While still nursing my first cup of morning coffee a few weeks ago I had a text from my brother fretting over the loss of his Hostess blackberry pies. He can’t get them in his Midwest grocery stores so our sister brings them to him whenever traveling from the Pacific Northwest.
I didn’t think much about it until my husband went to the local grocery store the same morning hoping to find his favorite cupcakes and my least favorite Hostess food, Sno Balls. He told me the shelves were nearly empty and it was only 10 am.
The news that Hostess Foods shut down overnight resulted in a fire sale for everything Hostess: Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Snow Balls, and Hostess pies and cupcakes. But why the fuss over something most of us eat rarely these days?
Nostalgia for Twinkies
Baby boomers were the first generation to eat a lot of processed food. Our parents had more money and thought they were giving us “good” food when feeding us our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Wonder Bread followed by a Ding Dong or Twinkie and all washed down with sugary Kool-Aid.
So even though we now know the lack of nutritional goodness in these foods and have removed them from our regular diet they are tied up with childhood memories and evoke nostalgic feelings. What else would cause my family members to mourn snow balls and fruit pies (which actually have very little fruit)?
Even if Twinkies are gone for good the name will stick around in the phrase “the Twinkie defense” thanks to an infamous murder defense. Twinkies and other sugar in the diet was blamed for Dan White snapping and killing two San Francisco city leaders in the late 1970s.
Although Twinkies themselves weren’t blamed for the murders it was presented as a symptom of the underlying depression which was blamed. Decades later the term has stuck around and Twinkies are forever linked to the tragedy.
Is this the End?
The gang of Hostess products may have reprieve. A potential buyer has been kicking the tires and is doing their due diligence. Whether or not the brand is resurrected remains to be seen. I think they’ll have to change up the product line to include healthier options for long-term sustainability. Nostalgia only goes so far.
What was your reaction to the news that Hostess products may be gone for good?