Friday, November 16, 2012

The Twinkie Takes a Tumble

RIP to the “Creme Puff of the Proletariat.”

The Hostess Twinkie died today due, according to the Washington Post, to “complications from economic reality.” Oddly enough, what was essentially a space age food died also of modernization. We eat real food now. There is no room for a fluffy yellow capsule of a 1930s idea of future food. From the same piece in the WP:
The Twinkie was born in 1930 and is often credited to James A. Dewar, a Illinois baker for what was then the Continental Baking Co. The firm produced a cream-filled strawberry shortcake and, when strawberry season was over, Dewar saw no reason the machines needed to sit idle. He formulated a banana cream cake which, amid World War II rationing, became and remained vanilla cream.
The name? It was inspired by a billboard Dewar saw for Twinkle Toe Shoes. “I shortened it to make it a little zippier for the kids,” Dewar said in a 1980 interview.
But the evolution was not yet complete:
The golden confection developed into a finger-shaped sugar sponge that was injected with a gooey filling capable of turning small children into google-eyed rocket boosters.
Hostess reportedly sells about $2.5 billion annually of baked goods; seriously, not extruded but baked — “just like your mother used to,” as the company once wrote to a skeptical customer.
But even though “mother used to” the company is now owned by a couple of hedge funds who are likely unconcerned at the implications of this death: including the fact that, unless another buyer shows up and revives the brand, 18,500 people will be out of work at Hostess HQ. From a press release the company issued earlier today:
Hostess Brands Inc. today announced that it is winding down operations and has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including its iconic brands and facilities. 
And, of course, this doesn’t just hit the future of Twinkies. All Hostess brands are being shutdown:
In addition to dozens of baking and distribution facilities around the country, Hostess Brands will sell its popular brands, including Hostess®, Drakes® and Dolly Madison®, which make iconic cake products such as Twinkies®, CupCakes, Ding Dongs®, Ho Ho’s®, Sno Balls® and Donettes®. Bread brands to be sold include Wonder®, Nature’s Pride ®, Merita®, Home Pride®, Butternut®, and Beefsteak®, among others.

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