You read about the Great Twinkie Extinction here on Short Order (and everywhere else) and maybe you applauded, or more than likely, felt as if yet another piece of your childhood was being torn away from you by The Man.
Well, there may be a reason to rejoice, put your footie pajamas on, and couch potato your way back to childhood: The Return of the Twinkie.
Hostess Brands, the makers of Twinkies and other iconic childhood delights such as HoHo's Snoballs, filed for bankruptcy last year and ceased making its sugar and preservative-laden baked goods, but it seems that the company has found a way for its legacy to live on -- maybe profitably so.
The company has chosen two investment firms C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management, as lead bidders for its "Twinkies Division" - setting the stage for an auction.
Citing unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal claims that the offer stands at over $400 million, which begs the question...was this is all just a genius marketing ploy on behalf of Hostess Brands?
Think back to the New Coke debacle in the eighties. The Coca-Cola Company, makers one of the most popular beverages in the world, discontinues its namesake brand and introduces a new cola formula, i.e., New Coke.
People literally took to the streets and poured the new beverage out en masse, in a wanton display of dissatisfaction. Coca-Cola Co. then introduces Coca-Cola Classic. Millions rejoice. It was a brilliant marketing scheme and one that perhaps Hostess has emulated.
Instead of selling of its parts, which include McKee Foods (Little Debbie snack cakes), Drake's Cakes (Devil Dogs and Yodels), and Wonder Bread, before filing for bankruptcy, Hostess caused a furor announcing that it would cease productions of these iconic American products.
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Could be that all the publicity and display of public sentiment drove the price up, no? Maybe, once all the brands have been sold and/or auctioned off, Hostess Brands stands to break even or maybe even turn a profit.
If that's the case, then kudos to Hostess Brands for pulling of the sneakiest, yet most brilliant ploy since New Coke.
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