Business, Economics and Jobs

Hostess will shut down plants, liquidate assets


A Hostess Twinkie golden sponge cake with its creamy filling exposed.


Tim Boyle

Hostess, the laboratory that brought you the Twinkie and other sugar-filled miracles of the processed food industry, is going out of business. Luckily, the Twinkie has 39 ingredients that help it last a very, very long time, so don't be shy about going on a shopping rampage and stockpiling your garage with emergency Twinkies. 

Hostess Brands Inc., also maker of the iconic Wonder Bread and Ding Dongs, said today that it is shuttering its plants and will liquidate the business, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company made headlines in January after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but now it's really dying. The company blames its labor union for the ultimate downfall.

Members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union had been on strike after a September contract slashed workers' wages and benefits, the Associated Press reported

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As a result of the liquidation, all 18,500 workers will lose their jobs, the AP said. 

"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," Gregory F. Rayburn, Hostess' chief executive, said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times

Hostess, which has 565 distribution centers, 570 bakery outlet stores and brands including Wonder, Nature's Pride, Dolly Madison, Drake's, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita, said it will take about a year to wind down, Reuters reported.

But beyond labor disputes, the American palate has also become more sophisticated over the 82 years that Hostess has been in business, moving on to items like the cheese-filled crust pizza and the pancake sandwich.

However, this doesn't mean that Twinkies and Ding Dongs are dead for good. According to the New York Times, the sweets could potentially remain on sale under a different owner, depending on what happens once Hostess begins auctioning its brands and assets.