the product on Graham Kennedy and Bert Newton's TV show In Melbourne Tonight. One of the earliest products advertised on that program. After an unsuccessful attempt to launch Twisties in the UK and competition for shelf space in Australia the Lea brothers agreed to sell the Twisties brand to the Smith's Snackfood Company.
Twisties are produced by feeding a mix of milled corn, rice, wheat and water into a machine known as a rotary head or random extruder. This machine cooks the mix at high temperature and pressure whilst forming the pieces. This process results in the characteristic Twisties shape with the knobbly surface and squiggly shape. After forming, the pieces are oven baked before being flavoured with a coating of seasoning and vegetable oil.
During the late 1990s the Twisties brand went through a brand overall, coinciding with the acquisition of The Smith's Snackfood Company by Frito-Lay. During the brand overhaul the appearance of the packet was changed to a more modernised look, adopting its current logo today. As well as this, the texture of the snack itself was altered, resulting in a smoother finish.
Twisties were originally available only in 'Cheese' flavour, but 'Chicken' and 'Wicked Cheddar Zig-Zag' flavours were later introduced and became a standard part of the product line. There have also been flavours abroad as diverse as 'Toffee', 'Tomato' and 'Salmon Teriyaki', where the local palette suits them the most.
Since the snack's creation, its base ingredient has been ground corn and rice. Other base ingredients standard in every flavour are vegetable oil, whey protein, salt, and monosodium glutamate (E621) as a flavour enhancer. Ingredients differ depending on the variety of Twisties.
- The ingredients for Cheese flavour are as follows, in order of percentage of product: corn and rice cereal, vegetable oil, whey powder, cheese powder, monosodium glutamate (E621), salt, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, flavour, yeast extract, potassium chloride, cream powder, milk powder, natural colouring (paprika extract and carotene), lactic acid.
Twisties has a large variety of flavours which are sold in Australia, and in the different islands. Of these are the main flavours 'Cheese' and 'Chicken', found in any country that sells them. The islands have a more diverse selection of flavours available normally, however Australia experiences more limited edition flavours. This is due to The Smith's Snackfood Company's aim to "[re-energise] consumers' love for the Twisties brand", according to the company's senior marketing director Jenni Dill.
- Cheese - has existed since the snack's inception
- Turns Your Tongue Blue! - limited edition, released in 2012, marketed as being able to temporarily change the colour of your tongue to blue, currently discontinued
- Zig-Zag - Twisties formed into zigzag shapes
- Wicked Cheddar - released in 2004
- BBQ Sauce - currently discontinued
- Bacon - released in early 1970's, discontinued after a year due to poor sales
- Hawaiian Pizza O's & X's - limited edition, released in 2004, currently discontinued
- Sweet Butter Toffee - limited edition, currently discontinued
- Cheese-O's - limited edition, released in 2005, currently discontinued
- Bag O' Bones Spookily Seasoned - released in 2005, currently discontinued
- Hot Dogs - limited edition, released in 2006 as part of a Tazos promotion involving The Simpsons, currently discontinued
- Corn Puff - Twisties formed into a puffed ball shape
- Cheeky Cheese - limited edition, released in 2006 as part of a different Simpsons-themed promotion
- Melted Butter - currently discontinued
- Chilli Cheese - limited edition, released in 2011, currently discontinued
- Cheese Burger - limited edition, released in 2011, rereleased in 2012 and 2013, currently discontinued
- Spicy Burger - limited edition, released in 2012, currently discontinued
- Saucy BBQ - limited edition, released in 2012, currently discontinued
- Pizza - limited edition, released in 2012, currently discontinued
- Peri Peri - limited edition, currently discontinued
- Cheese & Mite Flavour - limited edition, released in 2013, based off of the iconic Vegemite flavour (referred to on the packet as 'Mite'), currently discontinued
- Cheese & Bacon - limited edition, released in 2013, rereleased in 2015, currently discontinued
- Flaming Hot - limited edition, released in 2014, currently discontinued
- Hot Dog - limited edition, released in 2014, currently discontinued
- Bag of Ghosts! - limited edition, released in October 2014 as a Halloween-themed product, currently discontinued
- Taco - limited edition, released in 2015, currently discontinued
- Tangy Tomato - limited edition, released in 2015
- Cheese ('Cheese Fromage' in Vanuatu)
- Chicken ('Chicken Poulet' in Vanuatu)
- Extra Cheese ('Extra Cheese Fromage en Plus' in Vanuatu)
- Cheese & Onion
- Red Tongue (similar to Australia's 'Turns Your Tongue Blue!' flavour)
Twisties have been advertised since its last brand overhaul in the late 90's with the well-known slogan "Life's pretty straight without..." In the English-speaking Oceanic countries where Western vernacular isn't as well understood, its slogan is "Life is fun with..." Typical television advertisements play on the slogan by showing people in mundane situations being transported to surreal and exciting environments when they eat Twisties. Twisties are claimed to be the "number one extruded snack brand" by Smith's.
Twisties, as well as other snack brands owned by The Smith's Snackfood Company, previously included Tazos (pog-like collectible discs) in specially marked packets for consumers to collect. These Tazos came in many themes over the years, such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, The Simpsons and other popular franchises. This could be attributed to Twisties' success.
Advertising for the snack has almost completely stopped in the last decade in comparison to its past promotions. Twisties' largest (and most expensive) campaign ever was between 1982-1983 with its "Twisties jumper" campaign. Lillian Darrell, a previously unknown actor, played the role of an old woman knitting a Twisties jumper straight from a sheep. The promotion included free knitting patterns and free bags of Twisties. Other promotions were attempted afterwards, but they resulted in little success. Currently, Twisties relies heavily on limited edition flavours to keep hype on a profitable level.
Twisties in New Zealand are drastically different from the Australian variety in terms of both packet design, marketing and the shape of the cheese curl itself. Called 'twisties [sic]', they are manufactured by Bluebird Foods and are only available in cheese flavour. The packet features a penguin mascot about to throw a cheese curl as if it were a ball, and has a completely different slogan as compared to its Australian counterpart: it being "It's a straight world without Twisties!" They are less dense than the Australian variety, and their shape is more tubular and curvy without imperfections in the shape (Australian Twisties are more jagged and detailed). In New Zealand the Australian variety is not widely available.
Twisties are also sold on the Italian market with the name Fonzies. Fonzies are pale yellow in colour, because they do not use the bright orange food colouring that normal Twisties use. Fonzies are baked, not fried. Although sold in Italy, Fonzies are produced in Germany by LU Snack Foods GmbH. In the GCC countries, they are also sold with the name "Fonzies", produced by Kraft Malaysia.
- Grant Jones (November 14, 2013). "Cheese &mite Twisties set to get the nation talking". News.com.au. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- Business review weekly: BRW 13 (26-34): 43. 1991.
Its products are sold under the Australian brand names Twisties and Cheezels in Asia; in Europe, Twisties are sold under the Fonzies brand and Cheezels are marketed as Yonkers.Missing or empty