Posted at 11:40 AM on November 16, 2012
by Paul Tosto
I was much more of a Devil Dogs guy. Growing up in New England, the Drake's company ruled my snack world with Ring Dings, Yodels, Devil Dogs and the Drake's coffee cake in all its golden crumbly goodness.
Yes, I'm reminiscing today about the snacks of my childhood.
You probably are, too, given news today that Hostess Brands Inc., maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs announced plans to liquidate following a long battle with its employee unions and, writes the Associated Press, "Americans' move toward healthier eating."
Count me in on that score. Yes, I helped kill the Twinkie. Yes, they were great for me but not for my kids. I'm no anti-snack zealot. But somewhere in our early 20s most of us looked up and asked, "Why am I eating this?"
The reality is we're all better off not eating that stuff. We know that. Perhaps the liquidation of the Twinkie empire will serve to....uh...
Oh, man. Here I am trying to write something profound about the end of Twinkies and lost childhood innocence and a guy in the newsroom just walked by with chunks of Ho Hos on a stick. There may be more. I have to go.
-- Paul Tosto
When I had enough $$ to buy my own lunch in high school (rather than the free school lunch tickets I got), I went to the snack bar and bought Twinkies and a bottle of Coke. The Coke was a quarter. So were the Twinkies.
Oh those memories.
Oh those poor, poor PM teachers.
I ate a lot, I mean, A LOT of Ho Ho's when I was young. Looking back, I now wonder if those things were actually made with food-related ingredients. I remember peeling off the outer chocolate layer exposing the perfectly formed "cake" beneath. I mean, the chocolate didn't even melt! That's not normal..... I'm pretty sure it was some kind of edible plastic.
That being said, if one was sitting in front of me right now, I’d devour it in a second.
One of my most memorable school field trips was a trip the the Hostess Bakery in Indianapolis. Not only did we get to see how Twinkees were made, we got free samples!
When I didn't have cake at my wedding, my dad presented us with a packet of Ho Hos during his speech to compensate. Sweet, and nostalgic.
Allie, my wedding cake was actually made of Ding Dongs.
I'm betting on the Hostess brand coming back, making more or less the same products, in some of the same factories, with workers making half the living, and possibly the same people running it. I suspect they aren't gone, they are just "reorganizing".
I suspect John P is correct and that Hostess or it's brands will come back in another form and without its union employees.
That said, for the last few years, my boys have opted for a "Ding Dong Tower" as their birthday cakes.
Please someone buy the Drake's brand and distribute them here! Devil Dogs and Ring Dings-those I miss. Not Twinkies.
Hostess is gone. Some of the products, Twinkies and Wonder Bread to name two, will live on.
The bakery's will all be closed, one or two of the 30 or so might reopen, but most likely not to make any Hostess brand products.
5000 employees had been working for about 7 months with a 8% pay cut, and instead of making it official (approving a contract with those numbers) they went on strike. Now 18,000 are out of work.
The Teamsters represent about 6,000 other workers and they had agreed to terms, their press release today was pretty grim and not flattering when discussing the other union.
Management offered a contract that would have cut salary and benefits by 27-32%, after employees had already accepted cuts to salary and their pension fund this year. The company also already had plans to close 12 bakeries after it filed for bankruptcy this year, for the second time since 2009, and is owned by Wall Street investment firms that seemed to be preparing its holdings for liquidation, anyway.
I also think John P. is right. Some company will buy the Hostess and Wonder brands, but the operations will be smaller and employees will be paid much less. As was the plan all along.
Like Paul, I'm an East Coast boy, and was partial to Drake's products. Who doesn't love a Drake's coffee cake?
So Paul and Pat M will probably be as shocked as I was when I found out this morning that Hostess owns Drake's. I feel like my whole life is a lie.
The brands might or might not be sold (most likely the better known brands will be sold). If sold the brand owner might or might not make a product under that name. If the brand name is used, the old hostess recipe might be used or a new product could be made under the old brand name. It all depends on what the brand owner wants to do.
If specific bakeries are sold, current employees will need to apply and try to get hired by the new owner (under their work rules). If the distribution system is sold I suspect some of the value would be in the employees and their personal contacts, so some current distribution employees would be offered jobs.
Not sure where the real value is here. If the bakeries haven’t been maintained (they've gone bankrupt) the value could be low. Don’t know about the distribution system, but there could be some value for the right fit. And junk food brands in an increasingly health conscious society? – that could be an uphill battle.
Cannot belive this is happening! Devil Dogs all the way, but liked Yodels, Yankee Doodles, and who can forget Sunny Doodles!