Examining the business end of a Twinkie
Pardon me if I don’t jump on the bandwagon of the collective sadness emanating from all corners of the internet and the media over the demise of America’s beloved junk food: Hostess Cupcakes, Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho-Hos, Snowballs and the like. I can’t say that I’ll be sad to see an era of sugar-glazed and preservative-laced fruit pies come to a temporary end any more than I’ll miss loaves of white Wonder bread and all bakery-fresh odors of their many outlet stores.
Of course, I have fond memories from when I was younger of consuming those sweet and yummy treats, but taste palates change with age, and like most people, I gradually grew out of them as I became more dietary conscious about what kinds of foods I eat. I’d rather keep those memories as they are. I understand that a lot of people still love them though, and the disappointment for them is real. However, their enduring popularity and place in Americana lore won’t keep them down forever. Once the brands are sold to other bakery conglomerates, they’ll be right back into production, and maybe even at some of the plants whose workers were let go after the conflict between the Hostess Brands executive board and employee union representatives reached its long-forecasted and grossly ignoble impasse.
To understand what led up to Hostess’ decision to shut down their bakery operations, sell of their brands and liquidate their assets, you have to first go back to the mid-1990s when a change in their business structure and consumers’ nutritional awareness started laying the groundwork for the company’s eventual downfall.