Twinkies Make Early Return At Wal-Mart

Twinkies made an early return to Wal-Mart stores Friday, a day before Hostess said the snack cakes would return to stores nationwide.

Wal-Mart said it is selling Twinkies at about 1,600 stores, and that 3,000 of its 4,000 stores US stores should have them in stock by Sunday morning.

Other Hostess snacks, such as Mini Muffins and fried Fruit Pies, will be in stock by late next week, said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Veronica Marshall. By August, expect to see Orange CupCakes, Suzy Qs, Zingers, Ho Hos, and Coffee Cake on store shelves, and look for Sno-Balls in the fall.

“We’ve been working with them now for several months to have them available exclusive early,” Marshall said.

Twinkie production in the United States was shut down on November 21, 2012, after US Bankruptcy judge Robert Drain approved Hostess’ request. The company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 4, and on November 16 announced that it would be “winding down operations.”

However, the new owners of Hostess announced last month that Twinkies would be making a comeback starting July 15, and the company said in a statement:

“A select number of retail customers — representing about 10 percent of our distribution — have explicitly requested to receive frozen product. This allows them to date the product for freshness, provides flexibility in filling their shelves, and has no impact on the quality or taste of our products. The choice is up to our customers.”

Marshall said Wal-Mart is not one of the retailers that will receive frozen Twinkies, but declined to say how Hostess products were performing before the bankruptcy.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said that the retailer “knows there’s a lot of fanfare and nostalgia behind the Twinkies comeback,” and had “plans to replenish its stock of Hostess Twinkies and other popular products consistently after July 14 to meet customer demand.”

Twinkies will now come with a 45-day shelf life, versus the previous shelf life of 26 days.

Are you excited for the return of Twinkies?