City’s sweet tooth broke, but fixable

For nearly a century, Tasty Baking Co. has been filling the sweet tooth of Philadelphia-area residents with cakes, pies and Krimpets. Yesterday, dessert-lovers got a scare when the maker of Tastykakes announced financial troubles are forcing them to consider a possible merger or even sale.

The Philadelphia-based manufacturer experienced a rough fourth quarter, which included one of their biggest customers, A&P, filing for bankruptcy. It also had some production problems at its new bakery in South Philadelphia which cut into revenue.

An industry analyst, however, says it is unlikely that Tastykakes will reach the end of the line anytime soon.

“The question is: Is there brand equity?” asked Richard George, professor of Food Marketing at St. Joseph’s University. “I think Tastykake has a ton of equity. … Who owns it? That’s another story. Who manages it? That’s another story.”

Behind cheese steaks and pretzels, Tastykakes are the food most associated with Philadelphia, George noted.

Mayor Michael Nutter also said on a radio show that he has little concern the local icon will disappear.

“I think they have certainly plans in place,” Nutter told KYW1060. “They’re still selling products. There are no issues in terms of folks getting their Krimpets and Tastykakes.”

The company has also asked its main lender, Citizens Bank, to extend its line of credit and is considering refinancing. In May, Tasty opened its new bakery after 88 years at its previous location on Hunting Park Avenue.

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