Hostess, Maker Of Twinkies, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Hostess, Maker Of Twinkies, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Twinkies maker Hostess Brands Inc., is again seeking protection from its creditors, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the company tries to cope with high debt and rising costs of labor and raw materials.

Hostess, which also makes Ho Hos, Sno Balls, and Wonder Bread, is a privately held company based in Irving, Tex. It owes millions to suppliers and labor unions. The company has reportedly found some financing to keep it running during bankruptcy proceedings.

For our Newscast desk, Larry Abramson reports:

"Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy in 2004, reemerged in 2009, but has been struggling ever since. In this most recent filing, Hostess lists the Bakery and Confectionary Union Pension fund as its largest creditor, with a debt of $994 million. Hostess is also behind in payments to a long list of suppliers, such as Cargill."

And part of the problem is that sales of Twinkies are down.

"Nearly 36 million packages of Twinkies were sold in the year ended Dec. 25, down almost 2 percent from a year earlier, according to data from SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market-research firm," reports The Wall Street Journal.

The company, which has roots reaching back to 1930, has also suffered as consumers move away from white bread and toward more whole-grain breads.

And sales of Twinkies have suffered despite its prime product placement in the 2009 film Zombieland.

As Michael Graupmann writes over at CultureMap Austin:

"As for me and my house, we will be stockpiling all the Twinkies. Cuz you never know when the zombie apocalypse is gonna hit, and all you're going to want is a sweet, cream-filled treat with your friend — all of our friend, really — Twinkie the Kid, giving you that old familiar thumb's up."

The Twinkie's popular reputation as a snack cake that would never spoil led a science teacher in Maine to conduct a 30-year experiment to determine the cake's shelf life.

In 2005, that teacher, Roger Bennatti, spoke with Michele Norris of All Things Considered about the scientific process he used.

"I unwrapped the Twinkies, and I immediately ate one," he said. "And I simply placed the second Twinkie on top of the blackboard, and we began our experiment."

After 30 years, Bennatti said, the cake had resisted mold, and had dried out to an "off-yellow" color. He did not think it was a good idea to try a bite, however.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Why Do We Love Football So Much? Theater Tackles Tough Questions

A play based on interviews with former NFL players, their families and fans digs deep: What's so fun about a sport that devastates bodies and brains? And what if it can't be made safer?
NPR

Shake Shack Sizzles With IPO As McDonald's Fizzles

Shares of the burger chain shot up Friday, its first trading day. Shake Shack and other fast-casual joints are taking a bite out of McDonald's, which can't recast itself to fit the current trend.
WAMU 88.5

Krupicka Wants Landlords To Be More Transparent About Mold

The Northern Virginia delegate has introduced legislation to make sure renters have access to information about mold.
NPR

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

As people disappear from the audiences of conventional news organizations, 11 media outlets have partnered with Snapchat in the U.S. to offer its younger users easily digested fare within the app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.