Flowers Foods Will Reopen a Few Hostess Plants

Flowers Foods, in March, unveiled plans to slowly reopen some, but not many, of the shuttered Hostess Brands facilities it won in a court-supervised bankruptcy auction last July.

"Last fall, we began rolling out the acquired brands in our DSD territory where those brands had been sold previously. As expected, the acquired brands are driving incremental sales growth," Bradley Alexander, president of Flowers Bakeries/DSD segment, told financial analysts.

This spring, the Knoxville, Tenn., bakery will reopen to support capacity needs in that region, and over the next two years, two or three additional bakeries may come on line. Last November, Flowers opened the Henderson, Nev., bakery, the first of the former Hostess facilities to open as a Flowers subsidiary.

But that's all he promised.

The Thomasville Ga., company bought 20 idled bakeries, 36 depots and the Wonder, Home Pride, Merita, and Butternut bread brands from Hostess, which was being liquidated.

In the same presentation, Allen Shiver, president and CEO, promised to "expand our market share and our direct-store-delivery (DSD) territory while continuing to grow through acquisitions. Therefore, we are moving the target for our DSD segment to have access to at least 90 percent of the U.S. population by 2018. We also are announcing two new targets – achieving a 20 share of bread, buns and rolls and a 12 share in snack cake in the IRI U.S. market. In addition, we see potential growth opportunities in channels not captured by IRI as well as in other areas of our business."

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