Twinkies to return on July 15

by Eric Schroeder
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KANSAS CITY — Hostess Brands, L.L.C. is set to relaunch Twinkies and other snack cakes beginning July 15. Twinkies, Mini Muffins, CupCakes, Ho Hos, Zingers and Suzy Q’s were among the brands acquired by HB Holdings L.L.C., an affiliate of private equity groups Apollo Global Management L.L.C. and Metropoulos & Co., for $410 million back in March .

The acquisition also included five plants, four of which — in Columbus, Ga.; Schiller Park, Ill.; Indianapolis; and Emporia, Kas., — are in the process of being reopened. HB Holdings also moved Hostess headquarters back to Kansas City from Irving, Texas.

Rich Seban, president of Hostess, told the Associated Press that the company now will deliver to warehouses that supply retailers, rather than delivering directly to stores. The move will greatly expand the snack cake maker’s reach, he said, allowing it to deliver to dollar stores and nearly all convenience stores located in the United States. Previously, Hostess only was able to reach about a third of the United States’ 150,000 convenience stores, he said.

Another change will be a new recipe for CupCakes, which now will use dark cocoa instead of milk chocolate, giving the snack cakes a richer, darker appearance, Mr. Seban said. He added the changes were made to improve the cakes, not to cut costs.

Other future changes Mr. Seban mentioned were an expanded product line-up that may include snack cakes with different textures and different flavors.

“We can have some fun with that mixture,” he said.

Hostess also plans to tap into such trends as gluten-free, added fiber, low sugar and low sodium, he said.

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