No More Twinkies? Hostess Shutting Down

Company to close its doors, citing worker strike.

Will there be a run on Twinkies and Ding Dongs today?

Some of America's guiltiest pleasures  could soon disappear from the grocery store shelves, after their parent company, Hostess Brands, announced it plans to go out of business, citing a labor union worker strike on top of a first bankruptcy earlier this year.

Wonder Bread Hostess has bakeries and retail outlets all over the country, including several in Virginia. The closest one to Northern Virginia is in Fredericksburg. The company employs close to 19,000 people and cites high labor costs as well as rising costs for flour and sugar, key ingredients for its baked goods.

"Many people have worked incredibly long and hard to keep this from happening, but now Hostess Brands has no other alternative than to begin the process of winding down and preparing for the sale of our iconic brands," CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in a letter to employees that was released to the media.

The iconic Twinkie is marketed by Hostess as a "golden sponge cake with creamy filling."

The Twinkie got its start in the 1930s when James A. Dewar, a baker at the Continental Baking Company, dreamed it up as a replacement to a strawberry-filled shortcake the bakery was making, according to Food History. After strawberry season, they went with a banana-flavored creme and after a banana shortage during World War II, they went with the now-famous vanilla creme.

The name for the treat reportedly came to Dewar when he saw an ad for the Twinkle Toe Shoe Company and shortened the name to Twinkie. The Twinkie reportedly has 150 calories in one cake.

The company also makes the popular Ding Dong, Chocolate Cup Cake (with a creme filling and icing), Sno Balls and other sugary products. 

It's likely Hostess could sell its top brands to another company, according to business reports.

But if the iconic snack should be no more... Tell us: 

Will you miss the Twinkie? The Ding Dong? What are your Twinkie memories? Are the snacks worth saving? Do you plan to stock up?

See also:

Joe Bagadonuts November 19, 2012 at 12:21 PM
"Hostess came under fire this spring after it was revealed that nearly a dozen executives received pay hikes of up to 80 percent last year even as the company was struggling." "The Hostess CEO who demanded some of the deepest cuts from workers engineered a 300 percent increase in his compensation package." The workers were not asking for increases. They had previously conceded away their pensions and taken large cuts in salary. The company is saddled with a $1B debt and has been in / out of two bankruptcies over the past decade. They're currently being run by Ripplewood Holdings, a vulture capitalist who has run the company into the ground, while at the same time lining their pockets. They are a profoundly messed up company and they don't deserve to stay in business. The workers are not the cause. Management is controlling the PR spin, and from reading this comments section it looks like low-knowledge media consumers are buying off on the spin that the union strike was *the single cause* of Hostess's failure. It looks to me like the strike was the final straw. Hint: don't just make stuff up, use Google and operate from at least a minimal base of knowledge.
Mary Ann Barton November 19, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Here's the article that Joe is talking about: http://www.thenation.com/blog/171331/vulture-capitalism-ate-your-twinkies#
Joe Bagadonuts November 19, 2012 at 08:09 PM
@Mary Ann Barton - this one is more in depth: http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/26/hostess-twinkies-bankrupt/ Summary: "But in truth there are no black hats or white knights in this tale. It's about shades of gray, where obstinacy, miscalculation, and lousy luck connived to create corporate catastrophe. Almost none of the parties involved would speak on the record. Still, it's clear from court documents and background interviews with a range of sources that practically nobody involved can shoot straight: The Teamsters remain stuck in a time warp, unwilling to sufficiently adapt in a competitive marketplace. The PE firm failed to turn Hostess around after taking it over. The hedgies can't see beyond their internal rates of return. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera."
Joe Bagadonuts November 19, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Legal weed in CO and WA *and* Hostess going out of business? Think of the lost munchie marketshare. Talk about lousy corporate timing.
Stella McEnearny December 10, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Late to the party as always :::sigh::: but for the culinarily adventurous, here's a homemade knock-off version: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/make-homemade-twinkies-recipe.htm I have a feeling that filling would meet with the Crisco Kid's approval :)


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