Jewel-Osco's Twinkie Tactic: Let 'Em Stampede For Cake

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Supervalu's Jewel-Osco grocery chain is taking an unusual tactic. It seems to be taunting Twinkie aficionados—who have never been known as the most restrained of shoppers—to run down to its stores and clear out inventory. The chain put out a statement Monday (Dec. 10) that it will be receiving "what is believed to be the final shipment of Twinkies in the country" and that the 20,000-box shipment will be available on Tuesday (Dec. 10) morning. "There will be no limit on how many items a customer can buy" and the items will "be sold at regular price," the statement said.

The move, which also includes Ding Dongs and Zingers, is baffling. There is every reason to suspect that Twinkie-maker Hostess Brands—which is going bankrupt—will sell the Twinkie line to somebody as that specific brand can undoubtedly still make a profit, especially with new pricing. Hence, there will be more Twinkies, but not from a company called Hostess. Yes, the idea is sort of like a profitable loss-leader tactic, where the idea is to sell lots of stuff to those Twinkie-loving folk. But what happens when the inventory runs out? Could get ugly. Maybe Jewel-Osco misses the Walmart Black Friday types of damage and pandemonium?