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)?
The Twinkie Defense
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?
jefferson @SeeDebtRun says
i also haven’t eaten twinkies in years.. and certainly havent missed them.. but now that they are gone.. i kinda sorta feel myself craving one 😉
in the meantime, i am sure another company will eventually by the rights to start selling them again one day.. far too valuable a property to just let it quietly fade away.
I haven’t eaten these since I was in middle school. I won’t really miss them, but I know some people are stocking up. We rarely eat much processed foods these days. 🙂
Teresa Craft says
Twinkies will be resurrected! Not that I’ve eaten one in years, it’s been so long I can’t remember exactly how long it’s been.The brand is too iconic to just go away. And as the sister who buys the Blackberry pies, I tried to get a dozen to stock up for our brother and my hubby and they were sold out of all things Hostess within hours. So it will have to be homemade blackberry pie for the hubby 🙂
Good thing I planted those blackberry bushes!
Money Beagle says
The day that they announced the bankruptcy I went over to the vending machine and bought one of the three remaining packs of Twinkies. They’re still sitting in my drawer but I suppose I should eat them eventually before they go bad (yes, they do, contrary to some urban legends).
The brand is too iconic to die and will be sold off as part of their bankruptcy proceedings. Twinkies will be back on the shelf, just made by someone else.
John S @ Frugal Rules says
The crazy thing to me is that people are selling boxed of them on E-Bay for crazy prices. It did not surprise me that it happened as it really sounds like it was largely due to corporate incompetence. I think that there’ll be some company out there who’ll snap up the brand as I think they’re too iconic to go away.
Paul @ The Frugal Toad says
I was a little disappointed to hear that Hostess may shut down but since we don’t really buy the products we are not really affected. I personally heard a story from a friend that knew someone who went out and bought several cases of twinkies when they heard the news. What is the shelf life of a twinkie anyway? Years?
Midlife Finance says
It’s not a big deal for me. We rarely consume those Hostess products so I don’t really care. The last twinkie I had was probably over 15 years ago in college. The Mrs. never had a twinkie at all. It’s a bit sad really.