Stater Bros. Stores Seeing Run on Hostess Products

Jack Brown, the company's Chairman of the Board, said his stores might run out of Hostess products sometime over the weekend.

As the clock ticked down on the Hostess Brands Inc. bankruptcy, its products, especially the Twinkies and Cupcakes, have begun flying off the shelves at many Stater Bros. stores.

Jack Brown, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of Stater Bros. Markets, who had been in contact with several stores, had been told activity on Hostess Twinkies and Cupcakes had increased dramatically since the bankruptcy announcement.

“We will probably be out of Hostess products by this weekend,” Brown said late Friday during a phone interview. Stater Bros. is based in San Bernardino and is Southern California’s largest privately owned Supermarket Chain, as well as Southern California’s only locally owned Supermarket Chain, according to it's website.

Early Friday, Hostess Brands Inc. announced that it was “winding down operations” and had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including its iconic brands and facilities, according to a news release.

Operations at all plants had been suspended, though “delivery of products will continue and Hostess Brands retail stores will remain open for several days in order to sell already-baked products,” officials said.

For Brown and dozens of Stater Bros. customers, this means a loss of a product that is so deeply connected with childhood. The store will try to fill the gap.

“We’ll be replacing the (Hostess) product with another product sometime next week,” Brown said.

Hostess officials say a worker strike has forced them shut down operations. On Nov. 12, Hostess Brands permanently closed three plants as a result of the work stoppage. On Nov. 14, the company announced it would be forced to liquidate if a sufficient number of employees did not return to work by Nov. 15 to restore normal operations.

The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union rejected a “last, best and final offer from Hostess Brands designed to lower costs so that the Company could attract new financing and emerge from Chapter 11,” according to the Hostess Brands Inc. news release.

“I think the real issue here is bigger than Twinkies,” Brown said. “The issue is that 18,000 people will lose their jobs. If we can send a space ship to the moon, we should be able to solve this issue.”

Brown said the job loss could affect as many as 80,000 people, including spouses, children or other who may be dependent on the thousands of workers now facing the loss of their job.

Brown said he was not taking sides and held out hope that something could worked out, but only the weekend remained for resolution, he said.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, chief executive officer. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

