Twinkies Are Back, With a Vengeance

Fifty million Twinkies are on their way to stores this week, with the new Hostess Brands LLC promising a sweet comeback for this 83-year-old brand. More Twinkies in more places than ever before will be the focus of the resurrected company, along with innovation and efficiency.

Late last year, the old Hostess company began a process of liquidating its assets under bankruptcy, after failing to resolve labor and financial problems. Coffee cakes and breads — including Wonder Bread — were sold off to other companies. The new Hostess Brands, now owned by two private equity firms, will focus exclusively on the Hostess snack cake brands.

CupCakes, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, Zingers, Suzy Qs, and Sno Balls will soon be back, better than ever. The new CEO, C. Dean Metropoulos, says “there’s no question we want to innovate around flavors and textures.” Already, he’s invested in reformulating some of the brands for a richer taste. For example, dark chocolate has replaced the stodgy milk chocolate in Hostess CupCakes.

Twinkies have the status of a cultural icon for junk food and absurdity. Deep fried Twinkies are all the rage at carnivals. Critics dismissed the notion of taxing junk food as a “Twinkie Tax.” Likewise, a legal defense of diminished capacity that referenced the defendant’s poor diet was dismissed as the “Twinkie Defense.”

Maybe Twinkies really do have an infinite shelf life.

Click here to read more in the Wall Street Journal and here for a collection of punchlines about Twinkies’ return assembled by USA Today.

Twinkies, photograph ©Robert Huffstutter / flickr

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