Could this be the end of Twinkies?

Hostess TwinkiesWho doesn’t remember the excitement we felt when we opened our little school lunch boxes and found a Twinkie or Ding Dong inside? I remember growing up, my brother and I were so obsessed with Ding Dongs, our mom had to hide the Ding Dong box from us. Twinkies are such a part of our culture that they can be found deep fried at county and state fairs across the country.

However, we could be facing the end of Twinkies as we know it. Twinkies maker, Hostess Brands, is shutting its doors for good. Hostess products have been an American staple since the 1930s. What happened?

Hostess has been in a bitter labor dispute and talks stalled for good in September. On November 12, the company permanently closed three bakeries as a result of the nationwide labor strike by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.

Unfortunately, last week the company announced that it is liquidating all of its assets because not enough employees had returned to work. One of those assets that may be liquidated is the coveted recipe for Twinkies, among others.

This comes on the heels of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing in January, in which the company went from cream filling to court filings. The company went through a similar restructuring in 2009. The last several years have been hard on the Twinkie.

Hostess said the following in a press release: “We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, Chief Executive Officer. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500 member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

Hostess said it will continue to ship and sell the baked goods that are already in the pipeline, and the Hostess website says it plans to sell its popular brands, including Hostess, Dolly Madison, Drake’s Cakes and Wonder Bread. So there is still hope for the Twinkie.

Remember the “Twinkie Defense” of the late 1970’s? Dan White shot and killed San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. In part he blamed his state of mind on the sugary treat. It makes one wonder if Hostess’ troubles don’t also have something to do with the fact that sugar has become the enemy and Americans are eating differently and in some instances, less. Now days, many health conscious moms associate the Twinkie and its associates with refined sugars, fat, carbs and preservatives, not exactly the things moms want to feed their kids. As a result, the Twinkie has fallen out of favor.

I for one, will miss the Twinkie.

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