Ivan G November 20, 2012 at 04:03 AM
And the investors plowed in another $60 million last year, yet the participants whine about 5% of that going to attract and retain new management. The whiners somehow believe that once an investment is made, it is up to the unions to determine how to spend the money. Under our system, that is for the owners to decide.
William Korn November 20, 2012 at 04:23 AM
If I was an investor and management achieved losses in 30 of 37 quarters, including the last 10 in a row, I'd fire their sorry butts, not give them all pay raises. What's the matter with you guys? Does merit not account for anything anymore? You whine about the greedy workers, who already took big pay cuts back in 2009, and were pressured to give back even more this year. But we have to pay the managers big bucks because they're so talented? Puhleeeeze! Buzz, the matter of executive compensation doesn't have a rat's patoot to do with the New World Order. It has to do with friggin' greed and with this fairy tale that you have to pay "talented" managers the moon when they drive their companies into the ground. Don't you get it yet, Buzz and Ivan? You're falling for a great big con came!
Ivan G November 20, 2012 at 04:51 AM
W Korn: The answer, very simply, is that it is not our money, so what we think is fair or right is irrelevant. The investors paid for the privilege of hiring managers. And, once the company was in bankrupty, compensation had to be approved by the court, which is charged with looking out for the interest of the creditors.
not Carl Peterson lll November 20, 2012 at 05:13 AM
KORN YOUR BIAS LOSES!!! My comment was a look at the big picture, and how we should all work together. Your comment of 8:23 pm of my comment ....well you just had to do it huh? OK so I looked further. (WHY IS LINK BELOW NOT BLUE?) http://www.chicagonow.com/easy-as-riding-a-bike/2012/11/hostess-liquidation-attempt-half-baked/ "THE FRIGGIN GREED" --THEY (YOU KNOW THOSE GREEDY INVESTORS), WILL LOSE ALL OF THEIR 170 MILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT, AND THEY ARE LAST IN LINE FOR WHAT IS LEFT OVER...= 0...THATS ZEREO... In other words they will lose everything. THE OFFER? They offered the union a 25% equity AND 100 million IOU, for an 8 percent paycut, and 17% in health payments. So maybe you were right...this was not new world order, It was the greedy union that ran an american biz, and 18,000 workers to the poor house. Thanks for your stupid jab, it forced me to look at more facts. ....THIS IS USUALLY WHERE YOU DISAPPEAR.........
not Carl Peterson lll November 20, 2012 at 05:16 AM
And by the way Mr. Korn ...I am never actually angry here. If I am raising my (voice), its still all in fun. I never take my ball and go home.....Where is Gayle ?????
not Carl Peterson lll November 20, 2012 at 05:39 AM
and they were offered representation on the board of directors.......
Robert Parry November 20, 2012 at 06:12 AM
A few random points. ...Management got 80% raises. Let's assume that was a total of $5 million. That's less than $280 per worker. ... Hostess went BK twice. If you were a guy on a packaging line and heard the company had it's eye on a top-notch CEO to navigate the recovery, would you be happy? If you heard another firm offered him $250k more and Hostess wouldn't match the offer, would you feel happy that he'd gone elsewhere? ... If you worked at Hostess, would you want the best CEO money could buy, or the best one willing to work for a blue collar wage? It's like the old joke: Whaddya call the guy who graduates last from medical school? "Doctor!" What do you call the lowest paid CEO in an industry? CEO. You (generally) get what you pay for. ... Hostess was owned by a hedge fun. How many union pensions were invested in that fund, do you think?
navigio November 20, 2012 at 06:34 AM
Goldsmith touched on the outsourcing of education as well. It's already happening. This is one reason the market has no reason to demand the improvement of public educaction. Obama is going to try but his education policies are misguided and we're way behind now and most taxpayers want to continue pushing in that same direction. Goldsmith mentioned regional preference as a 'solution' but it's probably too late for that. He also said something like, the economy should be there to serve society, not the other way around. We'll need a cultural paradigm shift if we're ever going to buy into that concept.
not Carl Peterson lll November 20, 2012 at 06:36 AM
This is why it looks to me it is a microcosm of the larger issue. Both the owners and unions operating on a formula that worked for decades. Now that we have to compete globally with billions of people who have been existing on one dollar a day per person, we will continue to have a labor market that slides down. The benefits of lower prices, and more international demand does not seem to balance the former. So while we pin the label of the "evil Bain types" and "greedy unions", we are debating on the same ship that is in low tide. Not the old saying of "rearranging chairs on the titanic". But a low tide And Steve b I think I saw part one of that YouTube a couple of weeks ago
William Korn November 20, 2012 at 07:01 AM
Buzz, you need to read the articles you cherry-pick from more carefully. See the quotes from the article you cited. "The saddest part of this story, to me, was how the news media took Hostess’ press release and published it verbatim – never once probing the accuracy of the assertions made. A simple Google search would have shown a troubled company filing its second bankruptcy in the past eight years. A few more clicks and a comprehensive analysis could have been written - similar to this excellent explanation I found today on Zerohedge.com. Turns out Hostess wasn’t being 100% truthful with the public…" What a surprise. Did you read the Zerohedge article, by the way? "The venture capitalists that hold Hostess’ secured debt have little to lose from a court-sanctioned liquidation. The sale of the company’s assets – brand names, recipes, bakery equipment, trucks, etc - should make these equity holders whole. The management group that acquired Hostess out of bankruptcy, on the other hand, will likely be out its full $170 million investment as its debt is subordinate to all others and its equity position is worthless with a shuttered company." So the venture capitalists walk away mainly unharmed. Do you now who gets socked for the mismanagement of Hostess? See below.... (CONTINUED)
