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Entries in Twinkies (15)

Saturday
Jul132013

Twinkies Return to Store Shelves Early at Wal-Mart

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hostess Brands LLC has begun to return Twinkies to some store shelves three days ahead of the announced national roll-out.

Twinkies are already available at many Wal-Mart stores, despite previous announcements targeting the re-release of the Twinkie for Monday. The confection was available in 1,600 of Wal-Mart's 4,000 stores by Friday night and will be available in approximately 3,000 stores by Sunday, says the New York Daily News. The new Twinkie's shelf life is said to be 45 days. That's almost three weeks longer than the 26 days the former Twinkie was supposed to stay fresh.

Hostess Brands, based in Kansas City, Mo. had stopped operations at the last of its 11 factories in November after failing to reach an agreement with its second biggest union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union. The company filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 16. The new owners of Hostess have cut the number of plants to four and the products will be sold through convenience and grocery stores only. Some 600 Hostess thrift stores have been closed permanently.

Other differences for the new product include how the goods will be distributed. Company spokeswoman Hannah Arnold said "90 percent of the product will still be delivered fresh," but some will be delivered frozen.

"A select number of customers -- representing only about 10 percent of Hostess' distribution -- have explicitly requested to receive frozen product," Arnold said. "This allows the retailer to date the product for freshness, provides flexibility in filling their shelves and has no impact on the quality or taste of the products. The decision is up to the customer. The only stores that will receive frozen product are those that request it."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun232013

Twinkies Set to Return Next Month

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Twinkies will be back on store shelves on July 15, according to an announcement on the company's website.

Hostess Cakes, which went bankrupt last year has been revamped by new ownership. C. Dean Metropoulos and Company and Apollo Global Management bought the brand for $140 million.

The new ownership shrunk production of Hostess' snacks from 11 bakery plants to four. Additionally, Hostess will not deliver their products directly to retailers, instead shipping to warehouses that will supply stores with the baked goods.

For now, Hostess' website features a countdown to the highly-anticipated day.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar202013

Twinkies' New Owners Want Snacks Back on Shelves by Summer

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Summer may not come soon enough for Twinkies lovers who long to see their favorite snack on shelves again.

A Manhattan bankruptcy judge Wednesday approved the sale of the iconic, cream-filled snack to two investment firms, Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co., for $410 million.

The two firms will control a portfolio of Hostess Brands Inc. snacks that includes Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, and Donnettes.

Metropoulous, which also owns Pabst Brewing Company, said it hopes to have the spongy, yellow cakes back in stores soon.

“Our family is thrilled to have the opportunity to reestablish these iconic brands with new creative marketing ideas and renewed sales efforts and investment. We look forward to having America’s favorite snacks back on the shelf by this summer. We are also ecstatic to bring jobs back to many cities across the country,” Dean Metropolous said in a statement

The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International Union President David B. Durkee said he hoped new ownership would make good on its promise to consumers and also bring back factory jobs lost in wake of Hostess’ shuttering in November.

“We share the enthusiasm, energy and passions exhibited by new ownership, and believe our highly-motivated and skilled workforce will serve as indispensable partners in the seamless re-opening of factories,” he said in a statement.

The judge also approved the sale of most of Hostess’ bread business, including Wonder, to Flowers Foods Inc., for $360 million.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan122013

Hostess Strikes Deal to Sell Wonderbread, Fate of Twinkies Not Yet Settled

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The iconic Wonderbread, once in jeopardy after Hostess declared bankruptcy, seems likely to return to store shelves under a new brand.

A $390 million bid from Flower Foods Inc., for six of the Twinkie maker’s bread brands, was the leading bid on Friday.

Flower Foods, which is based in Thomasville, Ga., is best known for making Tastykakes, which are cream filled chocolate cupcakes. The company also makes breads, including Nature’s Own and Cobblestone Mill.

Higher competing bids can still be made before the final deal is approved in bankruptcy court.

Hostess is expected to announce buyers for Twinkies, Devil Dogs and its other popular snack cakes in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec142012

Report: Walmart, Kroger Among Bidders for Hostess Brands

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Who's looking to snatch up Hostess Brands following the company's plans to liquidate?  According to Bloomberg, Walmart and Kroger are among the two dozen bidders interested in the maker of Twinkies, Ho Hos and Wonder Bread.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports the two companies, along with Grupo Bimbo and Alpha Baking, have placed bids on Hostess' assets.  

The source says some of the bids are for all of the assets, while others are just for the cakes or breads businesses.  Some bidders, meanwhile, are only seeking to acquire Hostess' plants.

