We all grew up with the assertion that Twinkies would never go bad. In fact, they were claimed to last even through a nuclear war. This urban legend (though not true) was one of life’s common themes that we all had. I think all of us believed it (perhaps because we liked Twinkies so much)!
But with Hostess Brand’s announcement that they were liquidating, Twinkies has met their demise.
I have to admit that I have not followed the rise and fall of the Hostess Brands. But I find it hard to believe that a management team allowed such iconic and popular brands to fall this far. According to articles I read, “Hostess endured years of declining sales as Americans turned to rivals’ snacks and breads, while ingredient costs and labor expenses climbed” . How is that different from their competitors? I know that America has been fighting the caloric contents of many “sweets”. But every supplier of snacks faced those same battles. How did Hostess not react and reinvent?
I think I learned a lot by going to Hostess’ website. Rather than thanking its loyal customers for over 80 years of buying their products. Or, providing some sort of acknowledgement to the thousands of employees, retail establishments and suppliers who carried the product line along. Hostess decided to play the finger-pointing game. Hostess’ own website says “We are sorry to announce that Hostess Brands, Inc. has been forced by a Bakers Union strike to shut down all operations and sell all company assets” . Perhaps that is true. But what management team blames someone else for their demise? That tells me a lot about the final management team. This company was in bankruptcy from 2004 to 2009 (at the time, the longest bankruptcy in U.S. history). After a couple of years, Hostess went back into bankruptcy again in January 2012. The latest strike only happened last month. Hmm. I guess the management ineptitude for at least an 8 year period was a relatively minor thing.
RIP Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s and the coconut-flavored Sno Balls (my personal favorite). Soon a generation of young people will not be able to enjoy those treats in their lunch or after school.