Hostess Brands Names Ward VP of Sales for Convenience Stores

Published in CSP Daily News

Confection, c-store channel veteran to lead channel sales strategy, operations

Scott Ward

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hostess Brands LLC has named candy and snack industry veteran Scott A. Ward as the new vice president of sales for convenience.

"As part of the 'sweetest comeback' of Hostess we set an ambitious goal of making our snack cakes available everywhere that consumers can purchase candy," said Rich Seban, President of Hostess Brands, LLC. "Scott has a long and successful track record in the convenience channel and is an invaluable addition to our senior leadership team as we work toward achieving our goal."

Ward brings more than 20 years of sales experience to his new role at Hostess Brands. Having started his career with Sathers Candy Co. and Brach's Confections, he then progressed to senior national sales positions with Farley & Sather's. The company merged with Ferrara Candy Co., where Ward served as director of sales for c-store, overseeing the $150 million convenience channel for brands including Trolli, Black Forest, Brach's, Lemonhead, Jujyfruits and Sathers.

Most recently, Ward was with The Foreign Candy Co. Inc. which is known for dynamic, contemporary design and leading-edge flavor profiles with brands like Rips licorice, EIFFEL bonbons chewy candy and Yardstick Bubble Gum.

"Hostess cakes are iconic and have been part of the fabric of America for generations. But there is also tremendous passion for the brand today among consumers," said Ward. "I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with convenience distributors and retailers to ensure our high-quality, fresh and delicious snack cakes are reaching our loyal Hostess fans across the country."

In other company news, Big Lots is now the official Hostess thrift outlet. Customers can buy Twinkies, CupCakes, Zingers, Fruit Pies, and other Hostess snack cakes at reduced prices. Big Lots is the replacement for the Hostess Thrift Stores that the company closed. The stores will sell the products for up to 40% off the suggested retail price.

Big Lots locations will receive a variety of fresh product every week. "The assortments will be different each week and will vary by store," said chief customer officer Andy Stein.

Big Lots is America's largest broadline closeout retailer, operating 1,493 stores in 48 states.

Apollo Global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. bought Hostess Brands out of bankruptcy in March 2013 for $410 million. The trimmed-down Hostess, now based in Kansas City, Mo., has a far less costly operating structure than the predecessor company. Hostess will now deliver to warehouses that supply retailers, rather than delivering directly to stores. That will greatly expand its reach, letting it deliver to c-stores and dollar stores. Previously, Hostess was only able to reach about a third of the country's 150,000 c-stores.