Twinkie Maker's Response to the Trump Tax Overhaul: Free Snacks

(Bloomberg) -- Hostess Brands Inc., feeling flush after last month’s tax overhaul, will offer bonuses to workers -- including free snacks.

The company, which makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, is providing its employees one-time payments of $1,250 -- with $750 in cash and $500 in the form of a 401(k) contribution. In taking the step, Hostess cited last month’s tax legislation, which slashed the rate for U.S. corporations.

It’s also offering a year’s worth of free food to workers -- though they won’t be able to eat all the Ding Dongs they like. A representative from each of Hostess’s bakeries will choose a product each week, and the employees will be able to take home a multipack of that item. The company also makes Hostess CupCakes, Fruit Pies and Donettes.

The employee perks come after a painful history for Hostess’s workforce. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and was temporarily shut down, sending all of its employees packing. Hostess was resurrected in a deal orchestrated by Apollo Global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., but with a fraction of its former staff.

More automated production lines have allowed the Kansas City, Missouri-based company to get by with a workforce of just 1,036 -- down from about 8,000 in the old days.

President Donald Trump has touted the tax changes as a boon to workers. So far, though, many companies have opted to reward employees with one-time bonuses -- rather than permanent pay raises.

At Hostess, Executive Chairman C. Dean Metropoulos said he expects to invest further in employees as the company evaluates its tax windfall.

“The recent tax reform changes have given us the opportunity to review our benefit and compensation structure,” he said in a statement. “The company’s management and board take great pleasure in sharing the company’s success with our employees.”

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