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Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business

Hostess, the company behind the iconic Twinkie, is going out of business.

Hostess, the company behind the iconic Twinkie, is going out of business.

Ten facts about Twinkies

  1. Twinkies were invented basically because a bakery manager named James Dewar wanted to get more use out of his shortcake pans. He noticed that he was only pulling those particular pans out of his cupboard during the summer strawberry season and wondered if he was really getting enough bang for his buck out of them. The Continental Baking Company where he was employed was looking for a new, cheap snack to satisfy Depression-Era buyers without emptying their pockets, so Dewar combined the neglected shortcake pans with a recipe that was cheap to make and came up with the Twinkie.
  2. Back in those days, Twinkies were sold two for five cents…
  3. Which was a good price if Dewar wanted to buy his own creation in a store, because he never saw a penny of royalties from inventing the Twinkie or naming them. They were named after he spotted a billboard advertising “Twinkle Toe Shoes.”
  4. Despite that persistent urban legend, Twinkies do have a shelf life – you’re not going to want to eat one after it’s been sitting around for 25 days, Hostess says….
  5. So you’re definitely not going to want to eat the one Bill Clinton put in the Millennium Time Capsule in 1999. It’s scheduled to be opened in 2100.
  6. The Twinkie originally had a banana cream filling instead of the vanilla cream we know and love today. Bananas became pretty scarce during WWII, so Hostess made a substitution. It was so popular they just decided to make it a mainstay.
  7. Love Twinkies? You’re in good company. Archie Bunker did too; his famous temper flared up whenever Edith forgot to put one in his lunchbox. And Tallahassee from Zombieland, of course, was perpetually on the hunt for the cream-filled spongecakes. When he finally finds his Holy Grail at the end of the movie, he gleefully sinks his teeth into it… but in real life, Woody Harrelson wouldn’t eat a real Twinkie. He’s a vegan and Twinkies do contain eggs and beef fat. Vegan Twinkies had to be made for the scene.
  8. Deep-fried Twinkies are delightful. I mean, they’re terrible for you, but they’re delightful. You can get pretty much anything deep-fried on a stick at the Iowa State Fair and I think I have tried most of them. The Mars Bar is good, the HoHos are decent, Oreos are only so-so. But the Twinkie? The deep-fried Twinkie is like biting into a little slice of batter-covered heaven. But if you’re counting calories, you’d better stick with the normal version – a Twinkie right out of the package is 150 calories, whereas the battered version will set you back 425 calories. And let’s not even talk about the fat content.
  9. Twinkie recipes, you ask? But of course. The Twinkie-misu at the bottom of the page is speaking to me, but the Twinkie sushi would be pretty fun to make as well.
  10. Do you remember Twinkie the Kid? It doesn’t seem like you see him much these days, but he is the official mascot. He can wrangle you up a Twinkie in the blink of an eye. He has some lesser-known Hostess cohorts including Captain Cupcake, Happy Ho Ho and Fruit Pie the Magician.

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IRVING, Texas — Hostess Brands Inc. says it's going out of business after striking workers across the country crippled its ability to make its Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other snacks.

The company had warned employees that it would file a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court Friday seeking permission to shutter its operations and sell its brands if plants hadn't resumed normal operations by a Thursday evening deadline. The deadline passed without a deal.

The closing would mean the loss of about 18,500 jobs.

"I don't know if they thought that was a bluff," CEO Gregory Rayburn said on CNBC Friday. He said the financial impact of the strike makes it "too late" to save the company even if workers have a change of heart. That's because the clients such as retailers decide to stop carrying products when supplies aren't adequate.

Rayburn said he's hopeful that the company will find buyers for its roster of about 30 brands, which include Ho Hos, Dolly Madison, Drake's and Nature's Pride snacks. The company books about $2.5 billion in sales a year.

Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, said its stores will remain open for several days to sell remaining products. Operations at its 33 factories were suspended Friday. The privately held company filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade.

The move comes after thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike last week after rejecting a contract offer that slashed wages and benefits in September. The bakers union represents about 30 percent of the company's workforce.

Rayburn said the union's leadership had misled members into believing there was a buyer in the wings who would rescue the company. He said the union hadn't returned the company's calls for the past month.

