Snapping up the last Twinkie

twenkies.jpgWell, maybe the last. As you doubtless know by now, Hostess Brands announced that it would be closing its plants and firing about 18,000 workers after it was unable to reach a labor agreement. There's been a lot of "How could this happen?" lamenting this morning - much of it coming from boomers who were brought up on Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, Ho-Hos and the like (I was strictly a cupcake man). Of course, that was 50 or so years ago - it's probably been decades since I had a Hostess product and I suspect I'm not alone. This is the predictable hand-wringing to the demise of an icon - when the Herald-Examiner went out of business, you heard the same regrets coming from folks who hadn't read the paper in years. They don't seem to understand the cold reality that businesses cannot survive on nostalgia. There's just too much competition - from the warehouse stores, from the cupcake boutiques, from the shopping mall cinnamon bun emporiums, from our own kitchens. Back when I was a kid, we had none of that. The company said that while it was unsuccessful in finding a buyer for the whole business, it has received proposals for certain parts. From the WSJ:

Adam Hanft, a branding strategist behind Hanft Projects, sees the potential for new life in the liquidation of the decades-old company. A fresh owner of the intellectual property, which includes everything from names to recipes to graphics, could revitalize the Hostess brands, which Mr. Hanft sees as weakened but not lacking potential. He envisioned new flavors, limited-edition Twinkies, products co-branded with independent music groups and the potential for an international reach. "Its nutritional emptiness in the right hands could be its core strength," he said, explaining that a buyer that embraces the brand's "kitschy," "deliciously retro" feel could be rewarded with a hipster following. He foresees a potentially diverse crowd of bidders for the property.

I'm not so sure. Closing up Hostess also means closing up a wide distribution network, meaning that products might not be so easy to find. They also might have a different flavor. And once the attention fades, any new owner would be stuck with the same old problems. In any event, here a link to the Hostess Bakery Outlets (they're likely to sell out fast). Among some of the locals:

6325 San Fernando Road
Glendale, CA 91201

Millbrook / Hostess
352 E. Slausen
Los Angeles, CA 90003

Wonder / Hostess
12539 South Prairie
Hawthorne, CA 90250

Wonder / Hostess
17201 So. Figueroa
Gardena, CA 90248

Millbrook / Hostess
8438 Eastern Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201

Wonder / Hostess
9847 De soto Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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