Twinkies go on sale again, with something missing

The snack cakes may taste as sweet, but lost on the road to their return are thousands of jobs.

By Aimee Picchi Jul 15, 2013 10:44AM
As Twinkies first went on sale over the weekend at Wal-Mart (WMT) and are now hitting store shelves widely on Monday, fans will be testing whether the cream-filled cakes offer the same sweet taste, amid reports of recipe tinkering and deep freezing.

Twinkies are returning after private equity firms Apollo Global Management (APO +1.44%) and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. bought several of the old Hostess snack cake brands. But one thing about Twinkies is clearly missing as the brand comes back: thousands of jobs. 
Before Hostess Brands went bankrupt last year, the company employed 18,500 people. Now, upon its revival, only 20% to 25% of those jobs will be returning, CNNMoney reports, citing an estimate from IBISWorld. Even though the new company bought five bakeries, it plans to use only four, the report said. 

A spokeswoman for the new venture cautioned against comparing employment numbers between the pre-bankruptcy company and the new Hostess because the private equity companies didn't buy rights to all Hostess brands, CNNMoney noted. 

Shoppers pass by boxes of Twinkies at Wal-Mart, Friday, July 12, 2013, in Bristol, Pa. (© Matt Rourke/AP Photo)The earlier incarnation employed 2,500 workers producing snacks, while the new venture will use 1,800 to produce Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and other cakes. 

Some job losses resulted from Hostess' plan to hire outside delivery companies to ship the cakes, instead of in-house truck drivers. Plus, 600 outlet stores operated by the old Hostess Brands were permanently shuttered, CNNMoney wrote. 

Flowers Foods (FLO), which has agreed to purchase Wonder Bread and other Hostess brands, declined to talk about staffing because the deal isn't yet final, the piece added. (Flowers received regulatory approval this month and is expected to close the purchase in the next few weeks.)

In the meantime, Twinkies aims to again find the sweet spot in Americans' stomachs, but it's not content to appeal just to kids. The new Hostess is reaching out to young men via wider distribution in convenience stores, and its plan to outsource deliveries will allow it to reach 110,000 stores, up from 50,000 before the bankruptcy.

"We want to go beyond just the loyal fans to some of those people who should be fans," executive Dave Lubeck of Bernstein-Rien, which worked on Hostess' new ad campaign, told Time. "So we're really trying to move beyond the grocery store consumers into the c-store target, which is a younger male."

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi. 

Jul 15, 2013 1:57PM
Twinkies are now missing the union workers that put the previous owners out of business.
Jul 15, 2013 1:02PM
***Blame the blood-sucking union for causing the demise of Hostess Twinkies!
Jul 15, 2013 2:16PM
Always stressing the negative. Headline should be "Thousands of jobs saved"
Jul 15, 2013 2:29PM
In 1951 I was on a hill in Korea,  when we were told to save our brass and turn it in to receive more ammo because the Stevedore union was not loading the munition ships  I have not been a Union guy since....
Jul 15, 2013 2:34PM
The jobs were not needed.  The employment was artificially high due to union contracts.  This is what bankrupt the company in the first place.  Now they can run like a normal, profitable business.
Jul 15, 2013 2:51PM

That was why Kroger left Pa. Unions demanding mega-high wages, Kroger shut down, packed up and left. Unions have been great for the worker, but what you need to understand is the company pays your wages not the union. And if the company can't sustain a marginal profit it will shut down!!!

Jul 15, 2013 2:47PM
Twinkies - Now with 100% less toxic union thuggery!
Jul 15, 2013 2:33PM
Whatever the employees are being paid, they are now earning what they are worth..........otherwise they'd get another job in this wonderful Obama rebound economy that we are all enjoying so much.
Jul 15, 2013 2:59PM
Did the author miss the part where Hostess went out of business because of labor costs.

Wake up America we are going out of business because no one wants to be a worker ant.

Jul 15, 2013 2:08PM
Jul 15, 2013 2:44PM
That's still 20 to 25 percent that will have jobs. ObamaCare is making it too expensive for companies to hire workers.
Jul 15, 2013 2:47PM
I worked for Hostess And Wonder Bread for 18 years , and it was not the Unions that destroyed Wonder and Hostess , you had a very Top heavy company with Wall Street salaries and bonuses ,the production workers and route sales kept this company going , in the early 90s Wonder and Hostess started loosing its good workers , cut the pay and lets make it salery and make the work week 60 hours plus , that was the problem with Interstate Brands , ask anyone who has worked for them, they are the worst
Jul 15, 2013 3:17PM
Speaking as someone who worked for Hostess for 8 years this really had nothing to do with the Unions.  This had to do with the people running the company.  All any of you know is what you saw on the news.  You have no idea what we went through and what was taken away from us so the CEO could get a huge pay raise.  
Jul 15, 2013 2:14PM
How fitting that that they are being rolled out at Wal-Mart. Hostess, Wal-Mart, etc. won't be happy until the entire workforce makes $10 an hour with no benefits.
Jul 15, 2013 3:14PM
Nobody here seems to worry about the millions of dollars is bonus's that upper management walked with after bankrupting the pension fund. Also is lost the fact that at the time of the bankruptcy the company was still making a profit. Please do you research before you post a comment that lives up to your fourth grade education.
Jul 15, 2013 2:13PM
what about ding dongs?  are they going to make those again too??
Jul 15, 2013 2:30PM

Bought a box yesterday from Meijer.  Tastes as good as before.

Jul 15, 2013 2:13PM
Now they are make by people making $8 an hour!
Jul 15, 2013 2:41PM
Yea, I can have a deep fried twinkie at the fair this year!
Jul 15, 2013 4:01PM
I also worked for them for many years and the union and company exec's were blood thirsty vermin,
They worked us 10 to 20 hours and then penalized you when you were late the next day. The management wanted you to give back while they brag about bonuses they received because we had to sacrifice and give back. So I blame greed, not management or unions, plain and simple.

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