Hostess to Liquidate

McClane: Just trying to fire down a thousand-year-old Twinkie. What do they put in these things anyway?

Powell: Sugar-enriched flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 60, and yellow dye number five—just everything a growing boy needs.

—Die Hard (1988)

Unable to save itself in the face of a bakers’ union strike, Hostess Brands announced it is shutting down for good. As CNN reports,

Hostess Brands—the maker of such iconic baked goods as Twinkies, Devil Dogs and Wonder Bread—announced Friday that it is asking a federal bankruptcy court for permission to close its operations, blaming a strike by bakers protesting a new contract imposed on them.

The closing will result in Hostess’ nearly 18,500 workers losing their jobs as the company shuts 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide, as well as 570 outlet stores. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union represents around 5,000 Hostess employees.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean Wonder Bread (it’s fortified!) or the Twinkie will be gone for good. “Hostess will move to sell its assets to the highest bidder,” CNN explained. “That could mean new life for some of its most popular products, which could be scooped up at auction and attached to products from other companies. A letter that Hostess sent to its network of stores that carry its product said it expects ‘there will be great interest in our brands.’ But it said it could not give a time frame for when the sales would take place and its products would be available again.”

The operative words here are “could mean new life for some” and not all. Simply put, in this Michelle Obama-Let’s Move! world, there probably isn’t room for Fruit Pie the Magician. Or maybe even the Ding Dong. Or was it a Ring Ding? And who the hell is King Don?

Did you grow up loving Ding Dongs or King Dons? Turns out they are the same. Drake made the Ring Ding. Hostess made the Ding Dong. Following Hostess’s takeover of Drake, the compromise name for the very same product was King Don, although it eventually reverted to Ding Dong. According to Wikipedia, it’s still King Don in Canada.

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