Hostess Brands Is Buying Canada’s Voortman Cookies for $320 Million

Twinkies maker looks to appeal to health-conscious snackers

Hostess logo behind a variety of Voortman Cookies
Hostess expects to close the deal for Voortman Cookies in early 2020. Hostess, Voortman Cookies
Headshot of Kathryn Lundstrom

Twinkies maker Hostess Brands is acquiring Voortman Cookies, a Canadian cookie and wafer company, from Swander Pace Capital for about $320 million. Hostess expects to close the transaction early next month.

“Voortman is a leading brand with a well-defined consumer position that complements and extends the growing Hostess portfolio into the growing cookie and better-for-you sweet snacking categories with meaningful runway for future growth,” Hostess president and CEO Andy Callahan said in a statement, adding that the company hopes to combine its efficient operating model with Voortman’s brand to generate cost savings and drive growth.

Hostess was founded in 1919 with the Hostess Cupcake, with its arguably most famous brand Twinkies hitting the scene more than a decade later in 1930, followed by dozens more sweet treats. Voortman came along in 1951, but with a slightly different spirit: Brothers William and Henry Voortman opened a bakery in Ontario touting high-quality ingredients and traditional Dutch recipes, such as their signature windmill cookie.

Voortman rebranded in 2015 after Swander Pace Capital acquired a majority stake in the company. The company’s new look and message returned to its original “real ingredients” message, weeding out artificial ingredients that had crept in over the years.

In acquiring Voortman, Hostess is looking to benefit from that all-natural, lower sugar message that’s increasingly resonating with consumers.

“The team at Voortman is excited about becoming part of the Hostess portfolio and the prospects for further dramatic growth of the Voortman brand behind the exceptional capabilities of the Hostess organization,” Voortman CEO Douglas MacFarlane said in a statement.

@klundster Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.