The bakers may not be kneading the dough quite yet, but you can bet they've tried the ovens. Flowers Foods, based in Thomasville, Ga., plans to reintroduce the iconic Wonder Bread to retail shelves later this month. "Flowers Foods will ignite growth in new markets and pick up lost volumes with its newly acquired ex-Hostess brand Wonder – a product its president and CEO describes as a ‘powerhouse’ brand," noted Bakery and Snacks.com in a Friday article
Flowers CEO Alan Shiver announced that Wonder Bread will be reintroduced in conjunction with a Nascar event, according to Food Business News. In addition to having a car in the competition, he said marketing efforts will be introduced to tie the bread favorite to the sporting favorite and to Nascar fans. In addition, Shiver said that Flowers is planning to partner with Children's Miracle Network to aid children's hospitals.
With the theme, "Wonder's back, and Wonder gives back," Flowers will donate a nickel a loaf sold of both Wonder white and wheat breads to the cause, through the end of 2013.
Shiver noted that as Wonder, Home Pride, Merita and Butternut breads return to retail shelves the company expects that public support will return as well. Flowers, which already has a lineup of popular breads and cakes, earlier this year closed on a multi-million dollar deal to acquire the line of breads formerly distributed by now-defunct Hostess Brands. That company, formerly headquartered in Irving, Texas, declared bankruptcy and sold off its assets in several packages to other entities.
The new Hostess Brands LLC, which acquired rights to Twinkies, Ding Dong's, cupcakes, donettes and other sweet cakes and snacks, reintroduced Twinkies earlier this year with the slogan, "The sweetest comeback in the history of ever." The rights to the brands and several bakeries cost the new owners, C. Dean Metropoulos and Apollo Global Management, $460 million.
"We have the original recipes for the acquired brands, and with the reintroduction we’re offering the traditional taste and flavor profile. Product quality, product freshness and service levels are all-important as we bring the brands back to the fresh bread aisle," according to the Flowers CEO, who noted that 74 percent of consumers" said that Wonder is a legendary part of the American diet."
The company, which is now the second largest retail baker in the country, behind Mexican-owned giant Grupo Bimbo, hopes that the new dough will add dough to its coffers and fuel its expansion into markets currently not served by its own brands which include Sunbeam and Nature's Own.