Wonder Bread is one of four bread brands back on shelves this week after the bankrupt Hostess Brands sold its classic products to Flower Foods Inc.
Beginning Monday, Flower Foods, based in Thomasville, Ga., rereleased Wonder, Merita, Home Pride and Butternut breads to grocery stores across the country.
Hostess Brands declared bankruptcy 10 months ago, which led to a temporary stoppage in production and distribution. Consumers hoarded Hostess products such as Twinkies in a frenzy. In July, a group of investors formed Hostess Brands LLC, and began selling Twinkies, Cup Cakes and other sweet snack favorites.
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Hostess Brands, based in Kansas City, Mo., halted operations at the last of its 11 factories in November after it failed to reach an agreement with its second-biggest union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union. The original Hostess filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 16. Its new owners have cut the number of plants to four, and the products will be sold through convenience and grocery stores only. Some 600 Hostess thrift stores have been closed permanently.
Keith Aldredge, Flower Foods' vice president of marketing, said Flower Foods Inc. was using "the same recipes and paying close attention to quality and freshness."
The brands' packaging will bring back the "old" look of the products, Aldredge said.
"We went into the archives and pulled packaging designs from earlier days," he said. "We're bringing back the classic Wonder and Merita logos and colors. We hope the nostalgic look creates happy memories for many and attracts new consumers with its retro appeal."
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Flower Foods Inc., a publicly traded company, calls itself one of the largest producers of freshly packaged bakery foods in the United States, with 2012 sales of $3.1 billion. Its brands include Nature's Own and Tastykake.
Wonder, Merita, and the other brands are being baked at Flowers bakeries around the U.S. and are available throughout the company's direct-store-delivery market, which reaches more than 77 percent of the U.S. population in the East, South, Southwest and California, according to the company.