Thursday, January 12, 2012

Twinkie Owner Bankruptcy: Good and Bad News for Fake Food Fans

Heartbreaking news for fake food aficionados: Hostess Brands, the maker of delectable, cream-a-licious Twinkies has filed for bankruptcy. Again. The second time since 2004.

The Wall Street Journal explains, "Sales of Hostess's signature Twinkies have recently declined a bit while the overall bakery snacks category has been about flat. Nearly 36 million packages of Twinkies were sold in the year ended Dec. 25, down almost 2% from a year earlier... Hostess also has had trouble attracting consumers who have migrated away from white bread to whole grains and other healthier foods." 

Another famed Hostess product is Wonder Bread, a malleable, snow-white bread first advertised in 1921 as a "wonder" that would not dry out when sliced. In the 1940s, Wonder Bread's baker "began adding vitamins and minerals to Wonder Bread as part of a government-sponsored program of enriching white bread which was notoriously deficient in vitamin and mineral content" per Wikipedia.


Twinkies are perhaps the iconic American snack fake food and secret junk-food vice.
Invented in 1930 by an enterprising baker seeking a novelty treat when strawberry shortcake was out of season, the first Twinkie was filled with banana cream. Because of World War II banana rationing, vanilla flavoring was substituted for the tropical fruit.

With the advent of food industry mega-corporations,  fresh baking ingredients recognizable as real food were largely dumped for Twinkies in favor of chemicals, additives, corn syrup derivatives and food colorings so that Twinkies could exist, undeteriorated, for months. 

For details about industrial manufacture of Twinkies, I suggest you read Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats by Steve Ettlinger. 

The bad news for fake food fans is that  a Twinkie shortage may loom in the future. Twinkies could eventually disappear from grocery markets and convenience stores.

The good news? If urban legend is true, hoarded Twinkies could last for years. 

9 comments:

  1. I don't understand how such a popular food product should have to deal with this situation. I hope they get the best bankruptcy lawyer Phoenix on their side.

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  2. Who knows, maybe they'll start manufacturing gluten free products long island instead. I'd like to think that they will rise again somehow.

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  3. I wonder how the Long Island weight loss center head feels about this. Eating junk food is wrong, but businesses shouldn't have to close down.

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  5. This news is so sad. Kids will definitely miss this. I think food companies should shift to producing much healthier food. Many people are health-conscious nowadays.
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    Suffolk county catering halls

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  6. As climate change continues to increase crop loss due to flooding/ droughts and other storm damage, large scale industrial food production will not be able to handle higher prices. As peak oil continues to raise fossil fuel prices, this will also squeeze profits from the bottom line. I look forward to the collapse of more and more fast food/ junk food companies in the future. In the meantime, the best bet is to grow some of your own food. Or join a community garden. Or join a nearby CSA (community supported agriculture). We'll rebuild our food system one garden at a time.

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  7. Fred, our weekly CSA delivery is the center of meals in my home. I feel lost when they take the last two weeks of the year off. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. We are in full agreement!

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  8. I would agree, that was heartbreaking news. I hope that this would take a lesson from other companies that fake foods won't last. To make it last and successful they need to provide better products to the consumers.

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  9. Just heard the union scum succeeded in the closing of Hostess. What a shame 18000 jobs down the drain.

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