R.I.P. Twinkies

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Michael Stern
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R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 8:40 AM
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Apparently, the bankruptcy of Hostess Brands means the end of Twinkies. Here is the story of this American icon from The Lexicon of Real American Food:
 
            The world's most famous snack cake was named after a shoe. In 1930, during the Great Depression, Jimmy Dewar, manager of Chicago's Continental Bakery, was looking for a way to use the company's "Little Short Cake Finger" pans year around instead of only during strawberry season. On a trip to St. Louis, Mr. Dewar saw a billboard advertising Twinkle Toe Shoes. No one remembers if the gigantic shoes were depicted filled with feet or empty, but the vision inspired Mr. Dewar. "I came up with the idea of injecting the little cakes with a filling," he recalled; and he named his invention Twinkies. Once the recipe was perfected, Mr. Dewar ate three a day for half a century. "I have twelve great-grandchildren, all of them eating Twinkies," he boasted in 1981, shortly before he died at the age of 88.
 
            The original filling was banana crème, but during the 1940s that was replaced by vanilla. Twinkies were the favorite petit four of 1950s TV marionette Howdy Doody, as well as of Doodyville cowhand Twinkie the Kid. Archie Bunker demanded them in his lunch box on All in the Family. Twinkies became so significant a part of American life that they took the blame for driving former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White insane. After he murdered Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978, White's lawyers successfully used what jurisprudence now knows as The Twinkie Defense to convince a jury that their client was suffering "diminished mental capacity" because he ate a diet of Twinkies and candy bars. White got off on a lesser charge and subsequently committed suicide. "Nobody knows what's going on inside of me," he said, neither blaming nor exonerating Twinkies for his condition.
 
         Deep-fried Twinkie on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair:
 

 

Root-Beer Man
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 9:21 AM
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While I'm not a huge fan of Twinkies, I am a fan of their cupcakes. Sorry to see them go because a few people couldn't compromise.

Mosca
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 9:56 AM
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From what I understand, the recipes will get sold, and someone else will make them.

I don't think any of us were present during negotiations, so none of us have much relevant to say about why this happened.

Twinwillow
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 10:07 AM
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I'm more concerned with the employees losing their jobs!

HollyDolly
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 10:50 AM
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Twinwillow,I feel the same way.This is not the time to go on strike, and because of the stupidity of its union leaders,all these people are now out of work. If I ran the union, I would have tried to work with the company,and would only call for a strike if it just had to be.However, I doubt if I was union leader would do this.I would want my members to keep whatever job they have,espceially with the economy,and the holidays here.Union leaders now adays don't really care about the average worker,or they wouldn't have been so dumb,and cost those people their jobs.
I personally prefer the cupcakes and the snowballs.The half round cakes with the marshmallow frosting and sprinkled with coconut. Twinkies as a kid were good back in the 1960s.But as an adult, the few I have eaten ,the cakes just didn't taste the same to me.

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 11:02 AM
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The assets, including the brands, will be sold to other companies, and many of the iconic products will return, at least the ones that still make business sense. Many employees will be rehired when that happens. 

Mosca
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 11:46 AM
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It was me, Michael. It isn't that I'm afraid to be political, it's that it is obviously going to spin out of control, quickly.
 
Hostess has been mismanaged for years, and the company and the union actually came to terms before the announcement to shutter the doors. Most analysts believe that the company is using the recent trouble as an excuse to liquidate, making the union a convenient scapegoat. It's worth noting that management cut wages and benefits 30%, while giving themselves raises.
 
Now, do we really want to have this discussion here on Roadfood? Because I can do it. Or, we can discuss the relative merits of no more Twinkies. I haven't had a Twinkie in years, myself.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 11:57 AM
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Mosca, I'm surprised that you flagged the post. But that's OK. In fact, I've never had a Twinkie. But I've been eating Devil Dogs since I left the ark when things dried out. When Hostess took over Drake's Cakes I cringed, and the company never distributed Drakes stuff here in Ohio, so I've had to get my Devil Dogs imported from Connecticut.
 
The closest I can come to a Devil Dog here is something called Zingers, and I stopped at the Wonder outlet near me this morning to lay in a supply before they're all gone. The woman working there said she's supposed to keep working till all the product is gone and then, "When I found this job I was looking for work, so, what the heck ... ."

ann peeples
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 12:01 PM
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Bob loves their cupcakes....oh well. My cousin worked for Hostess until his retirement..the workers didnt get paid that much, and to agree to a pay cut was ridiculous....it wasnt their fault the company went under.

Mosca
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 12:50 PM
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Michael Hoffman


Mosca, I'm surprised that you flagged the post. But that's OK.

 
NP. I know people have strong opinions on this stuff, but really no one knows the particulars for this specific situation other than those making the decisions. It's sad. 
 

In fact, I've never had a Twinkie. But I've been eating Devil Dogs since I left the ark when things dried out. When Hostess took over Drake's Cakes I cringed, and the company never distributed Drakes stuff here in Ohio, so I've had to get my Devil Dogs imported from Connecticut.

The closest I can come to a Devil Dog here is something called Zingers, and I stopped at the Wonder outlet near me this morning to lay in a supply before they're all gone. The woman working there said she's supposed to keep working till all the product is gone and then, "When I found this job I was looking for work, so, what the heck ... ."

 
I'm partial to Ho-Hos, myself.
 
We get Little Debbie products up here. I bought Ho-Hos and Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, and I prefer the Ho-Hos. But Swiss Cake Rolls are decent enough.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 1:32 PM
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I see Little Debbie stuff in the stores, but I've never had any. I'm not really much for sweets, but I do love Devil Dogs.

catosaurus
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 2:00 PM
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I never liked Twinkies and I won't miss them.  I'm sorry for the Hostess employees, though.

phlmaestro
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 2:06 PM
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I also have loved Devil Dogs since I was a kid. I once tried the Little Debbie version of them (I think they're called Devil Creams or something like that), and to say they were nowhere near as good as the Drakes Devil Dogs would be an understatement. I think I had one and couldn't bring myself to eat the rest of them.
 
I've stayed away from Little Debbie since then.

Hepcat
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 4:11 PM
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Very sad. Hostess was an American institution that actually made products I really liked. I've always made a point of picking up two or three packages of Hostess Sno Balls and a few Hostess Fruit Pies whenever I was in the States.
 

 


jajarino68
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 4:27 PM
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Rasberry Zingers and Ding Dongs are my favorite. But I liked when the ding dongs were wrapped in aluminum foil.

catosaurus
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 4:33 PM
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The aluminum foil wrappers for Ding Dongs were my cat's favorite toy (balled up and thrown).  The foil was thin, flexible, compressed into a 3/4-inch ball, and made a satisfying "crunch" sound when she'd chomp down on it.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 5:46 PM
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I just had a horrible thought. No more Wonder Bread? Wonder Bread helps build strong bodies twelve ways. Or was it the way I once blew it reading a commercial while working in radio: "Wonder Bread helps build twelve bodies strong ways"?
 
But really, no Wonder Bread? How can you make a toasted cheese sandwich without it? How can you make a tuna salad sandwich without it. How can I enjoy pot roast gravy on bread without Wonder Bread?
 
Dear God! Thanksgiving is coming up. No more sandwiches of turkey, stuffing and carnberry sauce between slices of mayonnaise-spread Wonder Bread?

mr chips
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 5:52 PM
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I was a big fan of hostess fruit pies  which i bought from automat machines while in college. I'm sorry for the loss of jobs and some iconic products. I was also sorry when Montgomery ward's went out of business. I hope twinkles will come back. I'm not so sure about wonder bread..

Twinwillow
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 6:11 PM
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Michael Hoffman


I see Little Debbie stuff in the stores, but I've never had any. I'm not really much for sweets, but I do love Devil Dogs.

 
I grew up with Drake's products. They were my favorite brand. The Devil Dogs were my favorite of all their products and my after school "go to" with a glass of cold milk.

Davydd
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 6:30 PM
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Wonder Bread. Trim the crust off. Roll it in a ball with that grimy shiny sheen from your dirty hands and plop it in your mouth. That's why we never developed food allergies when we were kids.

