Over the weekend, Twinkies made “the sweetest comeback in the history of ever,” returning to store shelves after almost eight months.
Although it was reported that the snack cakes would be sold in stores beginning on Monday, retail giant Wal-Mart announced they would be putting Twinkies out beginning last Friday. Tim Forsberg, special projects manager for the Beacon, could not contain his excitement.
Within two minutes of hearing the news, he called the Wal-Mart store on Post Road in Warwick to check if they had the treats in stock and was on his way out the door to pick them up when they said yes.
“I’ve been waiting for these for eight months,” said Forsberg, who remembers eating Twinkies as a kid at his grandparents’ house.
He was surprised when he got to the store and saw the display almost full. He was even more surprised when the employees at checkout hadn’t realized they were the first store to be selling the product since Hostess Brands filed bankruptcy in November 2012.
According to a June 24 article on CNN Money’s website, an auction was held for the various brands created by Hostess earlier this year, and the rights to Twinkies and other snack brands were purchased by two private equity firms, Apollo Global Management and Metropoulous & Co.
The deal, which included Hostess Brands LLC, five closed bakeries and all Hostess and Dolly Madison branded products, was for $410 million.
The article also says the firms plan to keep four of the five bakeries operating with 1,800 employees. Reportedly, close to 18,500 Hostess employees lost their jobs when Hostess went out of business. The four bakeries are located in Columbus, Ga., Emoria, Kan., Indianapolis, Ind. and Schiller Park, Ill.
Other Hostess brands such as Wonder Bread and Drake’s snack cakes were sold to other entities but there has been no word on their return.
Back at the Wal-Mart on Post Road, store manager Jason Olivier said it would be difficult to predict if the public would be rushing in over the weekend to purchase Twinkies, but he knew one group of people who were.
“My associates have picked them up,” he said with a laugh.
Olivier also pointed out that he felt it was a smart idea to keep the packaging the same, adding only the new slogan, “the sweetest comeback in the history of ever.”
Although he wasn’t sure what the reaction would be, Olivier said the store was ready.
“If you’re a Twinkie lover, we will have them. You can get your Twinkies,” said Olivier.
A box of 10 Twinkies sells for $2.98 at Wal-Mart.
In an attempt to find out how Warwick residents were reacting to the comeback, a photo of the product was posted on the Beacon Facebook page, asking for reaction from the public. Overall, the post had 20 likes, three shares and a mixture of comments.
“I can’t wait to finally have them back!” wrote Karla Pao Roma-Chapa. “I’m super excited.”
“There is nothing positive about a Twinkie,” wrote Deborah Ring.
Michael Stahl expressed a common reaction when something is reported to be going away forever. “I never wanted them till they were gone,” he wrote.
Forsberg admitted he purchased a number of boxes of Twinkies before they went away entirely and still has one final snack cake in his home. He was more than happy to return home with two boxes of fresh Twinkies, even texting a photo of them to his wife.
Although he had heard something was done to the Twinkie recipe to make the shelf life a reported 45 days instead of the previous 26, Forsberg says they taste just as good as he remembers.
“O how I’ve missed you,” he said with a laugh after taking his first bite of a much-missed childhood treat.
Twinkies can now be found on store shelves throughout the state, along with other favorites such as CupCakes, Donettes, Zingers, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs. Other favorites such as Sno Balls are going to be released, but no date has been announced.