Twinkies fans, it’s time to chill. With less than two weeks before Hostess products return to stores across the country, the company’s new ownership says it will freeze some of the snack items before shipping them from the bakery to retailers.
The New York Post reports that the change comes after Hostess products were previously shipped from company bakeries to retail outlets within 48 hours of production.
However, Hostess Yahoo! News that the request actually comes directly from retailers themselves and will only affect a small percentage of the company's overall production.
"A select number of retail customers - representing about 10 percent of our distribution - have explicitly requested to receive frozen product," Hostess spokesperson Hannah Arnold told Yahoo! News over email. "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."
However, Hostess remains adamant that the new delivery process will not affect the quality of Twinkies or any of its other products.
Under the new corporate structure of private equity firms Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., Hostess has cut back on the number of company bakeries and delivery drivers after a messy labor dispute negatively affected the company last year. Hostess products remained wildly popular before last year's bankruptcy and many analysts predict the company will be back on stronger footing under new management.
“When consumers are finally able to bite into Hostess products again, they will, without question, have the same delicious experience that has given these great brands their enduring appeal,” the company said in a statement. "The new ownership is absolutely committed to baking top-quality snack cakes and, in fact, is making major investments to ensure that Hostess products are as good, if not even better than before.”
One other interesting component of this story is the debunking of the myth that Twinkies have an infinite shelf life because of the preservatives used in their creation. As the Post notes, Twinkies actually expire after about 25 days.
However, as the Washington Post notes, in 1999 President Bill Clinton did decide to include Twinkies in the millennial time capsule. So, even if Twinkies don’t technically last forever, they are truly part of our national history.
Ironically, Twinkies actually have only one chemical preservative, according to the site Today I Found Out. However, they do contain a bevy of other artificial ingredients, including cellulose gum, commonly used in rocket fuel, and artificial butter that is derived from petroleum.
The original Twinkies recipe used natural dairy products and bananas for the creamy filling, according to Fox News. In fact, the original choice of banana filling is why Twinkies have that distinctive tubular yellow shape. However, vanilla cream was used as a substitute after a banana shortage during World War II. After the war, people preferred the vanilla taste, so the change became permanent.
Residents of Emporia, Kan., plan to celebrate the July 15 return of Hostess products with a Twinkies Festival. Hostess has reopened a bakery in the city where 500 employees lost their jobs after the company went bankrupt last year. However, the new owners of Hostess said they will employ only 250 workers for the time being.