In an era where society has become increasingly health-conscious, and "junk food" is becoming more and more of an endangered species, if you will, comes word that the maker of some of that "junk food" is calling it a day.
Hostess Brands announced today that they were shutting down, having been crippled by a strike by one of the unions that represent a goodly number of the company's employees. Hostess is better known for its family of snacks including Twinkies, Ho Ho's, and Hostess Fruit Pies. More recently, the company had acquired the Ding Dongs brand of snack cakes from Drake's, a former subsidiary of Borden, and had taken over the Dolly Madison line of products that at one time were endorsed by Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Also, the company made the Wonder & Home Pride brands of bread. Wonder, of course, was well known for its ad campaign, which promoted healthy eating among children.
The brands, reportedly, are going up for sale. Hostess had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the beginning of the year, and a sale of their iconic brands would be the only way those brands remain in the marketplace.
The end of Hostess as we know it means the end of classic commercials featuring their animated mascots, which haven't been done in years. This 1980 ad features Twinkie the Kid and Fruitpie the Magician.
Some will say that this was inevitable, with the greater emphasis on healthy eating. Of the brands on the block, Wonder & Home Pride are likely to be moved first, as I can see someone picking them up real quick. Smaller food companies, like Mrs. Freshley's, for example, would be looking at upgrading by buying the Hostess or Dolly Madison brands, provided of course that they have the resources to do so. We'll just have to wait & see.