Comeback of the Year “Twinkies” Hits Shelves Monday
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The Fiscal Times
July 11, 2013

Mark the date on your calendar: Monday, July 15, 2013. That’s the date that Twinkies – in all their sugary, fatty, nostalgia-tinged glory – will reappear on American grocery shelves.

Millions of Americans are already salivating. “Don’t even eat over the weekend, because we’ll be scarfing down Twinkies on Monday,” said the Today Show’s Matt Lauer.

“Already asked for Monday off,” wrote food lover Rebecca Way on the Hostess Facebook page, which has gotten over 440,000 likes. “It’s just gonna be me and you, Twinkies. And it’s gonna be amazing.”

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The new Hostess Brands bought the rights and the recipe to Twinkies and other iconic snack foods and pulled the company out of bankruptcy court earlier this year. Hostess says the improved little cakes will have a shelf life of 45 days when they return to grocery and convenience store shelves.

That new shelf life is nearly three weeks longer than the 26-day shelf life during Twinkies’ previous iteration. So far there’s been no big reveal by Hostess about what ingredients have been added or changed to stretch that shelf life. 

Hostess did say it will start freezing roughly 10 percent of its cakes to extend their shelf life. So some Twinkies will now be delivered to stores in frozen solid form – and retailers will add their own expiration dates to those snack cakes. Hannah Arnold, a Hostess spokesperson, said that retailers who request the frozen shipments will get them, while the rest will receive the traditional “fresh” product. The freezing process won’t affect the Twinkies taste, she says.

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And here’s the tagline Hostess says Twinkies will now carry: “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.”

Twinkies, in all their new glory, will appear in some 110,000 locations across the county. That’s more than twice the number of purchase places as last year, before the company shut down in November and laid off more than 18,000 workers after a week-long bakers’ union strike. 

Hostess was founded in 1930. Last year it took in $2.5 billion in sales, with $69 million from Twinkies. It had 33 plants across the U.S., 565 distribution centers and 570 baker outlet stores before it suspended operations last year. The reinvented Hostess, owned by a joint venture between Apollo Global Management – founded in 1990 by Leon Black – and investment firm C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. was bought for $410 million this past March.

Metropoulos & Co., which has reinvented and then sold off such brands as Chef Boyardee and Bumble Bee, also owns Pabst Brewing Co.

Managing Editor Maureen Mackey oversees scheduling and work flow and also writes and edits features and reports on a wide array of subjects. She spent more than 20 years as a senior book and features editor at Reader’s Digest.