Hostess declares bankruptcy: could this be the end of the Twinkie in America?
It’s been said that even a nuclear holocaust couldn’t kill a Twinkie, but it turns out unions are another matter. Hostess, the 82-year-old business behind such beloved-by-children brands as Twinkie, Ding Dong and Wonderbread, announced today that it will “promptly” cease operations and lay off most of its 18,500 employees. Despite sales of approximately $2.5 billion last year, the heavily unionized company was plagued with labour relations issues and was brought down by a nationwide strike by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union that began on November 9 (the company was also facing rising commodities costs and, well, demand for healthier food). Hostess filed for bankruptcy protection last January, the second time in a decade, and had been attempting to cut labour costs. It now intends to auction off all of its brands to the highest bidder. Canadian Twinkie lovers need not fear, however: Saputo Inc. owns the Canuck rights, which means, ironically, that the iconic American snack cake may for a time only be available north of the 49th parallel. [Wall Street Journal]