Goodbye Twinkies and Chocodiles? Thoughts on Losing Hostess Brand Products

If you have not been online, watched the news or talked to me, you might not have heard that Hostess, makers of Twinkies and other delicious treats is closing its doors. Some people are lamenting the loss of the iconic brand, others are glad to see them go, while others are making jokes about hoarding their delicious treats (they do not last long, so get on it). I have been watching the news updates for the last few days on the strikes and bakery closings trying to stay optimistic about the whole thing, but it looks like the era of Wonder Bread is finally over. Or is it?

From what I am reading, Hostess is going to start selling off its assets and that includes physical assets like the bakeries AND the brands of the products made in those bakeries. The company that held Hostess had been trying to find a buyer for the company with no success, BUT people did express interest in pieces of the business? What parts were people interested in, I do not know yet, but I cannot help but think that they include the more successful brands that we have all come to love over the years. While this is not a guarantee of anything, it does give some hope that Twinkie the Kid or the Drake’s line of Snack Cakes will find a home somewhere else. Maybe?

I for one have my fingers crossed that they do and that the people who have built their lives around making Hostess’ many products will be included in the continuation of these brands. When something like this happens, and we are on the edge of getting nostalgic for a brand, it is a good time to remember that it was hard work making, hauling and selling these treats and we got to enjoy them because of the thousands of people who made their careers at or because of Hostess in one form or another. Those people are all now out of a job. So to those people I say thank you and I hope that you will find new jobs quickly.

Not being a captain of industry or an economist, I am not sure what did Hostess in at the end, but it looks complicated. Changing tastes, finances, etc? What I do know is that I am going to miss them a lot. A box of some Hostess product, in one form or another, has been on the shelf of my family’s kitchen since I was a kid. I hauled them to school every day and traded heartier options with friends to get theirs.

So, yes I am going to miss them and I am going to buy a box or two today, just in case they are my last. They will be savored and when the last one is gone I will be sad, but I will not lose hope. Instead, I will keep my eye on the web and more importantly on the store shelves awaiting their return.

Less prominent brands have made a comeback and if they don’t, we will always have the memories…

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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4 thoughts on “Goodbye Twinkies and Chocodiles? Thoughts on Losing Hostess Brand Products

  1. Being a life long Chicagoland resident, it’s going to be weird driving past the Hostess factory in Schiller Park and knowing that Twinkies aren’t birthed there anymore.

  2. I too also hope that those hard working people behind the scenes who made made sure that my cupboard was stocked with Twinkies are able to find employment, hopefully at the same company somehow! Great post as always Retroist but this bit of news certainly has put a damper on my weekend. :(

  3. Most of those employees have been effectively unemployed for a long time already, because they’ve been on strike (a fact which hostess lists as part of the reason for the collapse). Whether or not they were right to continue their strike so stubbornly is something I can’t judge, since I know nothing of what was really going on. However, I can say that settling for lower pay & benefits would have been better than being without any job at all.
    Apparently the hostess products will still be made in canada (the products made/sold there are licensed from hostess but made locally), so sneaking twikies across the boarder remains an option.
    I think hostess’s biggest problems were lack of diversity & high prices. Look at what hostess had to offer in your local stores, then turn around & look at what little debbie offers. Hostess had ho-hos, twinkies, cupcakes, and zingers. Little debbie has products comparable to all of those, plus brownies, plus (before the big peanut butter recall) peanutbutter crackers, plus fudge rounds, plus countless other items. In addition to the variety, little debbie offers their products at about half the price of the hostess ones.

  4. Nobody better mess with my FRUIT PIES!!!!!!!!! Sincerely hoping someone buys at least the cherry and apple brands, as they were by far the best of the snack fruit pies…

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