You are viewing this article in the AnnArbor.com archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see MLive.com/ann-arbor
Posted on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

Hostess bankruptcy leaves Twinkie fans scrambling

By Jessica Webster

4577789974_d0467baa80_b.jpg

What will we do without Twinkies?

Photo by Flickr user Christian Cable

My Facebook feed has been full of posts about Twinkies for days now. Beyond the never-ending arguments about whether this is a problem of corporate greed or unions run amok, The Hostess bankruptcy filing has my friends talking passionately and nostalgically about their favorite junk foods.

People are stocking up on the creme-filled spongecakes like it's Y2K, and why not? They last a very very long time. As dramatized in the movie WALL-E, we've always expected that Twinkies and cockroaches would be the last ones standing after the end of human civilization.

There is some hope for Twinkie fans this afternoon. According to the Huffington Post, several potential buyers are standing by, ready to purchase and rehab the Hostess brand.

In the mean time, don't panic and overpay for a (literal) truckload of Twinkies on ebay. The New York Times shared a recipe for homemade Twinkies, minus all the unpronounceable shelf-stabilizing ingredients.

My favorite Hostess treat wasn't the Twinkie. Me? I'm a fool for a Ding Dong and a big glass of milk. Luckily, we've got a local bakery that turns out the most ridiculously, sinfully, achingly delicious Ding Dongs you've ever dreamed of. Drop by Big City Small World Bakery on Miller Avenue (at Spring Street) and see if you disagree.

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at JessicaWebster@annarbor.com. You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.

Comments

jns131

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.

I love Ding Dongs. But the last one I ate? Tasted like plastic chocolate. The twinkies were like gross. Once the 80's left? So did my taste for these things. Yes, I miss them, no I don't like eating plastic. Hostess? You will not be missed.

Mulberry Bank

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

What about Wonder Bread?!

jns131

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.

Wonder yuck. That stuff is like eating goo. Gross.

Jessica Webster

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

I tried a Twinkie for the first time in probably 30 years recently. I'm still trying to figure out whether it's just that my tastes have changed, or if the recipe has drastically changed since the early 80s when I last tasted them. I had always had fond memories of Twinkies, but the one I tried last year was disgusting. Tasted like nothing but sugar and chemicals to me.

jns131

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 2:29 a.m.

I have to agree with you there. I had one 10 or more years ago and never looked back after eating one of these things. Yes, they do taste like chemicals and plastic. I do have a recipe to make my own. Glad to see them gone.

Sarah Rigg

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

I haven't eaten any form of Hostess product in the last 20 years so I can't say I'm going to miss them. I really don't like cake or frosting or really many kinds of pastries at all, except homemade brownies. I am sorry about the folks losing jobs, though.

jns131

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

Agreed.

Mick52

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 4:30 a.m.

I think that soon the assets, including the recipes will be purchased and new plants will open up in worker rights states. They may even cost less.

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

Even as it blamed unions for the bankruptcy and the 18,500 job losses that will ensue, Hostess already gave its executives pay raises earlier this year. The salary of the company's chief executive tripled from $750,000 to roughly $2.5 million, and at least nine other executives received pay raises ranging from $90,000 to $400,000. Those raises came just months after Hostess originally filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

jns131

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 2:32 a.m.

clownfish? Boy does that sound like the BOE of AAPS. Privatize the buses, the food workers and the ones who supervise the playgrounds. I did hear they are going after the custodians next. Unions are good for some things. Not a lot.

clownfish

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

"out of a job because of the union" Really? How dare those union folks want to make a living wage? Avg salary for a Baker is $29,000/year. The CEO took $2,500,000, and he failed at his job. The unions took pay cuts and job losses already, the management increased their own pay packages. Remember when the Buck Stopped with those in charge? They get all of the rewards when things go right, and all of the rewards when things go bad. When did that become the business paradigm?

LAEL

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

Here's an actual Hostess baker's point of view on their job loss. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/18/1162786/-Inside-the-Hostess-Bankery

Mick52

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 4:29 a.m.

That may look bad, but look at it this way. If earlier this year they determined they were deadlocked with the suicidal union and bankruptcy was imminent, they take what cash they have on hand and spread it around to execs who will also be out of a job because of the union. The total may not have been anywhere near enough to cover worker compensation. I would not expect them to share it with the union employees. Oh well. I guess its better to be unemployed with a union card in your pocket than to have a non union job.

David

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

Crisis Averted: Twinkies Live! http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/11/crisis-averted-twinkies-live/59150/

Davidian

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

Once again the lemmings are diving off the cliff...

lisaone

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

Waaaaaaaaaaay back when...Twinkies were so much better. Somewhere in the 70's they changed their recipe, so I was never a fan after that. On the flip side, I am sorry to see ANYONE lose a job, especially now, as a job is hard to find.

Mick52

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 4:25 a.m.

I think they made them smaller too, like everything else.

