Hostess will soon be joining the ranks of the horse-and-buggy makers, candlestick producers, gaslamp manufacturers, Tower Records, video rental stores, and Borders Books—the company filed Chapter 11, drowning in $1.4 billion in debt. Although a number of factors contributed to the fall of the baked goods giant, image was probably the biggest problem and one that simply couldn’t be changed.
In this Michelle Obama-Michael Bloomberg world free of trans-fats and high-fructose corn syrup (these may possibly be the same thing), there really wasn’t much space for products like Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs, HoHos, and Suzy Qs. And even though we grew up on these treats—there always seemed to be a Hostess box on the kitchen counter—I don’t think my wife and I have ever bought Twinkies or CupCakes for our kids. It just didn’t seem right.
Perhaps on a future episode of Cup Cake Wars or Top Chef Desserts, there will be a tribute to the Twinkie and a challenge to re-create it but with more natural ingredients. (The Atlantic‘s Derek Thompson waxes eloquently on this subject.) In the meantime, I stumbled across this commercial. The children don’t know what goes into a Twinkie (only Sergeant Al Powell knows), but it didn’t make a difference. After all, they were running around in a playground, getting their exercise. Life was so much simpler back then.