More bad journalism, they're saying Twinkies and Wonder Bread are going away. Better sources say those brands will be sold.
The fate of the company's brands remains uncertain, set to be decided by a bankruptcy court auction run by Hostess's investment bankers, or perhaps determined by a group of liquidators. Mr. Rayburn has said he is unsure if all of the company's brands—there are about 30, from Drake's to Ding Dongs—will sell or how much they might fetch.
On the one hand, the names have decades of brand equity, and there is "pretty significant demand" for the products, according to Mr. Rayburn. Hostess has revenue of about $2 billion annually. But a competitor would have to ramp up production if it took on the Twinkies or Ding Dong brands and give up valuable shelf space already devoted to its own goods, Mr. Rayburn noted.
Adam Hanft, a branding strategist behind Hanft Projects, sees the potential for new life in the liquidation of the decades-old company. A fresh owner of the intellectual property, which includes everything from names to recipes to graphics, could revitalize the Hostess brands, which Mr. Hanft sees as weakened but not lacking potential. He envisioned new flavors, limited-edition Twinkies, products co-branded with independent music groups and the potential for an international reach.
"Its nutritional emptiness in the right hands could be its core strength," he said, explaining that a buyer that embraces the brand's "kitschy," "deliciously retro" feel could be rewarded with a hipster following. He foresees a potentially diverse crowd of bidders for the property.
"It's the kind of iconic brand that might attract people who might not otherwise be interested in owning a consumer good," Mr. Hanft said.