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Hostess Has a New Take on the Twinkie

After bankruptcy and brand resurrection, the iconic family of delicious snack cakes has a new take on fan favorites.

Few things in this world possess the unifying power of the delicious Twinkie snack cake. When a 2012 bankruptcy announcement led to consumers realizing they might  never get to eat a Twinkie again, the internet went up in flames. Fans of the delicious cream-filled snack cake, along with other Hostess favorites like Ding Dongs, CupCakes, and Ho Hos, took to the social media site to express their deep sense of loss. After all, Twinkies aren't just a beloved snack -- they're a pop-culture icon.  

Hostess Owners Said to Plan Sale of Twinkie Maker in Early 2015

Fans of the vanilla-cream-filled dessert wouldn't have to mourn for long. For one, Twinkies last forever, so if consumers managed to stash some away, they'd theoretically still be good for a millennium or so. But no, their salvation wouldn't come from the product's shelf life -- it would come from the power of nostalgia.

Hostess  (TWNK)  is a business descendant of one of the first bakeries to make fortified bread. Continental Baking Company opened in 1919 with the sale of the first Hostess CupCake. A decade later in 1930, the Twinkie arrived. These snacks, along with Wonder Bread, remained under the care of Continental until 1968, when the company was sold and purchased a few times over. In 1984, Interstate Banking Corp. purchased the company from the Ralston Purina company for $330 million and 16.9 million shares of Interstate stock. Together, these companies would come to be known as Old Hostess Brands, or Old HB. 

Old HB had acquired multiple bread businesses, including Continental's Wonder Bread. In an attempt to unify these bread brands, Old HB would find itself unable to reconcile the world cultures of their national bakeries. Due to a change in baking technique, bread sales suffered, and Old HB filed for bankruptcy in 2004.

After warding off a bid from Mexican snack company Grupo Bimbo, Old Hostess Brands became a private company in 2009. In 2011, the company stopped paying pension benefits, breaking its union contracts and fueling rumors that the company was on the verge of filing for another Chapter 11 bankruptcy. To meet its financial obligations, the company did file for bankruptcy a second time. The uncertainty of workers' pay, job status, and pensions led to a Hostess employee strike. 

So in 2012, the company began to liquidate. Bids for assets came from Walmart  (WMT) , Kroger  (KR) , Flowers Foods  (FLO) , and their old friends at Grupo Bimbo. Flowers Foods walked away with most of the company's bread brands. In 2013, Hostess Brands was sold to private equity firms Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos and Co., which re-named it Hostess Brands. They quickly announced the return of the beloved snack cake brand, rolling out new, exciting takes on America's favorite snacks.

Hostess Cupcake Lead

The Comeback Cakes

The announcement that Hostess cakes were returning was enthusiastically received by snackers everywhere. And Hostess Brands has taken advantage of the social media attention. They've also released seasonal products, or even strange limited-edition snacks like the crypto-based $Twinkcoin.

Since its sale in 2012, Hostess has seen the kind of success you'd expect from one of America's favorite snack foods. Stock prices for Hostess Brands have steadily increased, and more than doubled their price since 2020. 

The company last week reported reported second-quarter net income of $30.5 million, meeting analysts expectations with earnings of 22 cents per share. The company posted revenue of $340.5 million in the period, beating analysts' estimates of $329.7 million. Hostess Brands said it expects full-year earnings in the range of 93 to 98 cents per share.

Introducing Hostess Bouncers

Now, Hostess is unrolling a more bite-sized version of some of your favorite snacks. Hostess Bouncers are hitting stores everywhere this summer. These little glazed "snackable, poppable, shareable" goodies will come in three creme-filled classic flavors: Ding Dongs, Cinnamon Donettes, and of course, the incomparable Twinkies.

The rollout is happening right now, meaning you can snag these for yourself. Each box comes with five pouches, and each pouch has three Bouncers. It would seem that "Bouncers" is the perfect name for these little Hostess cake products. Because no matter what happens, the Hostess family of snacks won't stay down for long.