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Twinkies at Risk

posted by Nathalie Martin

At least it’s not Tastykakes, right Philadelphians? But seriously, historians with a sweet tooth should be feeling a little uneasy after Hostess’ chapter 11 last week, precipitated by runaway pension and medical benefits claims and a tough economy. Tough is right. If people are too broke to buy Twinkies, things really have reached an all-time low.Interstate Bakeries, which owns Hostess brands, claims to have over $950 million in pension claims.

Twinkies have an interesting history. According to wikipedia, Twinkies were invented in Schiller Park, Illinois in 1930 by James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company. Realizing that several machines used to make cream-filled strawberry shortcake sat idle when strawberries were out of season, Dewar conceived a snack cake filled with banana cream, which he dubbed the Twinkie. He said he came up with the name when he saw a billboard in St. Louis for "Twinkle Toe Shoes". During World War II, bananas were rationed and the company was forced to switch to vanilla cream. This change proved popular, and banana-cream Twinkies were never widely re-introduced.

In 1988, Fruit and Cream Twinkies were introduced with a strawberry filling swirled into the cream. However, the product never caught on and was soon dropped. Vanilla's dominance over banana flavoring would be challenged in 2005, following a month-long promotion of the movie King Kong. Hostess saw its Twinkie sales rise 2 percent during the promotion, and in 2007 permanently restored the banana-cream Twinkie to its snack lineup.

Twinkie sales for the year ended December 25, 2011 were 36 million packages, down almost 2% from the prior year. Hostess claims that more customers are choosing healthier foods, implying that it may need to invent a healthy Twinkie in order to avoid liquidation and attract new investors.


I love Twinkies, but I did stop buying them because I would eat the whole box and I am always trying to diet, so eating the whole box would put a lot of excess pounds on you. And whenever they try to cut down on the sugar in a product like Twinkies, it ruins the flavor using a sugar substitute.

Interesting bit of history there, I've never actually had a Twinkie before and the first time I found out about Twinkies was when I watched 'Zombieland'! However, recently, I saw a stall in my local shopping centre that sells American foods and Twinkies were on there so I'm going to go and pick one up this weekend and give it a try!

So in order to avert this AND help Kodak, go buy a Twinkie and take a picture of it.... :)

i <3 twinkeys

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