Twinkies on Ice?

Hostess to start freezing some Twinkies before shipping upon July 15 re-launch

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- While the "freeze" on the availability of Hostess Twinkies is about to end, Hostess will begin freezing some of its Twinkies before shipping them when it re-releases the snack cakes this month, the company confirmed for The Huffington Post.

Hostess filed for bankruptcy in early 2012; Apollo Global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. bought Hostess Brands earlier this year for $410 million. Last month, Hostess announced that Twinkies would be back on shelves by July 15.

Sources told The New York Post, which first reported the news, that they feared the new freezing process could threaten the product's integrity and future popularity. Twinkies have a 45-day shelf life.

According to the New York Post, the old Hostess baked Twinkies, HoHos, Ding Dongs and other snack cakes at nine plants and got them on shelves within 48 hours using its own delivery drivers. Now the plan is to bake the snack cakes at five plants and freeze them before shipping them through independent drivers to warehouses, according to the sources. Stores would defrost them and restock the shelves as needed.

While the new owners say the iconic creme-filled cake will evoke the same nostalgia, the thawing process could undermine the integrity of the product, the sources speculated.

"If they alter the taste, people may not buy it," one source said.

Hostess spokesperson Hannah Arnold told the Huffington Post that the company made the decision after a small percentage of its retail customers explicitly requested frozen versions of the treat, which will allow companies to "date the product for freshness," while providing "flexibility in filling their shelves."

Any retail customer will still be able to request not-frozen Twinkies, said the report, and the company maintains that freezing Twinkies will have "no impact on the quality or taste" of the product.

"Any suggestion that Hostess is changing the integrity of the iconic snack cakes consumers have loved is completely untrue," Arnold said. "The new ownership is absolutely committed to baking top quality snack cakes and, in fact, is making major investments to ensure that Hostess products are as good, if not even better, than before."