Tdybr27
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Fri, 11/16/12 8:23 PM
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Don't worry. Some Chinese company will buy the recipes and ship over Twonkies, He-He's, Zongers, Winder Bread, etc

ann peeples
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 6:27 AM
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Wow, Mr. Hoffman, I forgot that Hostess made Wonder bread.....Bob is not a happy camper. Maybe I should go scoop up as many loaves as I can.....

MetroplexJim
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 7:33 AM
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ann peeples


Wow, Mr. Hoffman, I forgot that Hostess made Wonder bread.....Bob is not a happy camper. Maybe I should go scoop up as many loaves as I can.....


Yes, scoop up those loaves with the opaque wrappers! 
 
"Wonder Bread" has so many chemicals and preservatives in it that it never goes stale. 
 
That's the Wonder of it!
 


Russ Jackson
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 9:00 AM

lleechef
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 10:43 AM
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I never ate a Hostess or Wonder product in my life until I moved to Ohio where MH stocks their white and rye bread.  I will not miss them.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 10:48 AM
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That's Beefsteak rye, and you know you love it for your hunting trip salami and cheese sandwiches.

Poverty Pete
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 10:57 AM
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lleechef


I never ate a Hostess or Wonder product in my life until I moved to Ohio where MH stocks their white and rye bread.  I will not miss them.

When I was but a small boy,  Wonder Bread was an advertiser  on my mother's TV  show. Even then, I thought the reason they called it "Wonder"  was because you always wondered if it was really bread.

lleechef
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 11:05 AM
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PP
I grew up on my mother's homemade bread.  I never heard of "Wonder"!

ann peeples
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 11:27 AM
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Beef Steak rye....now I am really sad.......

Michael Hoffman
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 11:56 AM
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Ann, I don't know whether they make the Beefsteak rye. They sell a lot of things in their outlet stores that they don't make.
EDIT: I just checked. Beefsteak Rye is a Hostess product. I shall truly miss that.
<message edited by Michael Hoffman on Sat, 11/17/12 12:43 PM>

ChrisOC
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 12:19 PM
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I didn't know until now that Beefsteak Rye was a Hostess product.
 
I will miss that!!

Davydd
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 1:47 PM
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Peanut butter sandwiches will never be the same without that mushy Wonder Bread.

ann peeples
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 1:47 PM
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Well, if it helps Bob gain weight, I WILL scoop them up..he eats Wonder bread......except the whole grain kind.......( at my insistence).

Foodbme
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 1:54 PM
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Mosca

From what I understand, the recipes will get sold, and someone else will make them.
I don't think any of us were present during negotiations, so none of us have much relevant to say about why this happened.

The Twinkies Recipe is a National Treasure. I'm sure it will go for MILLIONS, even though it could be easily duplicated.

David_NYC
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 1:55 PM
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When I first heard the news, it took a while for the ramifications to sink in. In addition to their branded products, they also did a lot of private-label baking. I used to see Foodtown house brand bread in Wonder's outlet in Queens. Old favorites like Drakes Cake's, which I ate since when they were baked in Brooklyn, are affected. Folks further west will see a pause in Dolly Madison products. That discussion here about Hostess Fruit Pies is affected. Budget brands like County Fair. The footlong Wonder Bread hot dog buns found on the Jersey Shore. Wonder Foodservice, with their hamburger buns the size of the Whopper bun. J.J. Nissen in New England, with their Canadian White Bread, which they cheapened over the years. From the now-home page of Hostess Brands can be found a list of their major brands:
 
From http://www.hostessbrands.com
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.
 
As we saw with the closure of Mother's and Archway bakeries, other firms will eventually buy some or all of the brands. It probably will be years before we learn the real reasons for the shutdown. Hostess/Wonder really is a juggernaut.
<message edited by David_NYC on Sun, 11/18/12 11:04 AM>

mamaduck43
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 2:00 PM
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In my almost 70 years, I never had a deep fried Twinkie - - and it was on my Bucket list...  Looked on Ebay, and can't afford any boxes of Twinkies that are listed...  Sigh....
 
