Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Eat A Twinkie For The Common Good

Sadly, it appears that yet another American institution is near death.

Hostess Brands--the makers of such wonderful desserts as Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and the ever-elusive Chocodiles--is nearing liquidation. This is, sadly, nothing new; they have declared bankruptcy before, in 2004, and then again (most recently) in 2011. They have struggled for over a decade.

However, take heart. Reading a map of their mergers and acquisitions is an exercise in headache-inducing corporate warfare. They own, in part or in whole, about a dozen different brands (such as Nature's Pride and Wonder Bread), no doubt with a mixture of success and failure. So even thought he company overall may have overextended itself, it's not necessarily due to the lackluster sales of the legendary Twinkie.

What happens now remains to be seen. Liquidation, while it sucks, may be best--because that basically means those dozen brands (including the original Hostess snack cake brand) will be spun off and gobbled up by some other company. Presumably--at least from what I've read--the recipes and brand are still quite valuable so will probably be a steal for any eagle-eyed corporate raider.

Whether the whole thing falls apart remains to be seen, of course, Right now the baker's union has gone on strike, and the company is trying to force the union to accept the contract via the bankruptcy court. (Another union, the Teamsters, have already accepted an altered contract.) Part of me thinks this is hilarious--a bunch of bakers in tall white hats covered in flour and holding picket signs, probably chanting something in French. Sadly, it's probably a lot of disgruntled, sweaty middle-aged people who look nothing like that.

Anyway, buy and cram a Ho Ho in your mouth today. You know, for solidarity.

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