William Korn November 20, 2012 at 07:14 AM
(CONTINUED) "At the time of Friday’s announcement, Hostess had $2 billion in unfunded pension obligations and was willing to offer its union workers 25% equity in the reorganized company and a $100 million IOU if the BCTGM would cut its pay a further 8% and health coverage by 17%. The Teamsters had already made another round of concessions. 92% of members in the BCTGM union approved a walk-out on November 9th – most believing that the company would fail regardless." Per the very statistics you quoted about the profitability of Hostess, Buzz, the BCTGM seems to be more perceptive about the true value of the offer than you are. "Our government will pick up the unemployment benefits tab, as well as guarantee a portion of paid-in pension obligations." So who gets to pay for part of this fiasco, besides the workers and the management company? We do! Isn't that nice of us? I'm sure the venture capital companies are relieved we're picking up the tab for them. I'm not so sure the other vendors who provided products & services to Hostess and will get virtually nothing back will be as relieved.
William Korn November 20, 2012 at 07:52 AM
Finally, the reason I walk away from your arguments is that they're boring. Take this current discussion. You ignore the points being made in the bulk of the article that you yourself cited (which points I already knew about) to present one factoid (which I also already knew about) to distort the main argument the author made (which actually was friendly neither to the union or to Hostess). That's a big bore, Buzz. It's also kind of dishonest. The same applied to your arguments about climate change. They were cherry-picked from people who already had made up their minds about climate change because they had a heavy financial stake in it not being true. The great bulk of them were about process and had little to do with the science. There are, sadly, also people who are arguing the other side from the same viewpoint, they have a heavy financial stake in climate change being true. Their arguments are also boring. When I gave you my considered opinion about the matter, based on reading both sides, you insisted on presenting the same arguments from the same sources, which you have been presenting ad infinitum. Boring. It was for the same reason that I walked away from discussions with Gregory Brittain, Pride of the Redlands Tea Party, and his charming sidekick Marg. If I want to talk to a wall, I don't have to go online. On the other hand, I'll be happy to talk with you about mathematics, physics, or interesting routes for megawalks.
not Carl Peterson lll November 20, 2012 at 07:58 AM
W. Korn I did read most of what you are explaining. I just quickly jotted a few points in regards to your "greedy managers" comment. I think the only difference is i did not separate the "vulture capitalists" as some say from the management. My point still stands. The landscaped has changed. With global trade, this will continue. And we need to work together to solve it. I never heard of zerohedge.com. I glanced for a moment, and could not get a feel of where they are coming from which is usually a good sign. And anyone that has articles from bill gross can't be all bad. I wil check out this interesting site more.
not Carl Peterson lll November 20, 2012 at 08:07 AM
oh high w korn. I see you kept on writing.... Well..... hm....I was not trying to give a comprehensive talk. I was responding to your greedy management remark.......but my longer remark is only one sided you say OK if that is your logic, you may go cuz it be ca-razy man. The Gw, you ran away without ever being brave enough to answer any of it. You may sit and think doomsday for the earth is coming, and the country is full of evil people. It is not. You can lead a horse to water....but oh global warming took it, so you won't even turn to look. Its now all mine, but I will still give you half Mr. Korn, cuz that the kind of guy I am. peace, chill everything is good here.
not Carl Peterson lll November 20, 2012 at 08:11 AM
special presentation for W korn.... Global warming is a hoax. The ones that scream the loudest are usually the ones who never spent two minutes on it. I will be here in five years when the issue finally finishes reaching a turning point. Bets anyone.....good night, and goodluck To infinity --> and beyond------------------>
trekman857 November 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM
The struggle to survive is fundamental to human nature, manifesting in self interest. That's true for everyone: workers, management, executives, politicians, non-workers, men and women, you and me. Mismanagement happen everywhere with everyone in our own lives and with running businesses. It's a given. In a place like the United States, people have a choice on how one wants to support themselves. Most often getting higher compensation requires having more skills that are in demand. But, obtaining the skills requires fortitude and hard work. Perhaps due to one's own or someone else's mismanagement or a drop in demand for a particular skill set, one may be out of a job. The only real solution is to take responsibility to work hard to acquire new or improve skills. In the long run, forcing others to unwillingly give you property or money does not work.
Gayle M. Montgomery November 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Marty, Gayle was in bed with a fever and kept falling asleep and waking up all day yesterday. I hear tell this same crud was experienced in Michigan recently, so look out folks even though I had a flu shot, and another coworker has it. it's 4:20 which is appropriate for the Marijuana Grow recommendation with which I concur cause Ivan either has PTSD or is in bad need of a fight. he keeps jumping even those who moderately agree with some of his positions. But back to topic, part of the reason Hostess was in that mess is because they sold the same product and did not keep up with the market. Folks moved away from food dye, sugar, and white bread, and yet management seemingly kept the 50's model. If they survive bankruptcy or a sale, they are going to have to change their business model to stay vibrant. As far as the commentary about entry level jobs, the comments repeated were so cavalier. The union negotiated bennies for its employees they could not get in other positions, though they gutted those plans in recent years. A young parent may not have the luxury of going to school to improve their lot. And I imagine that means some anti-abortionists are going to scream do not have babies and fail to get the irony of that remark.
