'The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever'

Published in CSP Daily News

Twinkies, other Hostess snack cakes to return July 15 under that tagline

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hostess Brands LLC, the bakery company emerging from its second bankruptcy in four years, is preparing to resume selling its iconic snack cake, the Twinkie, nationwide on July 15, reported Bloomberg.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy in January 2012 less than three years after emerging from a first filing, plans to revive its complete line of snack cakes, Hannah Arnold, a company spokesperson, told the news agency.

Hostess is now owned by Apollo Global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., whose combined offer of as much as $410 million for company's snack-cake enterprise was the only one submitted during the bankruptcy process in March. The snack cakes--Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and more--then went out of production.

Based on the outpouring of nostalgia sparked by its "demise," Hostess is expecting a blockbuster return next month for Twinkies and other sugary treats, said an Associated Press report. The company says the cakes will taste the same but that the boxes will now bear the tag line "The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever."

"A lot of impostor products have come to the market while Hostess has been off the shelves," said Daren Metropoulos.

Hostess Brands Inc. was struggling for years before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Workers blamed the troubles on years of mismanagement, as well as a failure of executives to invest in brands to keep up with changing tastes. The company said it was weighed down by higher pension and medical costs than its competitors, whose employees were not unionized.

To steer it through its bankruptcy reorganization, Hostess hired restructuring expert Greg Rayburn as its CEO. But Rayburn ultimately failed to reach a contract agreement with its second largest union. In November, he blamed striking workers for crippling the company's ability to maintain normal production and announced that Hostess would liquidate.

The shuttering triggered a rush on Hostess snack cakes, with stores selling out of the most popular brands within hours.

About 15,000 unionized workers lost their jobs in the aftermath.

In unwinding its business, Hostess sold off its brands in chunks to different buyers. Its major bread brands including Wonder were sold to Flowers Foods, which makes Tastykakes. McKee Foods, which makes Little Debbie snack cakes, snapped up Drake's Cake, which includes Devil Dogs and Yodels.

Apollo Global Management, founded by Leon Black, is known for buying troubled brands then selling them for a profit; its investments include fast-food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. Metropoulos & Co., which has revamped then sold off brands including Chef Boyardee and Bumble Bee, also owns Pabst Brewing Co.