widemodern_twinkies_071513.jpg

The Great Twinkie Drought Comes to an End

Under new ownership, Hostess reintroduced several of its snack products on Monday.

widemodern_twinkies_071513.jpg

Boxes of Twinkies on the shelf at Wal-Mart, Friday, July 12, 2013, in Bristol, Pa. The snack cakes return to stores nationwide Monday.

By + More

Hostess's Twinkies are returning to retailer shelves across the country Monday, in what the company says is "the sweetest comeback in the history of ever."

[READ: Hostess Closure Spurs Thousand-Dollar Twinkie Sales]

The cream-filled snack cakes – along with other Hostess products such as Ding Dongs, CupCakes and Ho Hos – disappeared from stores when the company filed for bankruptcy in January 2012 and then suddenly shut down in November of 2012 amid employee strikes and financial troubles. But two private companies, Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management, purchased the brands for $410 million and announced the snacks' return in March.

The company touted its return to stores as it tracked its "snack truck" route through New York City on Twitter Monday morning, with a stop at NBC's "Today" show.

Discussion of the famed snacks increased in recent days, as many consumers also took to Twitter – some expressing their excitement, and others questioning whether anyone noticed that Twinkies disappeared in the first place.

"Thank goodness, we can still get a deep fried Twinkie at the Iowa State Fair!" tweeted Sen. John McCain.

"I think I would care more about Twinkies being back in stores if it hadn't already been 20+ years since the last time I had one," says a tweet from California radio host Casey Dolan.

Still, the company's new owners said public demand prompted the return.

[PHOTOS: Extinct Foods and Drinks]

"America wanted Hostess back – they wanted the original," Daren Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos & Co., told ABC News. "Very soon consumers will once again be able to enjoy Twinkies, CupCakes and other great Hostess snack cakes. A comeback by any other name could never be as sweet."

But the new Twinkies are slightly different from the original: The snack's shelf life has been extended by almost three weeks, from 26 days to 45 days, according to ABC News.

An although Hostess says it asked retailers not to sell the revamped snacks until Monday, some stores, including Wal-Mart and Kroger, said they stocked their shelves on Friday.

Wal-Mart had a first batch of Twinkies available in 1,600 stores on Friday, and by Sunday the snacks were available in 3,000 stores, according to CNN.

"Hostess has shipped product to every major retail customer across the country ... These shipments were coordinated to give everyone the same opportunity to display the product on July 15th," Hostess said in a statement to The Associated Press. "Hostess has not, and is not, giving any particular retailer exclusivity or preference to have products first."

[ALSO: The Twinkie Apocalypse, Averted]

Kroger, the company that owns the grocery stores Ralph's, Fry's and Food 4 Less, also said it had Twinkies stocked in about a quarter of its 2,400 stores on Friday, the AP reported.

The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union said in a statement that it was interested in working with the new owners of Hostess to ensure the "long-term viability" of the products.

"Last year's demise of Hostess was due in large measure to critical mistakes made by a series of management teams that simply did not have any meaningful experience in the wholesale bread and cake baking business," said union President David Durkee in the statement. "To avoid the same fate, the BCTGM encourages the two private equity firms ... to change their approach and work with our union and our members in a cooperative manner. This is their best hope for long-term success."

 

More News: