End of the road — Debt, management changes force Hostess to close its doors
by Candice Choi and Tom Murphy
Associated Press Writers
November 17, 2012 12:00 AM | 1191 views | 1 1 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Andy Wagar loads Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Cup Cakes into a van outside the Wonder Bakery Thrift Shop in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday after Hostess Brands Inc. said it would shutter its operations after years of struggling with management turmoil, rising labor costs and the ever-changing tastes of Americans even as its pantry of sugary cakes seemed suspended in time.<br>The Associated Press
Andy Wagar loads Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Cup Cakes into a van outside the Wonder Bakery Thrift Shop in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday after Hostess Brands Inc. said it would shutter its operations after years of struggling with management turmoil, rising labor costs and the ever-changing tastes of Americans even as its pantry of sugary cakes seemed suspended in time.
The Associated Press
slideshow
NEW YORK — Twinkies may not last forever after all.

Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of the spongy snack with a mysterious cream filling, said Friday it would shutter after years of struggling with management turmoil, rising labor costs and the ever-changing tastes of Americans even as its pantry of sugary cakes seemed suspended in time.

A Hostess plant in Columbus is among 33 company factories that were suspended Friday.

The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus reports that nearly 400 workers were picking up paychecks when the plant was suddenly ordered to close.

Some of Hostess beloved brands such as Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s likely will be snapped up by buyers and find a second life, but for now the company says its snack cakes should be on shelves for another week or so. The news stoked an outpouring of nostalgia around kitchen tables, water coolers and online as people relived childhood memories of their favorite Hostess goodies.

Customer streamed into the Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet in a strip mall in Indianapolis Friday afternoon after they heard about the company’s demise. Charles Selke, 42, pulled a pack of Zingers raspberry-flavored dessert cakes out of a plastic bag stuffed with treats as he left the store.

“How do these just disappear from your life?” he asked. “That’s just not right, man. I’m loyal. I love these things, and I’m diabetic.”

After hearing the news on the radio Friday morning, Samantha Caldwell of Chicago took a detour on her way to work to stop at a CVS store for a package of Twinkies to have with her morning tea and got one for her 4-year-old son as well.

“This way he can say, ‘I had one of those,’” Caldwell, 41, said.

It’s a sober end for a storied name. Hostess, whose roster of brands dates as far back as 1888, hadn’t invested heavily in marketing or innovation in recent years as it struggled with debt and management changes.

As larger competitors inundated supermarket shelves with an array of new snacks and variations on popular brands, Hostess cakes seemed caught in a bygone time. The company took small stabs at keeping up with Americans’ movement toward healthier foods, such as the introduction of its 100-calorie packs of cupcakes.

But the efforts did little to change its image as a purveyor of empty calories with a seemingly unlimited shelf life: Twinkies, for instance, have 150 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. A Ding Dong chocolate cake with filling has 368 calories and 19.4 grams of fat.
Comments
(1)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Gerald Hogan
|
November 17, 2012
This article is typical of the national news media. Not one comment about the union forcing the Hostess company into bankruptcy. Any article with AP in the lede gets skipped.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides