CHICAGO — Supervalu Inc., the third-largest U.S. grocery-store chain, said Friday it’s seeing a jump in sales of Hostess Brands items as the bankrupt maker of Twinkies and Wonder bread liquidates and fires workers.
“We are definitely seeing an increase in customers purchasing Hostess products and expect this will continue as news about the company spreads,” Mike Siemienas, a spokesman for Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu, said in an interview. Hostess delivers its food directly to stores, so there is no inventory in Supervalu warehouses, he said.
“We will only have the products while supplies last,” he said. All of the company’s banners, which include Jewel-Osco, Albertsons and Shoppers, carry Hostess items, he said.
Supervalu has a network of about 2,400 traditional and discount food retail stores, according to a company filing.
Twinkies are also listed for sale on EBay. A 10-pack is available for $24.99 and four 10-packs are listed for $99.99 on the online retailer’s website. Other Hostess products including Zingers, Coffee Cakes and Cup Cakes are for sale on EBay.com.
A 10-pack of Twinkies are listed for $3.29 on the Peapod website, a home delivery grocery seller owned by Royal Ahold.
Keith Dailey, a spokesman for Kroger Co., said in an email that the company typically doesn’t comment on vendor bankruptcies and he hasn’t heard of an increase in Hostess sales.
“Of course it is still early,” he said.
Kroger is the largest U.S. grocery chain.