Gayle M. Montgomery November 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM
as far as growing one's own produce, our employee based nonprofit just funded small dollars to the local YMCA for a healthy living program they have implemented for children who need the guidance. Next year, they may infuse Diabetes education into the mix. I suggested they consider a small garden the kids could cultivate because they are more apt to eat what they grow. But I have been nudging my DIL to grow one in her backyard, and her reasons for not doing so are two. A brown thumb and a large yellow lab that would not respect the borders. They do not have enough yard to apportion space just for they dog.
Gayle M. Montgomery November 20, 2012 at 01:53 PM
BTW those who cavalierly suggested just get more education to get out of entry level missed the fact that the employees never have a fixed schedule. one could sign up for a class on a certain date at a certain time but does not have the luxury of knowing they will be able to attend as scheduled, because their schedules are at the whim of their employer.
William Korn November 20, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Whatever you say, dear.
William Korn November 20, 2012 at 04:53 PM
If I worked at Hostess, I would be appalled at how management blew their company's recovery from the 2004 bankruptcy. Apparently the money men feel the same way. Hostess has gone through a mess of CEOs since 2009. I guess we disagree about what "the best CEO money could buy" means. See also today's news about the troubles HP are in right now, despite having had the benefit of four "top-notch" CEOS -- Carly Fiorina, Leo Apotheker, Mark Hurd, and Meg Whitman. I assume all of them received/are receiving big bucks for helping to run a great American corporate success story towards insolvency.
William Korn November 20, 2012 at 05:15 PM
The challenge is to balance that ingrained drive towards self-preservation against the needs of society, which demands that individuals must convert some of that drive for the survival of the society. Societies formed in the first place to allow collections of human beings to achieve what individual humans could not. When a society becomes unbalanced because individuals or subgroups of individuals try to grab too much more than they need, there is generally trouble. Unions formed to address the imbalance between owners and workers. As much as it pains me to say so (because I support the idea of unions), the pendulum may well have swung past the balance point as unions became very powerful. Now the pendulum is swinging back the other way again, and IMNHO has gone past the balance point again. That swing is exemplified by this strange idea that it's OK CEOs should demand and receive massive compensation when they do not perform the function for which they were hired.
SteveB November 20, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I think there are 6 parts total for the full Goldsmith interview. Worth watching the full interview, in my opinion.
not Carl Peterson lll November 20, 2012 at 09:31 PM
STEVE BI will look at the 6 part interview sometime in the next couple days. GAYLE, , yo, whats up ? My commenting here may be curtailed soon. Time to start flipping houses again. I am the employer, employee, and. "vulture capitalist" all in one. (self employed). I was on strike with myself for a while.
Gayle M. Montgomery November 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Hey, Party Marty! I pulled back because it got toxic and dog chasing tail for a while. Blessedly, it looks like they have gone back to banal topics. I am hoping to muster the ambition to going back to the blogging on jobs, but it is end of the year time at the office, so there are more sheep to herd into the must-do completion pen. Still feeling a little puny but on the mend, and off til Monday. So, now, about you. I take it you buy fixer uppers, fix em up, and then sell them. Is that what you are saying, or are you a broker like my now retired pop and unretired stepmom. Well, she retired as a teacher years ago but stll dabbles in real estate in Lake Arrowhead when they are in California. Hope you are doing something safe and fun for the holiday, Marty. Gonna go see the new Bond movie on IMAX at the mall today. I won't be able to stand the mall again til January after this. I so hate holiday shopping crowds. Don't be a stranger.
not Carl Peterson lll November 21, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Gail, I was renovating the old victorian, and craftsman homes in the old areas of Pasadena. Authentic, no home depot stuff, unless I had to. The amount of listings is really historicly low, with a high percentage of pending. Prices are firming....for now. Its actually hard to find a good deal to flip. I don't have the cash I used to have to pay all cash. If anyone does, ....I have some time for one who wants to finance, and i'll do everything needed to make the deal work and get all the work done. Split the profit. Happy, and merry everything
Gayle M. Montgomery November 22, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Ever check out the Habitat for Humanity Restores for stuff, Marty? I have been in the ones in Pasadena and Azusa and have seen treasures. You have to pick and choose, but good stuff.
Ivan G November 22, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Lisa Hastings said: "Actually, Mr. Ivan G, William Korn suggested that you chill out with a little marijuana. I think that is a grand idea. With a doctor's note you'd be all set to go to legally growing your own." Actually, Ms. radical-in-residence, that would be a federal felony. Why don't you do it? Judging from your comments, you probably do.
Reiu K November 22, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Such a negative person....think about the people losing their jobs, homes because of this.
Gayle M. Montgomery November 22, 2012 at 10:33 PM
I heard Whitman on NPR the other day playing the artful dodger with respect to running HP into the ground inferring Deloitte may have cooked the books with respect to the product it bought that sort of crashed. I was thinking time for her to go.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something