The Day the Twinkies Died

Breaking News: Londonderry Hannaford and Shaws are SOLD OUT of Twinkies as of 1:30 PM, Friday, November 16, 2012.

Hostess Brands announced today that it is asking for permission to close its operations after experiencing an ongoing union strike protesting a new contract. Makers of sweet treats like Twinkies, Donettes, Ho Hos, and Sno Balls, the closing will result in nearly 18,500 workers losing their jobs. The company will close 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, and 570 outlet stores nationwide.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said CEO Gregory Rayburn in a statement.

Hostess hopes to sell its assets to the highest bidder. This could mean that some of America’s favorite guilty pleasures will return, as other companies purchase the rights to them. But Hostess workers will not be getting their jobs back.

“The industry has overcapacity. We’re overcapacity. Our rivals are overcapacity,” said Rayburn in an interview on CNBC. Asked if the shutdown decision could be reversed if the Bakers’ union agreed to immediately return to work, he responded, “Too late.”

The company said production at all its bakeries will cease as of today and the stores will no longer receive products from Hostess after the final deliveries were made Thursday night. However products already in stores can be sold, and the outlet stores will remain open for about a week to sell already-stocked products.

Hostess Brands snack foods included Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s, Sno Balls, Donettes, Drake’s cakes and Dolly Madison. Bread brands to be sold include Wonder, Nature’s Pride, Merita, Home Pride, Butternut, and Millbrook, among others.

WMUR contributed to this report. For more photos of popular Hostess snack foods, click here.


9 Responses

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  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Icongone

    I loved Ding Dongs. Those little white doughnuts. Remember eating them at lunch. Wow. Can’t believe they are gone.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1Right to Work

    Yes and blame it on the greed of labor unions.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Momof2

      Didn’t it all start with the health kick that’s forced down our throats? No pun intended ;-)

    2. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Mike

      Of course, blame everything on the unions. It seems to be the “In thing” to do now-a-days. But is it the greed of the unions or the greed of the company CEO’s? I think I’d lean towards the latter…

  3. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve Homsey

    No, Actually Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January of this year. It sought to cut workers salaries and end pension funding in an effort to stay afloat. However, the union was divided on acceptance (much like our Congress today). I’m sure in the same vein; they would shut the country down as well. i.e. Nobody wins!

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Right to Work

      LOL…… can spin almost as good as the affirmative-action President. The CEO of the company was clear. The union needed to accept revisions of their pension (who in the real world gets a pension other than labor unions) to a 401K for new employees and reduction in pay. Bottom line, the “greed” of the AFL-CIO affiliated union put 18,000+ people out of work. It wasn’t bankruptcy that killed the Twinkie it was labor-union greed. And on a happy note I just ate my last pack of red coconut Zingers. I got $10 who has some Zingers ?

      1. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve Homsey

        Well, that’s what i said? Thanks for agreeing.

  4. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve Homsey

    Not my words. However, in real world there are 2 sides to every story.

    BCTGM (Union) President Frank Hurt said: “the workers understood” who they were dealing with.”

    “Our members know that the plans all along of the Wall Street investors currently in control of this company did not include the operation of Hostess Brands any longer than it takes to sell the company in whole—or in part—in a way that will maximize the profits of these vulture capitalists regardless of the impact on the workforce.”

    Workers were being asked to accept cuts, but top executives had gotten massive raises as Hostess was about to enter bankruptcy. Investments in the company’s future that had been promised as part of restructuring after the previous bankruptcy were never made. And as for the management, put in place by the private equity companies that now own Hostess, Hurt said:

    Unfortunately however, for the past eight years management of the company has been in the hands of Wall Street investors, “restructuring experts”, third-tier managers from other non-baking food companies and currently a “liquidation specialist”. Six CEO’s in eight years, none of whom with any bread and cake baking industry experience, was the prescription for failure.

    This is a Mitt Romney-style deal. Throughout the campaign, we read about Romney’s past deals that went very much like what’s happening to Hostess. Now we’re watching it in real time—and seeing how when workers fight back, they’re targeted for blame.

    As always, you are free to make up your own mind…

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1Bill

    Let me chime in with an example of a friend that I have.

    1. The year was 1981 (I believe). A VERY good friend of mine was making 48k (great pay for the time)plus zero cost benies as a FIRST YEAR air traffic controller. PATCO was the name of the air traffic contollers union. They demanded more in pay and benies from the government and threatened to go on strike. Illegally I must say. Prez Regan said no to their demands and said that if they go on strike they’d be fired. The union called the bluff and went on strike. So quess what happens? See ya air traffic controllers. If my buddy hadn’t gone on strike he would be making about 110-120k now and elligibale for retirement next year at age 55.

    Same at Hostess. The union was told, no agreement no jobs. The union called the bluff. But as you can see in both of these cases, and numerous others, it waasn’t a bluff. A totally different kind of suicide, but suicide just the same.

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