THOMASVILLE, Ga., Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Four of America's best-known bread brands, including the classic Wonder bread, are returning to grocery store shelves across the country starting this week. Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO), a leading producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the U.S., acquired the brands from Old HB, Inc. (formerly Hostess Brands) in July. The brands have been off the market since Hostess declared bankruptcy 10 months ago.
"We're thrilled to be baking these wonderful breads and know that millions of consumers will be smiling when they find their favorite back in their grocery store," noted Keith Aldredge, Flowers Foods' vice president of marketing. "We are using the same recipes and paying close attention to quality and freshness. We want these breads to be great from the very first taste."
Wonder, Merita, and the other brands are being baked at Flowers bakeries around the country and are available throughout the company's direct-store-delivery (DSD) market. This market currently reaches more than 77% of the U.S. population in the East, South, Southwest, and California.
"Where ever these brands were available before within our market area—they are returning," Aldredge explained. "We do not yet have national distribution, so these brands will not be available to all consumers. We are rapidly expanding our market and working hard to make sure everyone will be able to enjoy their favorite bread in the future."
Aldredge also pointed out that long-time Wonder and Merita consumers will recognize the new "old" look of these brands' packaging. "We went into the archives and pulled packaging designs from earlier days," he said. "We're bringing back the classic Wonder and Merita logos and colors. We hope the nostalgic look creates happy memories for many and attracts new consumers with its retro appeal."
It's Wonder-ful! The Wonder re-launch includes Wonder Classic White, Wonder Whole Grain White, and Wonder 100% Whole Wheat breads. Also returning are Wonder hamburger and hot dog buns, and rolls.
"Wonder has been a part of the American food scene since 1921," Aldredge said. "Generations have grown up on Wonder sandwiches. It's a classic."
Wonder is back in grocery stores throughout Flowers' market area. This includes the following cities: Baltimore, Boston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Richmond, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco and Tulsa. Consumers should check with their local grocery stores to find out when Wonder will be available.
To celebrate its return, Wonder Bread is partnering with the Children's Miracle Network (CMN) to help children's hospitals and medical research centers that treat common childhood afflictions ranging from broken bones to birth defects and cancer. For every loaf of Wonder Classic White and Wonder Whole Grain White bread sold between October 1 and December 31, 2013, Wonder will donate five cents to help children at 170 CMN hospitals around the country (up to a maximum donation of $250,000).
Merita, Home Pride, and Butternut Bread brands with strong regional following, Merita, Home Pride, and Butternut breads, buns, and rolls also are returning to grocery stores within Flowers' market area.
"While Wonder will be positioned as our national white bread brand, Merita, Home Pride, and Butternut are great additions to our line-up of regional white bread brands, which already includes Sunbeam and Bunny," Aldredge noted. "White bread consumers are very brand loyal, so each of our bakeries has a specific plan to ensure that we are offering consumers what they want."
About Flowers Foods Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE: FLO) is one of the largest producers of fresh packaged bakery foods in the United States with 2012 sales of $3.1 billion. Flowers operates bakeries across the country that produce a wide range of bakery products. Among the company's top brands are Nature's Own and Tastykake. Learn more at Flowersfoods.com.