Twinkie poised for a resurrection
Fret not, Twinkie lovers. The snack cake could be back on store shelves by summer.
Two private equity firms agreed this week to pay $410 million for the iconic brand and its sugary brethren, including CupCakes and Ho Hos, along with five of Hostess Brands' U.S. bakeries. The deal is subject to approval by a bankruptcy court judge and could be topped by higher bids.
If all goes well, it could be completed by the end of April, officials said.
The news might not be as welcome to the independent bakers and snack cake rivals that experienced a pop in sales in the two months since Hostess shut down after a bitter contract dispute with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. Before it closed in November, Hostess accounted for 26 percent of the $2.7 billion in U.S. bakery snack sales, according to market research firm SymphonyIRI Group.
Retailers have filled former Hostess shelf space with rival goodies — some name brand, some private label — they say were in development or on the market long before the company closed its doors. Compared with the Twinkie's per-cake price of about 68 cents, they're 5 to 50 percent cheaper.
Walgreen Inc. spokesman Jim Graham said it was kismet that its Nice! Sponge Cake and Cupcakes hit shelves the same month Twinkies disappeared. Safeway Inc. introduced its Snack Artist brand Creme Cake three months before Twinkies' demise. Neither company would offer specific sales data.
Mike Gloekler of McKee Foods Corp., which makes Little Debbie snacks, said the Collegedale, Tenn.-based company has “clearly seen a spike” in sales of all products that resemble Hostess treats since Hostess Brands halted production.
Little Debbie introduced Cloud Cakes two years ago, re-creating the product with its own recipe after previously buying it from another baker. Gloekler said the company, which is the lead bidder to buy Hostess' Drake's cakes, is pleased with sales of all its competing products. The reincarnation of Twinkies under another owner won't change that.
“We have said from the beginning ... we maintain our own long-term strategy,” he said.
Little Debbie's Cloud Cakes and Chocolate Cupcakes are taking up shelf space formally occupied by Hostess counterparts at a Jewel grocery store in Chicago. “We just added those a couple of weeks after Hostess,” said store director Tom Cassady. “They're selling pretty well. There are only a few boxes on the shelf.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tesla home battery at $7K, partnered with rooftop solar system, may help reduce power bills
- Consistency keeps Cellone’s Bakery customers coming back
- EPA to release biofuels proposal by June 1
- Cuba’s dairy industry, once touted as a success, is struggling
- With higher student debt than ever, millennials rely on support from parents
- Charter Communications makes offer for Time Warner Cable
- Drenching rains green pastures, bode well for cattle herd expansion in Great Plains
- Financial planning for disabled people a little-tapped field
- How to cover work history gaps
- Murray, Alpha notify West Virginia coal miners of layoffs
- American Eagle posts improved first-quarter results