Wonder Bread will live on despite the bankruptcy of its longtime manufacturer, Hostess Brands, and a Twinkie salvation may be close behind.
Flowers Foods, Inc., which makes the Nature’s Own line of breads along with the Tastykake line of cupcakes and sweets, said it had agreed to purchase several of Hostess’ best-known brands, along with 28 bakeries and other locations.
Georgia-based Flowers said Friday that it had signed purchasing agreements to take on buy Wonder, Nature’s Pride, Merita, Home Pride and Butternut bread brands from Hostess for $360 million. The company also plans to buy the ailing bakery’s Beefsteak Bread for an additional $30 million.
That deal does not include Hostess’ sweet cake businesses, but the company said last week that numerous bidders have come forward for Twinkies and other snacks. The New York Times reported that the divisions that make the snacks have drawn attention from “scores” of bidders.
The news was greeted with glee by Twinkie fans – and groans by those who feel the preservative-laden confections have passed their prime.
“Ugh,” NBC4 viewer Christina Ann Duffy posted on the station’s Facebook page.
“Overpriced junk food!” declared Maria Silveira Kanning.
Dozens of people weighed in, many invoking the nation’s obesity epidemic.
But that didn't deter the Twinkie eaters.
“Twinkies don’t kill, America,” wrote Maria Gallardo. “It’s people that don’t limit themselves that do.”
Some asked about the fates of other products in the Hostess lines: Tarah Johnson wants the chocolate cupcakes to continue. Pam Bennett is concerned about the little white donuts.
Others yearn for the cherry pies.
“Hostess products are a national treasure,” wrote Holly Downs. “I’m relieved to hear they’ll still be around.”
Hostess, which has faced financial difficulty for years, said in November it planned to wind down its operations after a bankruptcy court gave approval to a plan to shut 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores. The court also approved the elimination of 18,500 jobs.
The Texas-based company blamed a strike by its union for its initial plans to shut down. It entered bankruptcy in 2012 for the second time.
But that didn't stop viewers like Diane Williams Bradshaw Preston from stepping up to try to save their favorite products.
"While I'm happy for Twinkies, what about the stepsister, Snowball?" she wrote. "My favorite, even though I know what happens if you leave it in the trunk on a really hot day."