Start the countdown! Twinkies return to shelves July 15

CNN
Monday, June 24, 2013 - 9:27am

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Good news Twinkies fans, your beloved snack is due back on shelves on July 15.

The announcement was made by Daren Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos & Co., one of the two companies that bought the rights to Twinkies and other snack brands from the bankrupt Hostess Brands earlier this year.

The new Twinkies box will look very similar to the old one, with the addition of the line "The sweetest comeback in the history of ever." The price will stay the same as last fall when Hostess shut down - $3.99 for a box of 10. Other products will also come back with the same pricing.

"America wanted Hostess back -- they wanted the original," said Metropoulos.

The new company will sell all of the Hostess and Dolly Madison branded snack products, including CupCakes, Donettes, Zingers, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, fruit pies and mini muffins. Some products, such as Sno Balls, will take a little longer to return to shelves, but they should be available within the next few months.

Other Hostess brands, including Wonder Bread and Drake's snack cakes, have been sold to other firms. Details of their return have yet to be announced.

Wonder Bread, Twinkies and other Hostess products have not been produced since November, when Hostess Brands Inc. filed with the bankruptcy court to liquidate its 82-year old business following a crippling strike by the Bakery Workers union.

But while that company is out of business, and most of its 18,500 employees have lost their jobs, a bankruptcy court has been overseeing an auction of its various brands as part of the liquidation process.

The new snack company, Hostess Brands LLC, was purchased for $410 million by private equity groups Apollo Group and Metropoulos & Co. It also bought five of the closed bakeries as part of their bid. It will produce the products out of four of the bakeries -- in Columbus, Ga., Emporia, Kansas, Indianapolis and the Chicago suburb of Schiller Park, Ill. It plans to have about 1,800 employees making the snacks within the next three months.

Metropoulos' other food holdings include Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. In the past it has owned Chef Boyardee canned pasta, Bumble Bee seafood, PAM cooking spray and Gulden's Mustard, all of which it eventually sold to ConAgra Foods Inc.

--CNN's Polina Fishof contributed to this report

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