LauraM

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

I wondered about that. I had not had a Twinkie in many years, at least 20, when I participated in a 5K on April Fool's day this past April where Twinkies had to be eaten to pass certain points! I was anticipating something really good but was quite shocked that they tasted terrible. There was also a home-made Twinkie contest and I tried some of the samples and those were really good!!

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

Well one thing is for sure, it wasn't Denard Robinson's fault for them going out of business, had it been Little Debbie we may have a different story: http://bit.ly/TbX8xG In seriousness though...considering that Twinkies and other Hostess products will live on after the sell off of the brands are complete I find this whole rush to buy out the remaining stock incredibly amusing. While searching for furniture on craigslist this weekend I ran into countless posts selling boxes of HoHos and Twinkies for 20, 30, even $50. Although I can't knock those eager to make a buck and that they may have been a favorite indulgence for many it seems to be a pretty telling about our society today.

jns131

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

kyle? Get a box of Jiffy Pie Mix, a good jar of pie filling and make your own. Tastier and no chemical after burn.

music to my ear

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

yes someone else may pick the brand up but!!!!!!! will they taste the same, you know like moms cooking no matter how hard you try it does not taste the same.it is 4 25 I just heard on the news that hostess is going into mediation I suppose the public out cry made them re think (like when beanies babies last bear was called the "end") listen folks they are playin us now just wanted a spike in sales WE fell for it oh goya

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

ps- With that said, I did eat one too many of those apple and cherry pies as a child...put one in the microwave for ten seconds, and you have one tasty treat right there.

northside

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

18,000 people lost their jobs and annarbor.com takes the cutesy "miss my Twinkies" angle.

Jessica Webster

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

Northside - that certainly wasn't my intention. I knew we had covered the job loss aspect previously, and as a food writer I thought it would be a timely story to write about the food aspect of it.

GoNavy

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

Actually, I believe a large number of those individuals voluntarily gave up those jobs prior to Hostess filing bankruptcy.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Point taken northside, thanks for the input. As others have noted below with links from updates regarding the bankruptcy court judge decision it looks like this will be no short story.

northside

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

Kyle thanks for the reply. annarbor.com certainly isn't the only source to take the cutesy Twinkies angle. Media coverage in general has been disappointing and offered few specifics. The MLive article linked to is an example. Nowhere is it listed what workers were earning, the company's profits/losses, executive pay, etc. There are quotes from both sides and, to MLive's credit, the union side gets more airtime than I've seen in most coverage. But there is no attempt to put forth factual, independently-determined information. What I'd like to see is journalism that works to determine and put forth the facts, rather than just quote two sides. Readers are left without any solid information on which to make sense of a situation. I'm generally pro-union but that doesn't mean I support union actions in all circumstances. Without knowing the basics, such as worker wages/benefits, it is impossible to make sense of what happened.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

northside- We agree this job loss is a serious issue and it has been pretty heavily covered by other state and national media outlets. Here is Mlive's original story regarding the closure and the job loss here in Michigan: http://www.mlive.com/business/index.ssf/2012/11/hostess_shuts_down_lays_off_hu.html Here's is all of Mlive's statewide coverage as well: http://search.mlive.com/Hostess?date_range=w I happened to visit the Hostess website today and read their statement published here: http://hostessbrands.com/Closed.aspx Even with it being an accurate statement of events, do you think it is reasonable/fair that the brand is naming the union issue as the reason for the closure?

music to my ear

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

IF I dont have a twinkie by tomorrow you are all going down with me, (down to the party store that is ) maybe they have some there I am more concern at the jobs lost.over 1800 jobs.and it not the bakers fault ,hostess used that as an excuse they were going down anyway,Little Debbie put them out of business, hostess should have been more competitive.

Michelle Valasin

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 7:05 a.m.

not 1,800. it is over 18,000!

tom swift jr.

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

Urban legand... the shelf life of a twinkie is about 25 days...... http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforkinit/2012/11/shelf_life_of_a_twinkie.php

lisaone

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

Are you kidding me? My ex-husband, back in the day, used to get free "expired" Hostess products to include Twinkes, Ho-Ho's, King-Dons, fruit pies, you name it, literally a mountain load to bait bear. I can tell you, they lasted waaaaaaaaay longer than 25 days. They are so filled with preservatives, they'll last forever. Ok, you animal lovers, don't hate me for the baiting comment, I was just pointing out a fact on how long these products actually last. It is legal. I am cutting and pasting, so I don't get beat up in followup comments. Baiiting Rules From the start of the legal bear baiting period (31 days before the bear hunting season begins in the bear management unit) through the end of bear hunting season, bear hunters may use the following products without quantity restrictions: meat and meat products, including dog food; fish and fish products, including cat food; and bakery/confectionery products, including jams, jellies, sweeteners, candies and other cooked or commercially processed materials, including pie fillings and yogurts, used in bakery products.

actionjackson

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

There are more than a few twinkies out there that won't be affected by the bankruptcy!