And for those Drake fans - - I can remember the aroma of Drake's bakery in Bloomfield tantalizing my nose on the way home from swim team practice in Oakland - after we crossed the Bloomfield bridge - - and if the aroma wasn't working, the parade of ducks across the rooftop certainly was entertaining...
 
Sigh......

Michael Hoffman
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 2:03 PM
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Oh, Oh! I just remembered that Crabill's http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/519/crabills   uses Wonder buns for their little burgers.

jman
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 3:31 PM
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I talked to someone today who is in the industry and there's a strong feeling that Bimbo Bakeries USA, a subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican company, will buy the Hostess brand.  Bimbo already owns Sara Lee, Entenmanns, Earth Grains, and many other brands.

kland01s
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 4:44 PM
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I just found out on our morning trip for groceries today that out favorite bread, Nature's Pride Whole Wheat is no more. The packaging says Interstate but guess who their parent is. We walked in and stared at the rack and it was almost empty. The regular driver we see was there so we asked him and he said... no more. He was now unemployed but had come in to the store on his own time to straighten out their products on the shelves out of loyalty to that particular store's manager.

ocdreamr
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 10:02 PM
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Personally I've always preferred the Tastycake brand.  Until recently they were only available in the Maryland, Pennsylvania & New York areas.  Now glad to say they are here in North Carolina!!
 

Twinwillow
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sat, 11/17/12 11:36 PM
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I just remembered, all those PB&J sandwiches my mom made for me as a kid were on WonderBread!
I probably haven't had one since 1958.

Mosca
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 12:33 AM
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Regarding the reasons why, I've struggled trying to figure it out. I mean, assume that everyone had the company's best interest at heart, and everyone tried to keep it afloat. Because we don't really know anyone in our lives who does differently, do we? I don't. I know some incompetent people, but by and large everyone I've met in business has tried to keep the money moving, and tried to do a good job. We're Americans... we are, and they are, both the white collar and the blue collar Hostess team members. It's how we roll, trying to make t work.

Surowieki has a good take on it in The New Yorker. Everywhere I read this being discussed, inevitably someone writes, "I haven't had a Twinkie (HoHo, Ding Dong, Banana Flip, Wonder Bread) in years, but this is terrible!"

WHo Killed the Twinkie?

David_NYC
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 8:03 AM
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From time to time, I would look at the message board at a site about IBC/Hostess brands, which I think started up about 2001. It started out as a mix of comments from consumers and employees, but later was only patronized by employees. Like most of those "sucks" sites, you have to take what you read with a grain of salt. The archives are no longer there, but there were always reports about how the product was cheapened, and I think they were genuine posts. Needless to say, there are some opinionated posts there right now. You have to scroll down a few pages, for the top of the page is blank:
http://www.twinkies.org/messboard.php

mayor al
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 8:30 AM
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Twinkies demise is no big loss for me personally, but the chocolate cream-filled cupcakes, and  years ago the fruit-pies (Berry, Cherry, & lemon) we favorites. Other companies duplicated them, but Hostess did the job right, IMHO.
And Yes, I think a combination of Management and Labor killed the company.

ChrisOC
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 10:14 AM
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I searched for Hostess on ebay and found an auction in its final moments.  Three 24 count boxes of Twinkies went for $405.00.  I wish I had stocked up!!
 
 

brisketboy
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 11:00 AM
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Fear not, up for bid as we speak on ebay five boxes of 10 individually wrapped Twinkies for 50 bucks.

joerogo
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 11:34 AM
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Nobody is mentioning the other 13,5000 employees.  Were they happy?  Willing to compromise?  

lleechef
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 11:39 AM
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MH has stocked up:  2 loaves of Wonder, 2 loaves of Beefsteak rye, 2 lemon pies, a package of cheese peanut butter crackers and 3 packages of Zingers.  Maybe when this has all been consumed we can get back to eating REAL FOOD!

