Last year, Thomasville-based Flowers Foods bought Tastykake, an iconic but declining snack cake brand, with plans to revive it.
Might Flowers be interested in doing the same with Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs or Wonder Bread?
The maker of Nature’s Own and other bakery brands wasn’t saying Friday. But speculation included Flowers as one of the possible players for assets of Hostess Brands, which this week got bankruptcy court approval to liquidate.
Analysts offered caution, saying Flowers doesn’t need much of what Hostess has to offer — an assortment of bakeries in addition to its bread and snack brands.
“They don’t really need anything, and with Hostess going away they’ll already be picking up market share by not spending a dime,” said William Chappell, an analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Flowers’ approach, he said, is to be selective and opportunistic.
Tim Ramey, with D.A. Davidson & Co., said of a Flowers deal, “We think the potential upside is uncertain, unquantifiable and, if possible at all, well down the road.”
He cited the “death-spiral trajectory Hostess brands have taken for more than a decade,” calling them “truly out of step with where consumers are going.”
Said Ramey, “Let’s face it, the outpouring of nostalgic love for these ‘iconic’ Hostess brands in the past few days stems from the fact that we remember Twinkies fondly from our youth, but (we) haven’t eaten one in decades and wouldn’t dream of starting now.”
After a rough week in Washington, President Barack Obama came to rainy Atlanta on Sunday to be with a friendlier crowd, becoming the first sitting president to give the commencement address at Morehouse College.