No More Twinkies or Ding Dongs? 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. 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:

Rico November 17, 2012 at 04:33 AM
I admit, I ate Hostess products in elementary school. But I think the ingredients were not as toxic as they are now, otherwise I would be needing medical insurance or dead. That kind of junk food had it's time and place in Americana, but that kind of junk food has no place in the future. There are far too many fat and unhealthy kids in this country today, and society cannot afford to subsidize their medical bills. The healthcare insurance corporations will deny payment for any medical care based on pre-existing conditions if they catch wind of people eating poison Hostess products, so it's time for Hostess to go the way of the dinosaur. Ding dong, ho ho, glad to see you go. Maybe the Chinese will buy the brand and carry on with production. With labor at $1 per hour, the cost of shipping (no refrigeration needed with all the preservatives) , and even the cost of Melamine added , many people might still actually buy that poison "food like product".If enough money is spent on advertising, funding anti-union campaigns and dumbing down programs that are already funded here in the U.S., the product will sell, and make the Chinese even richer. After all, China owns the U.S., they own over $4 trillion of our debt.
Lou Judson November 17, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Recalling the preservative issue from years ago, maybe I'll buy a few dozen, stach them deep in storage, and gte them out in ten or twenty years and see how fresh they remain... and what cash value they have at that time, China or not.
Rico November 17, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Hostess claims that they are going out of business because of a strike, but the article fails to mention that Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January, and at the time the unionized workers agreed to an 8% cut in pay. Hostess has been circling the drain for a long time, mainly due to poor management, giving Rayburn and their other CEOs huge pay raises while cutting the workers pay. Also, hostess claims that the rising costs of labor, flour and sugar were responsible for their bankruptcy. But Hostess uses high fructose GMO corn syrup for sweetener. Most likely it was the rising costs of artificial flavor, color, preservatives and other chemicals that contributed to Hostess' demise. Also, many people have got smart and stopped buying junk food for their kids. This closure has been in the works for a long time, and many higher ups at Hostess are coming out of this deal smelling like a rose. To expect workers not to strike after already taking an 8% pay cut 9 months ago is crazy. Hostess CEO's think that they can blame the union(s) for all their problems, but most people can see through the CEO's BS. I know someone who used to be a baker, it is very hard work, those sacks of flour are heavy, and he trashed his back lifting those sacks and had to find another line of work. I guess that the Hostess CEO's wished that they could bust the unions and pay their workers a new age- low wage, but their plan failed.
John Ferguson November 20, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Food this toxic should cost more. Raise wages and prices so that these baked goods can be properly contextualized - sugar is a drug and should be taxed like one..
Rico November 22, 2012 at 03:56 AM
But, Hostess does not even use sugar, they use Monsanto GMO corn syrup. I read today that a judge has ordered Hostess to go back to the bargaining table and try to work this labor dispute out rather than quitting. Hostess went bankrupt in 2004, then again in January of 2012. At the time, they unionized 30% of their workers, but demanded that all workers, both union and the 70% that are not union take an 8% cut in pay. And at the same time gave their CEO's an 80% pay hike. Now in November, they want the workers to take another 8% pay cut, and a 17% cut to healthcare benefits. It is the private healthcare insurance corporations and their skyhigh rate increases that are the root of the problem. That is not only bankrupting corporations, but individuals and public entities as well. It is amazing how the public has been dumbed down about about the insurance problem. I really do wonder if anyone cares ? They like to blame it all on the unions, which is counter productive.


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