Daily Archives: November 19, 2012

The Rise and Fall of the Twinkie

According to Wikipedia, “Twinkies were invented in Schiller Park, Illinois in 1930 by James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company.[1]
When he realized that several machines used to make cream-filled strawberry shortcake sat idle when strawberries were out of season.”

A treat upon which many an allowance was spent. Many times lunch money intended for more nutritious endeavors found its way to the snack counter and the Twinkies.

According to the news, Hostess, the parent company of Twinkies and several other popular brands, filed for bankruptcy. The company said it could no longer afford to operate according to the demands of unionized workers. The workers and their unions, on the other had, said that the pay and benefits for the jobs had deteriorated so badly that the jobs were no longer worth saving. Both are probably correct.

With the demise of Twinkies, the dietitian’s’ nightmare, and yet their own secret fantasy; the snack that reportedly could not die of old age on the shelf dies, as also did it’s partner, Wonder Bread. Wonder Bread the whitest of white breads. Wonder Bread – every child’s favorite, and another product unfazed by the passage of time (at least in comparison to its competition.) Bread may stale, but Wonderbread would stay to build strong bodies 12 ways. (Actually, in the 1940’s Wonder Bread added nutrient typically missing form most commercial bread, so its claim was not merely hyperbole.)

Like the buggy whip, the steel mills of Pittsburgh and American made Apple products, the Twinkie now fades into history.

Where were the federal bailouts for Twinkies? Where were the 99% to protest its demise? Nowhere to be found. Instead, the “invisible hand of economics” described by Adam Smith came into play, taking down the inefficient, the costly, the unprofitable, the Twinkie defense.

As Twinkies fade, at least briefly, into the sunset, don’t lose hope, because there is every chance that Twinkies will reappear, same recipe, same trademark, mostly the same packaging when some automated bakery buys the rights to the product and produces it in a more cost effective way.

To paraphrase our brethren down here in the South — “Save your allowance, boys, the Twinkie shall rise again!”