Michael Hoffman
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 11:43 AM
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I stopped at the Wonder outlet store near me this morning and picked up two loaves of Wonder Bread, a couple of loaves of Beefsteak Rye, some Hostess fruit pies (pineapple) and some hamburger buns. They had everything at 50 percent off, and the shelves were filled. I saw Twinkies there, but I've never had one so I wasn't interested.
 
EDIT: I got the Zingers and crackers yesterday.
<message edited by Michael Hoffman on Sun, 11/18/12 11:45 AM>

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 3:03 PM
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Hostess Brands couldn't make a go of it, when all their expenses were factored in, including labor costs. They deserved to fail. That's the way capitalism works. Creative destruction, right? Their better run competitors, like Tastykake and Little Debbie, still operate. Better run companies will eventually make Twinkies, too.

ann peeples
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 7:12 PM
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Got the last two Wonder bread loaves at Target........got the last two hot dog buns at Cvs......got the last two powdered sugar donuts....wow!

MetroplexJim
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 7:31 PM
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OMG:  I forgot about those tiny powdered sugar donuts, the only Hostess product I presently consume (as part of sam's Club's "business-only hours')" free pastries and coffee.

Twinwillow
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Sun, 11/18/12 11:38 PM
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Fret not. A Mexican company is in the works to buy all the Hostess brand goodies. Especially, Twinkies!
All those jerks who paid stupid money on eBay will be sooooooo sorry they spent the money they did for something that will be back on the shelves within a few months.

MetroplexJim
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Mon, 11/19/12 8:35 AM
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And just what is the shelf life of a Twinkie?  I'm guessing at least 50 years.

brisketboy
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Mon, 11/19/12 9:18 AM
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They advertise twelve years. I would have thought twinkies could survive a nuclear holocaust.

ChrisOC
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Mon, 11/19/12 9:51 AM
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Michael Hoffman


I stopped at the Wonder outlet store near me this morning and picked up two loaves of Wonder Bread, a couple of loaves of Beefsteak Rye, some Hostess fruit pies (pineapple) and some hamburger buns. They had everything at 50 percent off, and the shelves were filled. I saw Twinkies there, but I've never had one so I wasn't interested.

EDIT: I got the Zingers and crackers yesterday.

 
You might want to save those Zingers.  They could be worth a lot of money!
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/LOT-HOSTESS-ZINGERS-Get-Them-While-You-Can-LEAVE-THEM-IN-YOUR-WILL-/251185275332?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a7bcf21c4
 



Twinwillow
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Mon, 11/19/12 11:49 AM
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What a bargain! Make a great Christmas present for Donald Trump.
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/H...26sd%3D251185275332%26

Michael Hoffman
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Mon, 11/19/12 12:16 PM
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ChrisOC


Michael Hoffman


I stopped at the Wonder outlet store near me this morning and picked up two loaves of Wonder Bread, a couple of loaves of Beefsteak Rye, some Hostess fruit pies (pineapple) and some hamburger buns. They had everything at 50 percent off, and the shelves were filled. I saw Twinkies there, but I've never had one so I wasn't interested.

EDIT: I got the Zingers and crackers yesterday.


You might want to save those Zingers.  They could be worth a lot of money!


I already ate one package of them.

Tony Bad
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Mon, 11/19/12 3:40 PM
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This just in...
 
Hostess and Bakers Union Agree to Mediation  
"Hostess Brands and one of its major unions agreed on Monday to a mediation session, in a last-ditch effort to avoid winding down the bankrupt maker of Twinkies and Wonder bread. "
 
http://dealbook.nytimes.c...on-agree-to-mediation/
 
 

joerogo
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Re:R.I.P. Twinkies - Mon, 11/19/12 4:16 PM
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Tony Bad


This just in...

Hostess and Bakers Union Agree to Mediation  
"Hostess Brands and one of its major unions agreed on Monday to a mediation session, in a last-ditch effort to avoid winding down the bankrupt maker of Twinkies and Wonder bread. "

http://dealbook.nytimes.c...on-agree-to-mediation/



 
I always suspected you were a New York Times Minion.
 
The more this plays out, the more I see the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union acting like the Air traffic Controllers of the 80's.  My guess would be extreme pressure from the Teamsters is bringing everyone back to the table.

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