Hostess Brands agreed to sell Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Sno Balls, and Dolly Madison Zingers to two investment firms for $410 million. The deal was reached four months after the last Twinkie rolled out of its factory.
Hostess was unable to reach a deal with its bakers’ union. Last November, it announced that it would shut down its operations that led to nostalgia for the brand that has been a symbol of American junk food. There are sellers on eBay that are getting as much as $250,000 for two boxes of Twinkies.
The sale will mean that Twinkies will be available on the market again. The product was born more than 83 years ago in an Illinois kitchen and has survived two World Wars, recessions, and fad diets. The new owners will be Metropoulos & Company and Apollo global Management. C. Dean Metropulos is a food industry veteran and is expected to be named the chief executive of the snack business.
Included in the deal are five Hostess factories that the buyers wish could be started soon so that they could restock shelves by the summer. The new company will still feature the Hostess name. Daren Metropoulos, one of Metropoulos’ sons and executive at the firm, said that the fan base for the brands hasn’t declined and they want to revitalize the brands.
The younger Metropoulos said they would utilize guerilla marketing, which is the same method implemented with the Pabst Blue ribbon. He said that the company will use social media such as Twitter and hire comedian friends like Zack Galifianakis to be spokesman of the brands.
The new owners also hinted that Twinkies will be sold in more stores, such as discount retailers like Dollar General. They will also introduce healthier junk foods, such as 100 calorie snack packs. The new owners will be unlikely to depend as heavily on unionized work force compared to the old owners.