Twinkies return early to Walmarts
Wal-Mart and other retailers are making Twinkies available this weekend, even though Hostess says it asked stores to wait until Monday to start selling the spongy, yellow snack cakes.
The world’s largest retailer announced Friday that the cakes were available at about 1,600 stores and that about 3,000 of its 4,000 U.S. stores should have them by Sunday morning. That’s a day before the Monday return that Hostess has trumpeted in its marketing.
Supermarket operator Kroger, which owns Ralphs, Fry’s and Food 4 Less, also said the cakes were available in about a quarter of its more than 2,400 stores Friday and that the figure would expand over the weekend.
Hostess said in a statement that it shipped out products to give retailers the same opportunity to display the product Monday.
“Hostess has not, and is not, giving any particular retailer exclusivity or preference to have products first and is making a great effort to fulfill orders equally and timely to everyone,” the company said in a statement.
But Wal-Mart announced Friday morning that Twinkies would make an “early comeback” at its stores.
“The product was in our distribution centers, and we went out early,” said Veronica Marshall, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Marshall had earlier said that Wal-Mart had worked with Hostess to make the snack cakes available early exclusively.
But she later clarified the statement to say that Wal-Mart had worked with Hostess to make special packaging with the words “First Batch” available exclusively at its stores.
By late next week, Wal-Mart says its stores also will have Hostess Mini Muffins and fried Fruit Pies, Marshall said. Coffee Cakes, Ho Hos, Orange CupCakes, Suzy Qs and Zingers will be available by August.
Sno-Balls will arrive in the fall.