A union representative did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Hostess had said earlier this week that production at about a dozen of its plants were seriously affected by the strike. Although many workers decided to cross picket lines, the company said it wasn't enough to keep operations at normal levels. Three plants were closed earlier this week.

Hostess had already reached a contract agreement with its largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters had urged the bakery union this week to hold a secret ballot on whether to continue striking.

Hostess said the company is unprofitable under its current cost structure, in large part because of union wages and pension costs. Rayburn said in a statement on the company website that all employees will eventually lose their jobs, "some sooner than others."

"Unfortunately, because we are in bankruptcy, there are severe limits on the assistance the (company) can offer you at this time," Rayburn wrote.

Hostess, founded in 1930, was fighting battles beyond labor costs. Competition is increasing in the snack space and Americans are increasingly conscious about healthy eating.

Comments

sad_for_albany 1 year, 5 months ago

Another good company the unions killed. Hope those 18,000 can get money from the unions to replace their wages instead of the taxpayers.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 5 months ago

One of the time when collective bargainers should have taken a deep breath. 18 thousand people out of work - Obama aint gonna like the job report the week these guys apply for UEB.

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TrixibelleBento 1 year, 5 months ago

Thanks to the Teamsters! Yay unions!

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chinaberry25 1 year, 5 months ago

Remember unions caused the close of Cooper Tire. I am not pro-union, but sometimes they do help. Cooper closed because they did not have a union. But in this case, the destroyed the lives of 18000 folks. This is just the workers, there are others who will take the fall too. Taxes on buildings, gas taxes that trucks paid, withholding taxes, sales tax from goods. There are collateral companies and employees like uniforms, bank tellers. All of it trickles down. Millions will go overseas, thank you all for the pride of wanting more money.

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Cartman 1 year, 5 months ago

Unions are leeches that suck the life out of their host - or hostess.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 5 months ago

We are still fighting to keep unions out of the company at which I work. Other companies in our industry have some unionization and the workers end up making much less that those at my company, especially after considering union dues. I will have to bring this example up the next time I talk with my team about unions.

So sad for these 18K individuals...

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 5 months ago

Don't forget Obama's "PACKED" Department of Labor that sued Boeing to keep them from expanding a non-Union plant in South Carolina. The next news you hear will be a court action from the Department of Labor (paid for with our taxes) suing Hostess to MAKE THEM STAY OPEN. "You can't close just to punish the Union" will be their position and they will either find or make laws to that effect and maybe put the owners in jail.

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 5 months ago

OMG Sister Ruby....I think you are right. This is a FRIGHTENING thought.

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whodat 1 year, 5 months ago

funny how when managememt raises prices because they want more money for themselves or stockholders, neo_cons have nothing to say, but if workers want more, then it's a sin. btw, read the original AP story, where Rayburn told CNBC that "management was poor". duh, yeah. 2 bankruptcies in less than 10 years.

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Jacob 1 year, 5 months ago

the union killed the company- knowingly- period. Now they have nothing. Twinky stuffers do not deserve $20 and hour and retirement benefits. More of your Obama logic at work, I see. Prepare for more of the same, as other businesses fold due to obama supporting unions and job killing obama care. Keep blaming rich white guys if that helps you sleep at night, but the entitlement milk teat is about to dry up

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 5 months ago

Same old union supporter babble. Unions do not guarantee anything other than more bills for it's members. In the old days they were beneficial, however now they are counter-productive.

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whodat 1 year, 5 months ago

same old corporate "blame the union workers" babble. it was pure greed and vulture capitalism. the workers had already made deep concessions in years gone by. Hostess was going belly up anyway.

None

by whodat

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 5 months ago

If this was the workers, it would be different. This is the UNION which will be the one that profits from this. Most of the pay increase would be lost in the increase in union dues, thus the union would be the one that benefits.

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whodat 1 year, 5 months ago

Please try to curb your anti-union enthusiasm before you fall off the cliff of ignorance. I know that facts are a buzz-killer but (sorry) you need to hear this: "Over the past eight years since the first Hostess bankruptcy, BCTGM members have watched as money from previous concessions that was supposed to go towards capital investment, product development, plant improvement and new equipment, was squandered in executive bonuses, payouts to Wall Street investors and payments to high-priced attorneys and consultants."

