A Ho Ho-less world? Can that be possible? Some people worried about that yesterday after Hostess Brands Inc. announced that it is going out of business. The Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet in Gahanna was among stores nationwide that were packed as customers zipped in to snap up their favorite snacks.
A Ho Ho-less world? Can that be possible?
Some people worried about that yesterday after Hostess Brands Inc. announced that it is going out of business. The Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet in Gahanna was among stores nationwide that were packed as customers zipped in to snap up their favorite snacks.
Alison Hunter, 20, of Gahanna, left the store with 17 packages of white Sno Balls. Her plan? Freeze them. “I like my Sno Balls,” she said.
Crystal Stair, 49, of Galion, pushed a shopping cart full of Wonder Bread, orange Glo Balls, Brownie Bites and Twinkies toward her car.
Stair, who was on her lunch hour, said she “grew up strong” on Wonder white bread and is a regular at the W. Johnstown Road store.But the demise of Hostess doesn’t necessarily mean the end of those products.
Other companies might scoop them up, capitalizing on their well-known names, after a bankruptcy judge approves a plan to liquidate Hostess’ assets, including its brands and facilities. “If I were still in business buying consumer companies, I would look strongly at these brands,” said Harold Green, a senior lecturer in the finance department at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
“What I see happening is another bakery picking the brands up and not the plants and employees,” said Green, who was involved in acquisitions when he worked for Borden from 1975 to 1994.
Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court asking permission to close and liquidate its assets. It did so after striking workers wouldn’t agree to the company’s demands for more wage and benefits cuts. About 18,500 workers are losing their jobs.
Hostess employs 28 people in the Columbus area and 867 statewide. It closed its Cincinnati bakery this week. It also has bakeries in Defiance and Northwood near Toledo.
To consumers, the company’s products , including the Twinkie, are iconic. “When the big bomb drops, two things will last — cockroaches and Twinkies,” Green said.
In fact, that’s one of the scenes from the 2008 movie WALL-E, depicting a cockroach with a centuries-old Twinkie.
Pop culture is strewn with references to Hostess products. For example, when the living dead roamed the Earth in the 2009 movie Zombieland, Woody Harrelson’s survivor character craved one thing: Twinkies.Stair found Twinkies yesterday but was disappointed that the store had only one package of Suzy Qs, the devil’s food cake treat with cream filling. The store had been cleaned out of Ho Hos by lunchtime.
“I was so bummed they were already out,” said 16-year-old Janna Kent of Gahanna, who left the store with five full bags of goodies for $25.
Hostess will keep its retail outlets open for another seven to 10 days to sell its remaining products, company spokesman Erik Halvorson said.
Stair said she hopes some company buys the brands she loves and keeps making them, “as long as they don’t change the recipe,” she said.
Other Hostess dessert brands on the extinction list are CupCakes, Ding Dongs, Donettes, Funny Bones and Yodels; other bread brands are Beefsteak, Butternut, Home Pride, Merita and Nature’s Pride.