(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."
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