Should the liquidation sale go through, it could generate $1 billion for Hostess' creditors.

The company decided to move forward with its liquidation plans last month after it failed to reach a new labor agreement with its bakery workers.

The bakers union went on strike on Nov. 9, when the company imposed a contract that would cut workers' wages by 8 percent.  The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) said the contract would also cut benefits by 27 to 32 percent.

Days later, Hostess announced it would be liquidating the entire company because not enough striking employees had returned to work by a deadline the company had set.

"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn said in a statement on Nov. 16.  "Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."

Hostess, which is privately owned by two hedge funds, has struggled in recent years with two bankruptcy filings.

A federal judge had pushed Hostess and its workers to reach an agreement with the help of a mediator to avoid liquidation, but when that failed, the company moved forward with its plans to wind down operations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec072012

Chicago Restaurant Promotion Gives Twinkies Away to Customers

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Thousands of Hostess fans showed up at two restaurants in south suburban Chicago on Wednesday for Twinkies. 

The restaurants were handing out the sweet treats to customers with every purchase, reports ChicagoTribune.com.

The Baby’s Cheesesteak & Lemonade restaurants in Orland Park and Country Club Hills had approximately 12,000 Hostess Twinkies and Cup Cakes to give away.

How did Baby's get all of those golden cakes?  Well, Baby’s owner Hani Sughayer went to a Hostess and Wonder Bread bakery outlet the week after Thanksgiving to get some Twinkies for himself.  However, when Andres DeLeon, Baby's social media director, joined him at the outlet, the pair decided to buy out the store's entire Twinkie supply to generate some media buzz about their restaurant. 

The men left with about 10,000 Twinkies and 2,200 Hostess Cupcakes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov302012

Judge Allows Hostess to Give Executives $1.8M in Bonuses

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A federal bankruptcy judge has approved bonuses for executives of Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, who stay on as the company is broken up and sold off.

On Thursday, as part of a plan to liquidate the company and lay off 18,000 workers, a federal judge in White Plains, N.Y., approved paying 19 Hostess executives bonuses totaling $1.8 million.  Hostess has said it has interest from at least 110 firms who want to buy pieces of the operation.

The decision comes as the company, known for its iconic snack cakes like Ho Hos and Ding Dongs, says it doesn't have enough cash on hand to pay retirement benefits to some former employees.

Former employees are outraged over the bonuses handed out to high ups.

"Anybody's got a reason to be upset who lost their job if there handing out large amounts of money," Paul Carroll told ABC News.

In a statement overnight, Hostess said the bonuses are designed to keep top brass from leaving before winding down what's left of the company "quickly and cost-effectively."

"I was qualified to draw my pension, with no notice I lost about 70 or 75 percent of it. I didn't work 34 years to lose it," Carroll said.

Hostess was given interim approval for its wind-down last week, which gave the company the legal protection to immediately fire 15,000 union workers.  Hostess said last week it will retain about 3,200 employees "to assist with the initial phase of the wind-down," which is expected to last about a year.

The company began facing troubles a few years ago as pension costs rose and health-conscious consumers stopped buying products.

A contentious battle began with Hostess asking its workers to take a smaller paycheck to keep the company open for business.

The bakers union went on strike Nov. 9, when the company imposed a contract that would cut workers' wages by 8 percent.  The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) said the contract would also cut benefits by 27 to 32 percent.

Hostess, which is privately owned by investment firms, has struggled in recent years with two bankruptcy filings.  The company said it "has done everything in its power to pursue a reorganization of its business as a going concern, including spending the better part of 18 months negotiating with its key constituents to obtain a consensual agreement."

With Hostess out of business, that means the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores throughout the United States, the company said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov202012

Hostess Union Mediation Fails; Company to Proceed with Liquidation Plans

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It appears the company that makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread will close after all. Hostess says its mediation to reach a new labor agreement with its bakery workers failed and it will move ahead with liquidation plans.

On Monday, Judge Robert D. Drain of the Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York pushed Hostess and its workers to reach an agreement with the help of a mediator to save the jobs of more than 18,000 employees. The company said last week that it would wind down operations after bakery workers decided to continue their strike that began Nov. 9.

By Tuesday evening, Hostess announced the last-ditch mediation had failed. Now the folks who make the popular snack brands will lose their jobs.

The brands could survive under another baker, however. Other companies could step in and by some of Hostess' most famous brands such as Twinkies.  According to the New York Times, Flower Foods and Grupo Bimbo, the world's largest bread baker, are two potential buyers.

