Hostess With The Mostess

Today was a sad day in the snack cake world. The Hostess company (probably best known for Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Ding Dongs but also the home of other well-known brands) shut down after a union strike prevented the company from baking their various food products. The company had threatened to close down if the employees didn’t return to work by yesterday afternoon and ended up having to make good on its promise: it couldn’t financially handle another day of being in limbo.

Of course, the worst news is the laying off of 18,500 workers.

The second worst news is that, unless another company buys the Hostess brands and resumes production, the world will never see another Twinkie, another loaf of Wonder Bread, or another Donette. (Or another Sno Ball, which were my favorites along with Ho Hos! ARGGGHHH!)

This morning when we heard the news, Jim said “We really need to get some Ding Dongs before they’re all gone.”

(I’m not sure he has realized yet that the Cherry Pies made by Hostess–which he likes even more than Ding Dongs–are going bye-bye too. I haven’t broken the news to him.)

I have seen all kinds of comments on this “breaking news” today, mainly coming from two distinct camps. There are the people like Jim and me who want to get a couple of boxes of our favorites before they’re gone either forever or at least for the foreseeable future, and there are the people who are basically saying, “Sayonara, Hostess!” because they’re glad that these foods won’t be sold anymore due to their lack of nutritional value.

Actually though, I think that’s something we can agree on. Nobody ever claims that Twinkies, et al are good for you. In fact, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has a display that shows what Twinkies are made of, and it’s not very pretty.

(If you want to look at it, check out this Instagram by someone named Drew in Chicago, who I don’t know but I just followed. I also thank him profusely for taking a picture of the Twinkie signage.)

So why are bunches of us–many who admittedly gave up any shred of Hostess habit years ago–rushing to the store to see if we can grab some snack cakes?

My theory is because it’s yet another part of our childhood that we thought would exist forever, and suddenly it seems like it’s slipping away. Those not-so-nutritious treats take us back to a time when we brought our Charlie’s Angels (or Fat Albert, or Welcome Back Kotter) lunch box to school and ate our PB&J sandwich and chips before unwrapping that chocolate (or sponge cake, or marshmallow-covered) goodness. Life was simpler then. Is there any wonder* that some of us might want to “go back” for a minute?

So judge if you want, but this is what we’re having for dessert tonight.

Hostess Ding Dongs

*No pun intended, but that really was a genius-type of accident, don’t you think?


  • Grandma W

    I feel bad for the company that the Union would not cut their contract. Sales are down in the past years because people are trying to get healthier. You would think the company would find a few healthier products to make, so it would make up for their loses with all the other enjoyable items they make.

    Grandma W

  • TheNextMartha

    I was a ho ho fan myself. And I can picture a pile of those pies on our kitchen counter. My kids have actually never had any and now after seeing that list, maybe I’ve changed my mind about running out for a box

    • Melisa

      It’s probably mostly gone now, honestly. The cashier at Dominick’s told me that nearly every customer today had a box!

      I have a feeling the brands will be sold and produced by another company. For me it’s strictly nostalgia.

  • Narmeen

    Tonight we bought 2 boxes of the cupcakes, one Ring Ding and one HoHo!!! I forgot about the SnoBalls! I also haven’t been able to find in a long time the Blueberry Pie. Cannot find the Twinkies! Going to try other stores if we’re near different ones this weekend! My husband and son want to fry them! I could eat that stuff when I was younger and burned it off – not so much now!!! LOL!!! But I had to get the cupcakes just in case I never see them again!!!

  • Dawndi

    My heart breaks for the thousands out of work. I could rant and rave about my feelings about that, but I’ll save it. (you’re welcome!) 😉 My sister and I would take turns bringing each other a treat and would serve it in the cake tin and unveil it with a flourish. (“Madame, your treat is served!”) My favorite was when she smeared my Ho hos with peanut butter. Oh…how I love Hostess. And don’t get me started on the chocolate Donettes. Really…don’t get me started because I can’t quit eating them!

  • Mom24@4evermom

    Very bummed. I don’t normally buy Hostess products, but I’m hoping when I’m at the store tomorrow there’ll still be some left, if there are, we’ll be stocking up. 🙂

  • Shannon

    My mom used to pack us semi-nutritious lunches…unless it was field trip day. Then we got to go to the grocery with her and pick what we wanted for our lunch. I always got those Hostess Cherry Pies. So, I agree. For many people, it’s a nostalgia thing. I noticed Target’s Hostess section was pretty much cleaned out yesterday.

  • Mrs4444

    Wow. That’s a LOT of people getting let go.

    Ho Hoes? HoHos? Ho Hos? are my favorite. I hadn’t really cared about the Twinkie thing, but HO HOs?! 🙁

    I love this post and think you are exactly right 🙂 Gonna share this…

  • Kathy

    I haven’t had a Hostess product in years but it’s true I’m sad for the workers and it is a part of our youth. Growing up we only had Hostess on special occasions ….it certainly wasn’t in my Charlie’s Angels lunch pail everyday! It’s sad to think there is a generation that will not know what a twinkle is!

  • Tara R.

    I saw an ebay ad where someone was trying to sell a box of Twinkies for $135. It’s another sign of the apocalypse.

    It’s a sad situation that so many people are losing their jobs. I hope another company can step in and rescue this brand.

  • Mary

    I heard on the radio that a box of twinkies is going for $100 on ebay. Craziness. I thought they were nasty, anyway! Little Debbies are the way to go! 🙂