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?

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Leslie Perales Loges November 17, 2012 at 01:34 AM
If you can find them! It seems most stores sold out of them quite fast today. Target was out when I was there.
Rob Ashley November 17, 2012 at 02:14 AM
garbage in garbage out
Sean Moran November 17, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Another example of how unions shake companies down and don't budge. In the end everyone loses here. I saw the same in the UPS strike years ago, as well as NJ teachers a few years back. They told the teachers union if they pay 1% into their pension and 1% into their medical (most people pay way more), then everyone's job would be saved. The union refused to budge and teachers lost their jobs throughout the entire state. The then blamed it on Gov. Christie instead of themselves when they knew the state was on the verge of bankruptcy. I expect the same here.
James November 17, 2012 at 04:10 PM
While the unions certainly have their share of blame, and I totally agree with what Sean said, the business itself also suffered from some bad decisions that did not seem to help them in the long run as well.
Bob Bruhns November 17, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I noticed a shortage of Wonder Bread last week, and I thought it was strange. It will be interesting to see how this story develops. Consumer Reports said once that Wonder Buttermilk bread was the only bread they found that could sustain life. That's interesting, even though the test used lab rats. Apparently the rats could not survive on any other bread.


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