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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » Say Fare-Thee-Well to the Twinkie

   
Author Topic: Say Fare-Thee-Well to the Twinkie
Robert Nowall
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You may have heard:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2012/11/16/hostess-brands-moves-to-wind-down-operations-sell-assets/

Hostess Brands is going out of business, and will no longer be producing Wonder Bread, Ho-Hos, and, of course, the Twinkie.

Stock up while you can. Twinkies, of course, have a shelf life of over a thousand years, but the others will go stale after a few weeks or months.

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JenniferHicks
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As of yesterday morning, there was not a Twinkie, Ding Dong or Ho Ho to be found in the Denver metro area. I suspect some company will see an opportunity to snap up the rights and Hostess snack cakes will be back on the shelves under a different name.
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lizluka
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Ah, but will it be the same without that Hostess label? And when the new company decides to start messing with the recipe, what then?
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Robert Nowall
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Those things are never the same when somebody licences the name (and / or the recipe) and starts selling them. White Cloud Toilet Paper morphed into Charmain Ultra, only to resurface later on in Wal-Mart---but, man, that sure wasn't the same...

I fully expect all major Hostess brand names to resurface shortly---say, six months to a year.

(A few years ago, I was tipped to an auction of various old brand names---assorted products and failed stores and such. I was tempted by some of 'em, but I don't have that kind of money.)

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MattLeo
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There's a large Mexican bakery company that's wanted to buy the Hostess brand for years. Now that management has extracted all the dough it can out of the company, they'll sell to somebody who'll make a viable business out of the brand.

I wouldn't worry about the Twinkies, I don't think anything could be tweaked in the formula to make them more profitable. They have a "k-r-e-m-e" filling that's hydrogenated vegetable shortening and sugar, and they've got a shelf-life of approximately forever.

As for Hostess's bread line, monkeying with that is what sent the company into a death spiral in the first place. In 2001 they reformulated Wonder Bread for even longer shelf life. The results tasted so dreadful that sales tanked and the company ended up in bankruptcy in 2004.

After five years of struggling to get out of bankruptcy, Hostess emerged from Chapter 11 with the help of major union concessions on wages and benefits. Unfortunately management also chose to take the company private. That saddled it with almost a billion dollars in debt to private equity firms. Last year, unable to service the crushing debt, management voted itself an 80% raise then filed for bankruptcy. When they stopped contributing to the employee pension (part of the concessions deal in which some workers saw their paychecks shrink by 30%), the union was understandably not up for a second round of concessions. But that was only window dressing. The fate of the company was sealed when it was taken private with so much debt. After that Hostess was a walking corpse.

This is a classic case of sociopaths running the madhouse. Hostess *should* have been liquidated and sold off three years ago but there was money to be made off the corpse.

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Robert Nowall
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A couple dozen companies have expressed interest, by most accounts. I think the brands are worth something, but Hostess Brands the company is not...
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