Hostess Brands to close down, sell assets
IRVING, Texas — Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies and Ho Ho’s, is closing down amid a union strike that the company said forced it to halt operations.
The snack food manufacturer announced Friday that it had filed for permission from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to close its business and sell its assets after a nationwide strike by the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union "crippled" its ability to produce and deliver products. In September, the BCTGM rejected a final offer from the company that was designed so it could attract new financing and emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The offer to the union included wage, benefit and work rule concessions, but also gave the company’s 12 unions a 25% ownership stake in the company, board representation and $100 million in reorganized company debt.
The company closed three plants on Nov. 12, and on Nov. 14, it announced it would be forced to liquidate if it couldn’t get enough employees back to restore normal operations by the end of the day Thursday. Bakery operations have been suspended at all the company’s plants, and it plans to lay off most of its 18,500 workers, though the company said it would continue delivering products and selling already produced goods through its retail stores for several days. The company will close 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, 5,500 delivery routes and 570 outlet stores.
The company plans to sell its baking and distribution facilities, as well as brands such as Hostess, Drakes and Dolly Madison, which make products like Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s, Sno Balls and Donettes, as well as brad products like Wonder, Nature’s Pride, Beefsteak and others.
Nurish Brands introduces ‘natural’ energy drink alternative Feel Natural Energy
CHICAGO — Nurish Brands on Thursday launched Feel Natural Energy, a new energy drink available in Rexam 10.5-oz. Sleek cans.
"Feel is an altogether different kind of energy drink," stated Brian Turner, president and CEO of Nurish Brands. "We developed Feel from the ground up to satisfy the demands of health-aware, active individuals — individuals who won’t go anywhere near mainstream energy drinks," he said. "There’s undoubtedly a significant ‘need state’ for caffeine, yet more and more consumers desire a caffeinated alternative that makes them feel like they’re doing something good for themselves. Feel is a great-tasting energy beverage that’s naturally low in calories and confers ‘real’ nutritional benefits."
The lightly carbonated, naturally sweetened drink boasts just 15 calories and contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, the company announced. Feel is available in three flavors: raspberry lemonade, wild berry and mango passionfruit.
Each serving provides a full day’s supply of vitamin C, along with essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D and 85 mg of naturally occurring caffeine.
Feel Natural Energy recently received the Bronze Medal for the energy drink category in Beverage World Magazine’s 2012 global packaging designs awards.
Feel Natural Energy is currently available at select retailers in Michigan, with plans for continued expansion throughout the Midwest, including Chicago.
Kellogg transitions into 2013 with innovative new products
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Kellogg on Thursday announced a lineup of innovative additions to its most successful brands for 2013, featuring new flavors and healthier options for snacking.
"We are building off these [snack] brands with new products that reflect our deep understanding of people’s evolving taste preferences and nutrition needs," said Alan Gravely, SVP marketing and innovation for Kellogg Snacks.
Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch bars are a crunchy variation of the popular cereal bars, which combine 20 g of whole grain and real fruit. The Special K brand’s lineup of healthier snacks include Special K Blondie Brownie Bites featuring chocolate chips along with vanilla and butterscotch flavor, packed in 100-calorie pouches. Other Special K additions for 2013 include a Berry Streusel variety of Pastry Crisps and new Honey Barbecue cracker chips.
Other new products include:
- FiberPlus Antioxidant Protein Chewy bars, in Mixed Nut and Peanut flavors
- Keebler Peanut Butter-filled Fudge-dipped pretzels
- Double Chocolatey Chunk Rice Krispies treats
- Honey Wheat, Pizza and Cheese flavors of Pringles
- Sour Cream & Onion, and Farmhouse Cheddar flavors of Pringles Multigrain
- Cheez-it Provolone Crackers