New owner: Drake’s cakes also returning soon


NEW YORK (AP) — Hostess is betting on a sweet comeback for Twinkies when they return to shelves next month.

The company that went bankrupt after an acrimonious fight with its unionized workers last year is back up and running under new owners and a leaner structure. It says it plans to have Twinkies and other snack cakes back on shelves starting July 15.

Another maker of snack cakes said Monday its products will return store shelves as well.

Drake’s cakes were snapped up by longtime Hostess rival McKee Foods, which makes Little Debbie snacks. McKee said in an email Monday that Drake’s cakes should be back by “late summer/early fall.” The company says it will start with a selection of Drake’s products and see whether to bring back more products after that.

It did not say which products it will roll out first or whether all Drake’s cakes would eventually return to shelves.

Based on the outpouring of nostalgia sparked by its demise, Hostess is expecting a blockbuster return next month for Twinkies and other sugary treats, such as CupCakes and Donettes. 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,” says Daren Metropoulos, a principal of the investment firm Metropoulos & Co., which teamed up with Apollo Global Management to buy a variety of Hostess snacks.

Hostess Brands Inc. was struggling for years before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in early 2012. 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 weren’t 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.

Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo bought Twinkies and other Hostess cakes for $410 million.

Images


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos takes Bill Gates' place as world's richest man
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos takes Bill Gates' place as world's richest man

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, is the richest man in the world, taking the spot previously held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Forbes reported Thursday.  Bezos, who owns just under 80 million shares of Amazon, had a net worth of $90.6 billion when markets opened Thursday, which put him $500 million ahead of...
P&G makes progress in lifting sluggish sales; beats 4Q estimates
P&G makes progress in lifting sluggish sales; beats 4Q estimates

Procter & Gamble Co. on Thursday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $2.22 billion. On a per-share basis, the Cincinnati-based company said it had profit of 82 cents. Earnings, adjusted for restructuring costs, were 85 cents per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment...
Want a free cheese coney today? Here’s how to get one
Want a free cheese coney today? Here’s how to get one

Gold Star Chili will give away free cheese coneys for National Chili Dog Day today. The Cincinnati-based chili chain is offering a free cheese coney with the purchase of any regular sized drink. The offer is available at every Gold Star restaurant in Cincinnati, Dayton, Lexington, Somerset and Ashland. » RELATED: Oakwood’s iconic toy store...
Longtime Springfield business looking to reach new customers
Longtime Springfield business looking to reach new customers

Ohio Coin has provided its customers in Springfield with collectible items like rare coins and baseball cards for more than 40 years and now wants to boost its image locally and online. Co-owners Bruce Smith and Steve Stuckey have managed the business together since 2014, even while each managed full-time jobs over that time. Smith also serves as executive...
Want a free cheese coney tomorrow? Here’s how to get one
Want a free cheese coney tomorrow? Here’s how to get one

Gold Star Chili will give away free cheese coneys for National Chili Dog Day on Thursday. The Cincinnati-based chili chain is offering a free cheese coney with the purchase of any regular sized drink. The offer is available at every Gold Star restaurant in Cincinnati, Dayton, Lexington, Somerset and Ashland. » RELATED: Oakwood’s iconic...
More Stories