The solar eclipse briefly darkened a wide swath of America Monday, but the celestial event proved to light up sales for MoonPies made by the Chattanooga Bakery Co.
The round marshmallow treat, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, captured the attention of thousands of those throwing eclipse parties and events Monday as a symbol for the moon blocking out the sun.
"We did more sales in the past two weeks that we did in all of 2016 online," MoonPie General Store President Alex Brener said Monday. "You could almost follow our orders along the path of totality (of the moon blocking out the sun) from Oregon to South Carolina. We had so many orders from schools, car dealers, stores and all sorts of businesses wanting cases of MoonPies for their customers, their employees or their students we couldn't keep up with the demand."
Brener said Chattanooga Bakery Co., baked as many MoonPies as it could, but the company had to temporarily shut down its web site last week when demand outstripped the company's production capacity.
Company officials for MoonPie even got into a twitter war of sorts over what was the favorite snack for the eclipse. While many served Sun Chips, made by Frito Lay, Chattanooga Bakery asked its supporters who was going to win — "the awesome cool moon" or "the lame, boring sun."
Hostess touted its sunny cupcakes on twitter and appealed to Chattanooga Bakery to work together "to use our snacking powers for good. How about the Mooncake?" Hostess asked on its twitter account
In reply, the MoonPie supporters showed their snack covering the Hostess cupcake in the same manner that the moon blocked out the sun during the eclipse.
Chattanooga Bakery even offered a year's supply of MoonPies for the best photo or tweet from Monday's eclipse. The company also featured a block party outside of its General Store on Broad Street in downtown Chattanooga on Monday.
Tory Johnson, marketing director for the Chattanooga Bakery Co., quipped that it was nice of Mother Nature to help out in the celebration of the 100th birthday of the MoonPie.
We're grateful the moon cooperated with our centennial marketing plans," he said. "Retail shelves are near empty, and we had to hit pause on our website we were so buried in orders. We're mighty thankful, and more than a little surprised at all this."
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com. or at 423-757-6340.