Hostess has baked its last Twinkie and iced its last Ding Dong.
The Texas-based baked-foods giant announced Friday morning that it is shutting down all operations and selling all assets after it failed to reach a deal with the union that represents one-third of its 18,500 employees. The company's other products include Ho-Hos, Sno Balls, Donettes and Nature’s Pride and Wonder Bread.
The news has unleashed an outpouring of nostalgia and blogger befuddlement.
How can anyone go bankrupt selling junk food? asks the Chicago Sun-Times's Neil Steinberg—as snack-cake lovers lament the possible loss of an 80-year-old slice of Americana.
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Hostess had been churning out 500 million Twinkies and 127 million loaves of Wonder Bread per year, helping it reach $2.5 billion in annual sales, according to CNN.com.
But not to fear; Twinkies are known to last long past their expiration dates. Business experts say the Twinkie will survive.
"The truth is that the Twinkies brand still has value, and will be acquired. Same for Ding Dongs. And (probably) Wonder Bread,” writes Fortune. “America may be undergoing major demographic shifts, but empty calories cut across age, gender and ethnicity. … The most likely endgame here is that another bakery snaps up Twinkies… . There also is a small chance that private equity tries to buy the whole thing, now that it would be free of existing pension liabilities.”
Such assurances have done nothing to prevent a panicked run on the wee golden snacks. Customers were snatching them up from store shelves and they were going for quite a sweet price online, reports CBS.com.
What about you? Do you have a Twinkie memory to share? Tell us in comments.