Many of the union workers are angry their negotiators didn't accept something that might have saved their jobs. Chris Schiaffarelli worked as a truck driver at the Hostess plant in Elmsford, NY. He's a Teamster, but he says the bakers union had a lot of guts in this dispute.

"The bakers union showed a lot of guts standing up for what they believe because although I'm a Teamster, I know we narrowly passed this latest contract, and I did not want it and I don't believe anybody wanted it," Schiaffarelli said of the contract negotiations Hostess settled with the Teamsters in September. "I know the drivers that I worked with on the last contract had sacrificed greatly. We gave $110 back on our base salary, paid $30 into our benefits."

After 22 years working for Hostess, Schiaffarelli says he's worried about finding another job in this economy.

"I've been working for Hostess for 22 years, and it's definitely devastating to find out that you're unemployed after so long," he said. "I'm 51 years old currently, and I currently just feel … it's going to be difficult."

Now the company plans to continue with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning in which Judge Drain will decide if the company can liquidate its assets.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov192012

Twinkies May Find Buyer, Hostess CEO Says

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hostess Brands, the maker of the iconic Twinkies snack cakes, may find a buyer when it heads to bankruptcy court on Monday to liquidate the 82-year-old company, the company’s CEO says.

“I think we’ll find buyers,”  CEO Gregory F. Rayburn told ABC News on Sunday.  ”A few have surfaced already since Friday expressing interest in the brand to acquire them.”

Con Agra and Flowers Foods are among the companies that have expressed interest in Hostess, but Mexican company El Grupo Bimbo may have an edge, the Christian Science Monitor reported Saturday.  Grupo Bimbo, headed by Mexican billionaire Daniel Servitje Montull, is the largest bread-baking company in the world.

Economists say part of the reason Hostess struggled was due to high sugar tariffs meant to protect local producers, the Monitor reported.  Grupo Bimbo could take advantage of lower sugar prices in Mexico.

Hostess makes Twinkies, popular snacks including Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, Suzy Qs and Sno Balls, and Wonder Bread.

Last week, the company announced it would close after it imposed wage and benefit cuts to its 18,000 workers, prompting a bitter nationwide strike.

“The problem has always been the cost structure, the union rules, the pension legacy, the pension cost and the cost structure,”  Rayburn told ABC on Sunday.

On Friday, he announced the company would close, saying in a statement: “We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike.  Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

The company’s sales had dropped over the years as mothers began swapping the fat-filled snack cakes and white bread with healthier choices.  It filed for bankruptcy twice -- once in 2004 and again in January.

Over the weekend, Americans who were panicked over news of the company’s closure cleared the shelves of Twinkies.  The cream-filled sponge cakes were in many cases re-offered for sale online at exorbitant mark-ups.

On eBay Sunday night, some ambitious sellers were listing the product for several hundred thousand dollars up to several million.  One seller even offered a box of Twinkies for $15,000,000.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov162012

After Closing Announcement, Stores Begin to Sell Out of Twinkies, Hostess Products

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- On Hostess Brands' last day of shipping its iconic snacks, entrepreneurial eBay sellers have taken the opportunity to tap into buyers' Hostess panic, selling boxes for 95 percent more than grocery stores.

In one Food Emporium grocery store in New York City, Twinkies were sold out by 1:30 p.m. ET. In its place, was a box of 8 Hostess Strawberry Cupcakes, sitting next to several other Hostess products.

While Twinkies were retailing there at $4.29 for a box of ten, one eBay seller sold a box for $59.99. Other boxes were on sale for $100 or more.

Hostess' final shipments take place Friday, said Erik Halvorson, a spokesman for Hostess, the same day CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said it filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to close its business and sell its assets.

Halvorson said retail prices for Hostess products vary.

The company had filed for bankruptcy twice. The company filed in 2004 and then again in January of this year.

"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," said Rayburn in a statement on Friday morning. "Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."

The fate of the Twinkie and other Hostess products hang in the balance as Hostess winds down the company. Private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings is one of the owners. Hedge funds Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital own Hostess' debt.

A spokesman for Silver Point Capital, based in Greenwich, Conn., declined to comment. Monarch Alternative Capital, based in New York, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Among the 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers Hostess said it will close is a factory in Schiller Park, Ill., which neighbors Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The bakery was the birthplace of the Twinkie, created on April 6, 1939 by Continental Baking Co.'s James Dewar.

Dewar had tried different ways to use shortcake pans and first filled Twinkies with banana cream, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

During the Great Depression, two Twinkies were sold for a nickel. During World War II, when bananas became scarce, the filling was changed to vanilla, the Sun-Times said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News







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