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Consumers overreact to Hostess bankruptcy

Alexandra Snow, Opinion Writer
December 4, 2012
Filed under Opinion, Top Stories

In a 1930 Illinois Hostess food plant, manager James Dewar gave rise to one of the most popular food icons in the U.S.: the Twinkie.

According to Hostess, Dewar wanted to come up with a use for shortcake pans when the strawberries weren’t in season. Little did Dewar know, these spongy, cream-filled heart attacks would sweep the nation as an American icon.

According to an American snack food history article on Delish.com, the advertisements suggested folks were more likely to eat fruit when served with a Twinkie.

A 1957 ad stated “Housewives have told us their families eat even more fruit when Twinkies are perched on the side of the plates.”

According to the Washington Post, Hostess, the maker of Twinkies and other baked product such as Ho Hos, Wonderbread, and Sno balls, declared bankruptcy for the second time in the past seven years and plans on closing its doors for good.

Small efforts have been put forth. Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm, wants to buy the 82-year-old bankrupt company and even expressed interest in an acquisition of Hostess Brands earlier in the year, according to fortune.com.

Twinkies might stay on the shelves, but they might not have the Hostess brand on the wrapper.

After the announcement, though, some Twinkie fanatics dashed to stores to stockpile their beloved cake products. After all, it’s a common myth that Twinkies last longer than the plastic packages they come in.

However, according to Hostess, the shelf life of a Twinkie is only 25 days.

“People came the day the news was released and filled their baskets full of only Hostess products,” said Seth Petersen, an assistant manager at the University Market. “The only thing that was left at the end of the day was the prepackaged doughnut because they have an expiration date,”

The only Hostess product left at the Wal-Mart on Main Street were the 10-count cookies.

Although I only eat Hostess products on occasion, it was disappointing to hear Twinkies and Ho-Hos wouldn’t be around for me to buy when feeling nostalgic.

Trying to get my hands on one of the last boxes of Twinkies is nearly impossible just a little past a week after the announcement. The only place left to buy a Twinkie is on ebay, which has prices that can vary anywhere from $10 to $31 per box.

However, despite the new collectors’ status on Hostess products, people shouldn’t have any problems finding other brands like Little Debbie on the grocer’s shelves, and they have the equivalents to Hostess products.

Twinkies are Cloud Cakes for Little Debbie, and Little Debbie is cheaper than Hostess.

It’s surprising to hear the huge reaction over Hostess going bankrupt, since a quick poll taken at UW-Green Bay shows the younger generation actually prefers Little Debbie more than Hostess. One participant said Hostess was something her mom always said she bought even though she would actually buy Little Debbie.

It must have been the older folks that cleared the shelves so they could preserve some of their childhood memories.

Overall, it doesn’t matter what brand is on my too-sweet too-fatty snack cake when it has almost 45 percent of my fat intake for the day. There is always going to be a knock-off brand so we all can feel horrible about ourselves after we eat those delicious chemically enhanced cakes.

Whether it’s Little Debbie or the new Hostess, Americans will always find a way to get their snack cakes.