Wed 11 Jan, 2012 10:10 am
Hostess, Maker Of Twinkies, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection
January 11, 2012
by Bill Chappell - NPR
A Twinkie shows off its creamy filling in this file photo from 2005. A snack-cake sales slump is one reason Hostess Brands is seeking protection from its creditors.
Twinkies maker Hostess Brands Inc., is again seeking protection from its creditors, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the company tries to cope with high debt and rising costs of labor and raw materials.
Hostess, which also makes Ho Hos, Sno Balls, and Wonder Bread, is a privately held company based in Irving, Tex. It owes millions to suppliers and labor unions. The company has reportedly found some financing to keep it running during bankruptcy proceedings.
For our Newscast desk, Larry Abramson reports:
"Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy in 2004, reemerged in 2009, but has been struggling ever since. In this most recent filing, Hostess lists the Bakery and Confectionary Union Pension fund as its largest creditor, with a debt of $994 million. Hostess is also behind in payments to a long list of suppliers, such as Cargill."
And part of the problem is that sales of Twinkies are down.
"Nearly 36 million packages of Twinkies were sold in the year ended Dec. 25, down almost 2 percent from a year earlier, according to data from SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market-research firm," reports The Wall Street Journal.
The company, which has roots reaching back to 1930, has also suffered as consumers move away from white bread and toward more whole-grain breads.
And sales of Twinkies have suffered despite its prime product placement in the 2009 film Zombieland.
As Michael Graupmann writes over at CultureMap Austin:
"As for me and my house, we will be stockpiling all the Twinkies. Cuz you never know when the zombie apocalypse is gonna hit, and all you're going to want is a sweet, cream-filled treat with your friend — all of our friend, really — Twinkie the Kid, giving you that old familiar thumb's up."
The Twinkie's popular reputation as a snack cake that would never spoil led a science teacher in Maine to conduct a 30-year experiment to determine the cake's shelf life.
In 2005, that teacher, Roger Bennatti, spoke with Michele Norris of All Things Considered about the scientific process he used.
"I unwrapped the Twinkies, and I immediately ate one," he said. "And I simply placed the second Twinkie on top of the blackboard, and we began our experiment."
After 30 years, Bennatti said, the cake had resisted mold, and had dried out to an "off-yellow" color. He did not think it was a good idea to try a bite, however.
Ho Hos, Sno Balls, and Wonder Bread
Four of the most tasteless non-nutritional semi-foods ever created.
Joe(I've been waiting for them to come out with a Whole Wheat Ho-Ho.)Nation
Well, that was pretty much my response, too.
Worried about Twinkies? You can still buy all the Chrysler and General Motors cars and trucks you want.
I'm already writing my congressman suggesting a bailout of Hostess. Can't let that tank, it'll kill the blue collar worker.
At a minimum, they should be allowed to come out of bankruptcy without forfeiting any prior period tax losses. Is there a petition?
The only Twinkies I ever owned I sent to SealPoet's mother in law. Like fruitcake, they have a really long shelf like and are well suited to regifting.
I'm REALLY starting to crave a Twinkie. This is, of course, going to wreck my diet. Totally blaming you for this BBB.
Wll, somebody found a use for Twinkies equipment. Art is a moving experience for Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase-Daniel, who transformed a 1970 Hostess Twinkies delivery van into a gallery on wheels. The two take their Axle Contemporary gallery, based in Santa Fe to parking lots, festivals, schools and strip malls.
Funny. That's the only time I've ever bought a twinkie too.. I remember getting into a fight with Canada post. They wouldn't ship it because it was food, apparently the American authorities think our food is contaminated or something.. and wouldn't let it cross the border??? I had to explain that a) it was made in the states, b) it really wasn't food. They eventually let me send it, but I was told, in order for it not to be confiscated
I should tell them that it was a package of earrings or something... So I did. The twinkies made it, pheww..
I still don't get the attraction or why anyone would eat a twinkie, but each to his own..
Explanation b) sounds like the correct response.