The End of an Era: The End of the Twinkie.


By Julio Avila 

This lone box of Hostess brand Mini Muffins is perhaps the last box of any Hostess product throughout this Waldbaums supermarket in Greenlawn.

This lone box of Hostess brand Mini Muffins is perhaps the last box of any Hostess product throughout this Waldbaums supermarket in Greenlawn.

The longtime snack most of us have enjoyed as children may soon be a relic of the past.

The Irving, Texas, based Snack Company Hostess, the makers of the iconic Twinkie as well as other favorites such as Ding Dongs, Yodels, Donettes, and Wonder Bread will soon be shutting down their bakery facilities, and bringing the production of these sweets to a halt. For all lovers of Hostess products, old and young, this may be part of the end of the world.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn in a statement made on Nov. 20 when he guest starred on the NBC morning show “Today”. This statement was made as a result of a nationwide strike taking place at many baking facilities between Hostess and the different baker’s unions that represent the bakers who work for Hostess.

Bakers from one union, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, accepted a contract for their workers back in September, but  bakers who are members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union, Hostess’ second largest union,  rejected proposals as it would have led to a draconian cut in wages, and benefits, and as union members complained,  Hostess had already stopped contributing to pensions of workers last year.

“Despite Greg Rayburn’s insulting and disingenuous statements of the last several months, the truth is that Hostess workers and the union have absolutely no responsibility for the failure of this company. That responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the company’s decision makers,” said the head spokesman for the Baker’s Union. This in turn is what led to the bakers’ strike which severed the margin Hostess was running on, and the strike only added fuel to the fire.

“The strike impacted us in terms of cash flow. The plants were operating well below 50 percent capacity and customers were not getting products,” Rayburn said in another statement to the Associated Press.

Though Hostess has shut down its facilities, halting production, and is in the process of selling its assets, one will need some luck to find any remaining hostess products in supermarkets or anywhere else hostess products have been sold. If one has gone to the supermarket any time during the last few weeks, they may have noticed a depletion of Hostess products, and have witnessed the scarce quantities remaining before they are bought and cease to exist.

Even from personal experiences, students have enjoyed the many treats Hostess has brought us. Students in the Huntington Library shared their experiences from the treats they enjoyed.

“When I was younger, my mom bought them as a treat to have and it was something to look forward to,” said Dillon Lynch, an Ammerman campus student. “I have heard about them shutting down, mainly from watching TV. I haven’t had any Hostess products recently but my favorite ones were ‘Snowballs’ and the round chocolate cake with the frosting inside,” Lynch added as he was describing the snack known as Yodels.

When asked if he would look for any alternatives to Hostess, he replied, “I’m not sure of any other brands, but I’d probably go for Entenmann’s. With them shutting down, other companies may copy Hostess’ products, change them to their styles and make money off of them.”

“I heard people talking about them closing,” said Irene Adamus, an Ammerman campus student. “I think it’s like a moving trend, everyone now wants to be healthy and are trying to find healthy alternatives. Hostess could be blamed for obesity which could also be why they are shutting down.”

Though a proponent to healthy eating, Adamus did admit to having a Hostess Favorite. “I wasn’t into them much and haven’t really grown up with them. Occasionally I did have Twinkies but I didn’t eat them that much,” said Adamus. “I could go for Entenmann’s or make my own desserts”

The company may be shutting down, but Hostess fans are not dismayed, but rather are pressing their luck. With comments on different sites and forums stating people will buy Hostess products, save them for years to come, and sell them to make a profit, Hostess products may be worth the investment.

Consumers have stockpiled and bought Hostess products, such as Twinkies, in large quantities hoping to gain a profit in the future, according to the Huffington Post and Chicago-Sun Times. The nutrition facts for a single Twinkie; 42 percent of it is sugar, and contains ingredients like polysorbate 60, sodium stearoyl lactylate, and sodium acid pyrophosphate serving as preservatives basically making Twinkies immune to expiration.

But as to whether or not they will be worth the investment is what interests consumers.
“Like anything antique, collecting is a game of chance and patience: It takes years, sometimes decades, to see if it’s been worth the investment,” said Paul Sisolak of GoBankingRates.com.

Twinkies have appeared on online auction websites such as eBay being sold from anywhere between $5 to, believe it or not, $1,000,000 for a box of 10 wrapped Twinkies. So whether anyone believes Twinkies or any Hostess products are worth the investment, it is all up to them though it is still too early to tell if the investment of these stockpiled treats was a good choice that will result in a high rate of return, or will end up being worthless.

One response

  1. Probably the most important story of 2012. Great job Julio!

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