Hostess Production Returns to Indy
Production has resumed at the Hostess Brands LLC bakery in Indianapolis. It is one of four operations throughout the country again producing items for the snack company, which emerged from bankruptcy this year with new ownership. The company says it is planning to open a fifth bakery next year, but has not selected a location. July 15, 2013
SCHILLER PARK, Ill.--Staging the "Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever," Hostess® snack cakes have officially returned today in blockbuster fashion. Company executives, family members of Twinkie founder James Dewar and other Hostess fans gathered today to celebrate the historic comeback at the Hostess bakery in Schiller Park, Illinois, outside of Chicago, where Twinkies were born in 1930.Approximately 100 million snack cakes, including Twinkies, CupCakes and bags of Donettes, will hit store shelves over the first two weeks of the comeback – as will Zingers®, HoHos®, DingDongs®, fruit pies and mini muffins. SnoBalls and SuzyQs will return in the next few months. Because of the overwhelming demand, Hostess will have five times more Twinkies on the market during the first two weeks of the comeback than during the same two-week period last year.
Today’s historic milestone comes four months after investment firms Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management, LLC rescued the brand, buying select assets out of bankruptcy and setting in place bold plans to bring back iconic Hostess snack cakes.
“When Hostess products disappeared last year there was an incredible groundswell of emotion from consumers who couldn’t imagine a world without Hostess snack cakes,” said Dean Metropoulos, CEO of Hostess Brands, LLC. “That’s why we’re here today; America wanted its snacks back – they wanted the original and we’re honored to make that happen.
“We are committed to investing in this company, reinvigorating these beloved brands, innovating to meet evolving consumer preferences with new products and continuing to bake the high-quality, fresh and delicious snack cakes that have given Hostess its enduring appeal,” he added. “Judging by the incredible reception we’ve received, Hostess has a very exciting future.”
Retail customers representing more than 100,000 stores placed significant orders in advance of the comeback – with orders skyrocketing as news of the official comeback date broke. Overall demand is several times greater than levels experienced in prior years. The bakeries have been running at capacity, but because of the extraordinary number of orders, it is possible that not all stores will have all products on shelves immediately.
“Clearly retailers and consumers could not wait to have Hostess snack cakes back in stores,” said Rich Seban, President of Hostess Brands, LLC. “We are already hearing early reports of products flying out of stores almost as fast as they’ve appeared on shelves. As orders have continued to pour in, we are doing everything possible to fulfill them equally and timely for everyone.”
The “Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever” tag line created for the multi-million dollar integrated marketing, advertising and public relations campaign - developed in connection with the launch by Bernstein-Rein and LAK Public Relations - signals a new attitude for the brand and a push to broaden its appeal.
“Obviously there is considerable nostalgia associated with a brand that for generations has been part of the fabric of America. But there is also tremendous passion for the brand today among consumers,” said Daren Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos & Co. “This comeback has created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leverage the nostalgic sentiment and, at the same time, reintroduce the Hostess brand with a bolder attitude and a more contemporary voice.”
“Hostess has an inherent cool factor – a magical quality that has transcended time and trends and given the brand a lasting appeal, generation after generation,” said Evan Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos & Co. “There’s no question the Hostess brand is back – and back big.”
In connection with today’s events, a Hostess food truck, along with Twinkie the Kid, arrived in New York City’s Rockefeller Center to kick-off a coast-to-coast tour of Twinkie giveaways that will end in Los Angeles in August.
Hostess products are currently being produced in four bakeries: Schiller Park, Illinois; Emporia, Kansas; Columbus, Georgia; and Indianapolis, Indiana. Under the company’s new distribution model, Hostess products are delivered to retailers’ warehouses, rather than individual stores. This will enable the company to reach about 160,000 stores by the end of the year, including tens of thousands of dollar stores, club stores, drug stores and vending machines that were previously inaccessible.
“Our goal is as simple as it is ambitious: wherever consumers can buy a candy bar, they should be able to purchase a Twinkie,” added Dean Metropoulos.
The company’s new owners, which emerged as winning bidders for the majority of Hostess’ snack cake business on March 12, 2013, plan to invest approximately $100 million this year making upgrades to bakeries and facilities. In addition, plans are underway to open a fifth bakery next year, at a cost of $75-80 million, in a yet to be determined location.
Working with the new owners in connection with this historic comeback have been Acosta Sales & Marketing, which has been instrumental in merchandising activities and helping to facilitate Hostess’ expanded reach; Lean Logistics, which has facilitated logistics and distribution; and Accenture, which has played a key role in the implementation of new IT systems.
Follow Hostess on: hostesscakes.com; hostessbrands.com; Twitter: @Hostess_Snacks; Facebook: facebook.com/Hostess; Instagram: Hostess_Snacks; YouTube: youtube.com/HostessSnacks; Hashtags: #comeback, #cakeface.