UPDATE: Yes, Tastykake is replacing Hostess brands hurt by the snackmaker's bankruptcy liquidation.
For example, in New England: "We had already been working on getting Tastykake into our stores prior to the recent Hostess news," Steve Sylven, spokesman for Shaw's supermarket chain owner Supervalu Inc., told me.
"When Flowers Foods acquired Country Kitchen earlier this year, it made Tastykake available" in New England.
"However, with the Hostess situation there was a need in the marketplace and we accelerated the roll-out. Stores began receiving their first deliveries this past Saturday and we expect all of our stores will be carrying Tastykake by this Thursday.
"I wouldn’t call it a substitute, but rather an alternative that just happens to somewhat offset the loss of Hostess in the marketplace.
EARLIER: "Looks like Flowers [Foods' Philadelphia-based] Tastykake is expanding some territory now that Hostess is down for the count," writes reader David Weinstein, a Broomall native now exiled in Stoughton, Mass.
He added an image of Tastykake Krimpets, Koffee Kake Cupcakes, and creme-stuffed chocolate cupcakes at his local Shaw's, Acme's Boston-area cousin; both are owned by SuperValu: "Being a Philly native, I immediately noticed these boxes on the shelf space today at Shaw's, in the space once occupied by Twinkies."
Weinstein wonders if this is "a test, or something that will be for the long haul? I know that many of us who live in New England love the idea of having access to Tastykakes in the supermarkets."
But are they, strictly, substitutes? Last we checked, Hostess products had a shelf-life measured in months, while Tasty makes fresh goods that expire after a couple of weeks. That means Tasty is more expensive to handle; more work for route drivers. If this catches on, maybe the state-backed South Philly bakery will finally approach capacity.