No More Twinkies? Retro Brand Hostess Closes Shop
In 1930, James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company, invented a snack cake we’d come to know and love as the Twinkie. At the time, several machines used to make cream-filled shortcakes collected dust when strawberries were out of season. Like many retro inventions, Dewar’s idea was centered around putting those machine to use year-round.
The original Twinkie was filled with a banana cream, but rations during World War II forced the company use use a vanilla cream, which customers loved even more.
After many mergers and acquisitions, the Continental Baking Company became known as Hostess, which also makes Donettes, Hostess CupCakes and other baked goods.
On November 16, 2012, Hostess, after having filed for bankruptcy for the second time, filed for liquidation and ceased all plant operations. At risk are 18,500 jobs, as well as several iconic brands like Wonder Bread, Drake’s, Dolly Madison and Eddy’s.
The collapse of Hostess means more than the loss of jobs, though. Aside from the company’s brands having prominent placement in grocery stores across the US, many convenient stores have, for decades, dedicated entire end caps to Twinkies, Ding Dongs, CupCakes, Zingers and other Hostess brands. At one of my local stores, the manager said, “I don’t know what we’re going to put there. They’ve always sold very well for us, so I’m not sure what we’ll do.”
It is widely expected that someone will pick up the brands, possibly all in one shot, but nothing will change the fact that on November 16, 2012, it was the end of an era. For 82 years we’ve been enjoying all the snack cakes and sugary treats Hostess has had to offer. Who knew Hostess itself had an expiration date?