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/13/4983174/hostess-continues-pattern-of-misinformation.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy

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whodat 1 year, 5 months ago

January 2012: Hostess files for (2nd) bankruptcy July 2012: Hostess management pay raises approved

Brian Driscoll, CEO, around $750,000 to $2,550,000. Gary Wandschneider, EVP, $500,000 to $900,000. John Stewart, EVP, $400,000 to $700,000. David Loeser, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256. Kent Magill, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256. Richard Seban, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256. John Akeson, SVP, $300,000 to $480,000. Steven Birgfeld, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000. Martha Ross, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000. Rob Kissick, SVP, $182,000 to $273,008.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 5 months ago

They will be in the soup line now. The question is how in heck did these pay raises get passed the BR court. Should never have happened.

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Engineer 1 year, 5 months ago

Well, I guess if there is any bright side to this, it could be a good thing for southern Georgia. After all, one of their largest competitors, Flowers Foods, is based out of Thomasville. It makes me wonder if they or some other company will try to purchase some of the product lines from Hostess (I'm fairly certain somebody will try to purchase and produce the product because of the product name recognition). I guess there is always a chance that they might purchase some of the bakeries to expand distribution and maybe hire some of the workers, although I would assume as non-union. Who knows, we'll have to wait and see.

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ZCorp 1 year, 5 months ago

No one is buying anyone out. it is a complete ending

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Engineer 1 year, 5 months ago

During the bankruptcy and liquidation process, they likely will sell/auction off the trademarks and intellectual properties, not to mention physical property and real estate.

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stc1993 1 year, 5 months ago

You are correct engineer they are looking at different bakeries to buy their name brands & Flowers was mentioned as a possible buyer along with quite a few others. They said it is really up to the bankruptcy judge if he will let them sell.

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VietVet1 1 year, 5 months ago

Duh! Problem resolved. Obama 'gives' them a billion dollar bailout to keep the 18K working. It worked for GM & Wall street. ka ka ching

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chinaberry25 1 year, 5 months ago

This case is a lot different than a lot of companies. They are already in bankruptcy and they will have someone appointed by the court to make most of the decisions. Suing a dead dog will still get a dead dog. There is no money to begot. I just wonder what the payscale is. Anyone know? If the purse strings untie federally, there need to be lawsuits on that. We are on a downhill spiral and we are about to reach bottom. The Democrats are in their second term so they have no incentive to help them.

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bigbob 1 year, 5 months ago

I love it, see how your unemployment check compares to your check for working you union lovers. With all the help he's getting Obumma will have unemployment to 15 % in no time.

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ZCorp 1 year, 5 months ago

YOU VOTED FOR THIS AMERICA ! ENJOY , THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING !

i have no futher comment. Thank You

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RedEric 1 year, 5 months ago

The White House website just announced a petition to save the Twinkie buy it out, nationalize Hostess. It is just a petition and probably will not receive serious consideration, but stranger things wil happens in the next four years

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waltspecht 1 year, 5 months ago

Note, all the unemployment extensions expire December 29, 2012. That will be a whole heap of folks dumped from that support system that has almost bankrupted the State.

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stc1993 1 year, 5 months ago

They cut the no. of weeks also, it use to be 26 weeks now it is only 14-20 weeks max. & no extensions anymore. It was up to 99 weeks with all the ext's.

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 5 months ago

If you will recall, Kroger Grocery stores did the same thing. They handed out pink slips to workers walking picket lines and closed the stores of striking workers (including those here in Albany) . Firestone is another example. They told workers in Albany that if they voted in a union the plant would be closed. The workers did and the plant was gone in three months. I would rather make $10 and have a job tomorrow than try to force a pay raise on my employer and be out of work today.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm really going to miss the twinkies. I hope Flowers buys that product at least. I understand Michael Bloomberg is really excited to see the sweet stuff go.

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tiredofit 1 year, 5 months ago

Remember what ( I think it was) Reagan did when the Air Traffic Controllers decieded to go on strike.

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oldster 1 year, 5 months ago

Please, don't just repeat old stories you have heard checks the facts. I know it tough sometimes to check the fact, and sometimes it can be enlightening.

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