Miss your Twinkies? Knockoffs are coming

Sara Lee brand owner Grupo Bimbo may be rushing out its own version of the iconic snack cake to fill a void left by Hostess' shutdown.

By Aimee Picchi Apr 23, 2013 12:39PM

Twin pack of Hostess Twinkies (© PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

America's biggest baker is whipping up a special treat for mourning Twinkie fans.

Grupo Bimbo (GRBMF), which owns the Sara Lee brand, is working on a knockoff version of Hostess products and is aiming to get them onto store shelves quickly, reports the New York Post

The reason? Bimbo wants to fill a void left by the shutdown of the iconic baker last November, and it wants to get the knockoffs out before Twinkies and other Hostess products return to market. 

The snack attack has been on Bimbo's agenda for a while, but the baker had waited see if it could purchase any of the Hostess brands itself, the Post notes. Instead, private-equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO) bought the Hostess snack cakes brand, while McKee Foods, the owner of Little Debbie, bought Drake's. 

The original Twinkies, those soft yellow puffs plumped with vanilla creme, will likely return to shelves this summer, as my colleague Jason Notte reported last month.

That gives Bimbo just a few months to get its knockoffs into consumers' hungry stomachs. It's planning a Hostess-like cupcake and a Hostess-like Twinkie, the Post says. 

"I’m hearing Bimbo wants to get [the new products] to market within the next month or two,” Richard Sheehan, president of New York Teamsters Local 802, told the publication. The Teamsters needs to approve a deal to deliver the knockoffs, however, the story says. 

How much demand is there for Twinkies, now that they're not readily available? A secondary market for the sponge cakes is apparently flourishing online, with sellers offering packages for outrageously marked-up sums.

Before the shutdown, a box of 10 Twinkies cost about $5. Now, some merchants are selling the same box for $30.

But contrary to popular belief about Twinkies' longevity, the snack cakes do carry expiration dates. While the Amazon.com (AMZN) Twinkie listing doesn't note when the cakes are best sold by, it does offer this advice under "directions:" "Take two daily."

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi

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Apr 23, 2013 3:09PM
teamsters need to approve of a business selling a product?  Anyone else see an issue here?
Apr 23, 2013 1:18PM
Screw the unions!  They were part of the problem to begin with.  Just make them in a right to work state and the unions and their liberal buddies can go screw themselves silly. (While eating a Twinkie).
Apr 23, 2013 2:27PM
Who cares about Twinkies??!! Bring back Sno-Balls!!!
Apr 23, 2013 1:27PM
Really, late breaking news? Sara Lee's Golden Creme cakes are already out there for a couple months and Little Debbie makes golden filled "Cloud Cakes".  Look like twinkies but still dont taste quite the same.
Apr 23, 2013 1:31PM
screw all unions all are worthless ,and a waste of  money
Apr 23, 2013 1:17PM
There have been Knock-offs, for years; Probably about a half a dozen or so? How do you think us Twinkie affectionados....Have survived ??
Apr 23, 2013 1:57PM
Apr 23, 2013 1:19PM
A lot of people liked twinkies, maybe if they taste the same, but I thought they were bringing back the original twinkies by someone else.
Apr 23, 2013 1:20PM

One of my Grand Kids have bought some old boxes, for me....

The first ones were okay....The last ones he gave me "sucked",

But didn't have the heart to tell him...

Maybe they should have been frozen ??

About 2-3 weeks is okay....After that don't bother...

Apr 23, 2013 6:32PM
screw the twinkies.. where are the zingers!
Apr 23, 2013 1:49PM
You way behind.....We have all kinds of knockoffs of the famous twinkies .... and couple of them you can't tell the difference in them at all  ... I live in Greeneville, Tennessee
Apr 23, 2013 6:27PM
Is APO also going to bring back Zingers which Dolly Madison made but Hostess owned.  I LOVE Zingers.  My mouth is waterin' thinkin' about 'em.
Apr 23, 2013 4:21PM
This is so last month...Sara Lee already has them on the shelves of Target. The cake is heavier than Twinkies but it fills the void. They also have Twinkie shaped knock off of Ding Dongs which are pretty good and a third option of the knock off Twinkie with chocolate covering.
Apr 24, 2013 8:10AM
I m glad to see people aware of how much of a scam unions are
Apr 23, 2013 6:46PM
Apr 23, 2013 4:51PM
Please send 24 boxes to the Bozo dictator of North Korea as a peace offering!
Apr 23, 2013 3:42PM
I've tried the Sara Lee knock-offs and from what I can remember from the last time (3 yrs) I had Twinkies the taste about the same. 
Apr 23, 2013 4:54PM
From my cold dead, filling/frosting covered hand....
Apr 23, 2013 5:18PM
Little Debbie already has Cloud Cakes which are a pretty good "knock-off" of a Twinkie, FYI.
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