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Not Twinkies!

By Rich Heldenfels Published: November 16, 2012

You may have seen the news that Hostess wants to go out of business, which could mean the end of Twinkies, Zingers and other precious blends of spongecake, frosting and creme fillings. If so, I am sure you felt a twinge of regret, especially if you were one of the people for whom a Twinkie was the best part of a school lunch (boxed or bagged). I just had a Zinger myself, as the space devoted to Hostess products in my office's vending area is steadily consisting of less product and more shelf. And one of my co-workers is making a run to the Hostess store, helping everyone stock up.

This all recalls the New Coke era, when it appeared that classic Coca-Cola was going to disappear. Friends and I kept each other updated on places with large remaining stocks of the old drink, so that we could stockpile some in anticipation of the classic's demise. Fortunately, the outrage over that (and the highly unsatisfying taste of New Coke) saved the old drink.

Hostess products, of course, lend themselves to stockpiling since they last so long. (They are, in fact, the cockroach of snack foods.) Buy them now, eat them in 2015.

But the situation complicated because it's the company, not the product, that is ready to die -- so there wouldn't be a Hostess in place to reinstate Twinkies.

Instead, we have to hope that someone will buy Hostess's brands and recipes and keep making Twinkies, et al. And, if no company steps forward, I urge a federal Twinkie bailout, with the government offering incentives to Hostess or another company to keep the products coming. Yes, the auto industry was a vaster enterprise than Hostess. But think of the millions of kids who might never know the joy of finding a Twinkie with their bologna sandwich.

 

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