You've seen copies of luxury bags and watches, but how about knockoff Twinkies?
If you can't join 'em, beat 'em. That's a 180 degree turn on a common phrase, and it may be the strategy for the nation's largest bakery. The New York Post reports that Grupo Bimbo, which lost out on the bidding for the Twinkie brand, may be planning to bake up an imitation of the iconic product.
It reportedly wants to get its version on shelves before the real Twinkies return to the market later this year. The Post reports that Bimbo's new line could also include a Hostess-like cupcake.
Hostess, of course, shut down its bakeries last November, declaring bankruptcy in a wage dispute with its workers. At the time, Grupo Bimbo was considered the favorite to buy the key assets, including Twinkies.
But Hostess sold off pieces of its business to several other firms. The Twinkies brand was sold to a pair of investment firms, which also bought Ding Dongs, HoHos and other brands. McKee Foods acquired the Drake's cakes line, which includes Devil Dogs and Yodels. McKee already makes Little Debbie snack cakes. And Flowers Foods (FLO) acquired Wonder Bread.
As for Grupo Bimbo's plan to make a Twinkies twin, it needs the cooperation of Teamster union locals that will deliver the new product.
The Post says a number of Teamsters locals in the Midwest have approved the deal offered by Bimbo, but that some drivers in New York are worried that they will get lower commissions on the product than on other lines they carry. They deliver Bimbo's other brands, including Thomas' English Muffins, Entenmann's and Stroehmann. Bimbo also owns the fresh baked unit of Sara Lee.
Bimbo is interested in a knockoff Twinkie because the little cakes have such a strong following. When it looked like Twinkies might be lost forever, fans began scooping them up on eBay and Craigslist, willing to pay huge premiums.
The Twinkie war is on.
–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg
Take the first steps to building your portfolio.View Course »