Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hostess: they just knead a little more dough

The news is bad: it’s not just Twinkies.  It’s the whole line of Hostess bread and treats.

Remember when the adage used to be “As GM goes, so goes the nation.”  I guess that’s (unfortunately) still true,

nationalize thisNationalize This!

butt now we may have Hostess to add to the axiom: As the Wonder bread goes, so too goes the nation.

Let’s review: a few years back the Health Police declared Wonder bread, while basically nutritious, not healthy enough to pass their new rigorous requirements for what THEY want you to eat (fiber). So even though there is nothing wrong with white Wonder bread, other than it tastes good, and even though it has served as the anchor of sandwiches that fueled the work day of America’s workers and students for generations, Hostess felt compelled to mix it up a bit.

What else can you do when Health Police edicts give preference to other breads that aren’t as white? The Hostess company began to give into the self-loathing that sprang from the continual onslaught of allegations that their bread was responsible for all that’s wrong with America. They were accused of causing everything from impoverished, underperforming inner city schools kids to the national diabetes epidemic. In addition, their unions accused them of being greedy capitalists making money off the backs of the working class. The self-hate began to take its toll. The shareholders voted to try something new, hoping the CHANGE would increase their approval ratings and thereby increase the value of their stock. So they expanded their product line:


They began offering everything from plain old white to 100% Whole Wheat and every shade in between.

Public pressure to stop eating white bread altogether continued until Won day, Wonder Bread lost it’s foothold with the enlightened class altogether:

Wonder Bread may be losing its, well, wonder. When it comes to sliced bread, shoppers are spending more on whole wheat than white for the first time. Though white is still slightly ahead in volume, at 1.5 billion packages sold in the last year to 1.3 billion of wheat, that gap is shrinking. And in dollar sales, wheat crept up 0.6% in the last year, to $2.6 billion, while white dropped 7%, to $2.5 billion.

Although I should note that the 100% whole wheat bread is still a tough sell because some people simply refuse to wean themselves completely from the bread that brought them this far. Butt for those who believe the proclamations of the Health Police and don’t want to be accused of being narrow-minded when it comes to their eating habits, the bread of choice seems to be made from a 50/50 blend of white and whole wheat flours. It doesn’t taste as good, their cholesterol levels and weight have gone up slightly due to the sugars and fillers used to make it more acceptable on the palate, and it cost a lot more, butt they’re convinced they’re doing the right thing, so they’re sticking with it.

Being a mirror, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really get the whole concept of self-loathing; everyone that peers into my reflective glory seems to love themselves.


Butt as I understand it, the psyche of self-contempt has something to do with a self-image generated exclusively by other people’s concept of who/what you should be instead of who you actually are, and your subsequent inability to live up to it. I’m afraid this psychological malady might in part be responsible for the demise of Hostess.

Sure, the company’s largest union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), has to shoulder some of the responsibility, having initiated the nationwide strike after rejecting an offer made through bankruptcy court. Butt in addition to the years of union demands that crippled the company's profitability, so too did the company’s foray into politically correct diversity. They began offering so many new colors and flavors of the day, hoping to attract new customers, that they confused the old customers. They bought something thinking it was another thing and ended up being so disenchanted with the product that they finally stopped buying Hostess altogether and went for Little Debbies.

Allow me to state my case: I reflect, you decide:

What started out on the bread line moved quickly into every other division of Hostess. First to be “improved” in the delicious snacks division was the iconic white Snoball:


Apparently white ones were no longer good enough, so they stared to make pink, blue -even lavender Snoballs! Thankfully, however, no yellow.

          91287256-260x260-0-0_Hostess Hostess Sno Balls 8 full size packs 2 cakeblue snowball

         hostess_sno_balls_02lavendar snowballs

Next, came the iconic Twinkie. They couldn’t even let the the little cream-like filled sponge cake retain it’s exclusive claim to “vanilla,” and had to add a chocolate and raspberry variety to the brand to make it hip.

2914485380_twinkie_answer_1_xlarge_xlarge       800px-Hostess-Rspbry-Zingers71-resize-380x300chocodile twinkie

Oh well, frankly Twinkies haven’t tasted the same ever since they replaced the lard in the filling with Crisco.

Next to fall to the PC hammer, the time honored Hostess “cupcake.” Up until recent years, “cupcake” meant chocolate if it came in a cellophane wrapper. No longer diverse enough, because some people are allergic, they added orange:

hostess_orange_cupcake_02SONY DSCslide_263863_1768881_freedsc_0969

Nothing wrong with that butt you can imagine the confusion when you buy one thing, and get something different altogether.

Ditto the world class Ding Dongs; where chocolate sufficed for decades, they had to make orange Ding Dongs all of a sudden - masquerading as Big Wheels :

 hostess_ding_dong orange chief big wheel

As far as I know, the Ho Ho is the only treat that they didn’t subject to their diversity program, possibly because everyone knows it’s unwise to mess around with a Ho.


Even then, that didn’t stop them from trying to “tart” her up a little to broaden the appeal to other snack world constituencies:


Still a Ho, butt dressed up as a penguin

There are plenty of other people who still  blame the Hostess demise on the mascots who have been around forever. Their thinking is that they failed to change with the times, no longer held any appeal to this generation’s youngsters who now go to the internet to get their cute logos and information on what sugary snack food to buy. As you can see below, the fast paced world changed butt the Hostess mascots stayed mired in their old school, stodgy ways; ultimately becoming the very symbols of the stereotypical America that the Hostess brand managers were trying to shrug off with new diverse products that nobody was buying:

                  king kong dong      3571737571_6ebd80f97e_o

King Ding Dong, too fat; Happy Ho Ho, too happy (butt not gay enough):


    captaincupcake too fatfruit-pie-the-magician too rich1chief big wheel too offensice

Captain Cupcake, too authoritative; Fruit Pie Magician, too rich; Chief Big Wheels, too insensitive to America’s First Peoples:

Or - let’s face it- they were just too white:

                twinkiethekid.jtoo whiteWonder%20Classic

So I guess there’s plenty of reason for self-loathing here. And while I understand that one of the characteristics of the syndrome is to assume responsibility for other people’s moral failures, I don’t see how it benefits anything. In this case I’m not even sure what it means.

I for one would just like to go on record as saying that I do not hold Hostess accountable for the upcoming Twinkie shortage, nor to I blame them for the fact that people want to eat fried Twinkies.

deep_fried_twinkieDude! Have you ever HAD one!?!

So I’m not sure just exactly where to place the blame for the loss of these 18,500 jobs:

      Hostess_bakeries_BCTGMho ho strikers

I leave that up to others:

atlashostess-via ADiOwnTheWorld  via American Digest

For my part, I just take solace in knowing that there will be no shortage of Twinkies, Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s in Washington.

  howdy messina

hey joe where'd you get that smilepelosi_stupid_grin

As for the rest of the country, just consider yourselves lucky.

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