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The Glorious Return of the Twinkie 528

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-in-my-belly dept.
iggymanz writes "The geek food staple the Twinkie is coming back. The sturdy main component of the foundation to the geek four food groups of sugar, fat, caffeine and bacon — with rumored shelf life on the order of the time span to cool a white dwarf to room temperature — the Twinkie, along with Ding-Dongs, Ho-Ho's and Cupcakes, will be returning 15 July 2013 to the shelves under new management of Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulous & Co which paid over 400 mega dollars (U.S.) for the brands."
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The Glorious Return of the Twinkie

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  • by firegate (134408) on Monday June 24, 2013 @12:51PM (#44093597) Homepage
    Are they like regular dollars with superpowers?
    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Monday June 24, 2013 @12:56PM (#44093673) Homepage Journal
      Yes. They have the strength of a million normal dollars. Personally, I welcome the newest addition to the SI unit family. (What could be more ironic than the addition of a highly-variable American currency to a French system intended to be as constant as possible? Nothing, friends. Let us rejoice.)
    • by sjames (1099)

      yes. A dollar won't even buy you a cup of coffee. A mega dollar can make crime legal and get people to like you even if you're an entitled sneering jackass with an ego the size of Texas.

      • Re:Mega Dollars? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:12PM (#44094619) Homepage Journal

        Why should it? In 1975(just before the Brazilian Freeze Coffee (an 8 oz cup) on average was 30 cents, 50 cents a year later)
        From http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi [westegg.com]

        What cost $.30 in 1975 would cost $1.26 in 2012.

        A Tall at Starbucks* is 1.35. And it's in a coffee specialty store, not a Denny's like restaurant.

        *I'm not a fan of Starbucks, I use them becasue they are pretty much everywhere.

        • by g0bshiTe (596213)
          As opposed to the local convenience store of choice or gas station which also has coffee and probably a good bit cheaper.
          • Most Gas_Station_Coffee around here still sits in little round glass jugs on hotplates for hours, and tastes like it came from Satan's bladder. The stuff in the the thermos carafes is somewhat better.
        • That makes me feel better about where I live. I don't know of any Starbucks in nearby towns.

          I make my coffee at home where it is cheaper and doesn't taste like the brown water you get from Dunkin Doughnuts.
    • by SailorSpork (1080153) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:10PM (#44093837) Homepage
      It's part of the new dual-currency system they're introducing in the US off of the highly successful Free 2 Play game system model and gamification of real life. Dollars can be earned through normal gameplay, mega-dollars can only be purchased by the Rich or Politically Connected and are required to unlock the best stuff in the the game.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      A megadollar is about 2.23 forlongdollars.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Serious answer- presumably they mean "million", as in megahertz or megajoule.

      I for one find the idea of SI prefixes for currency exciting in ways I can't quite explain.

      On the other hand, they might have meant $1,048,576, in which case god help us all.

    • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:20PM (#44095369)

      A megadollar could get you two chicks at the same time.

    • Re:Mega Dollars? (Score:4, Informative)

      by infolation (840436) on Monday June 24, 2013 @05:41PM (#44096467)
      Well, let's say this Twinkie represents the normal sized dollar in the New York area. Based on this article's example, 400 mega dollars would be a Twinkie... thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.
  • Shelf life (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bodero (136806) on Monday June 24, 2013 @12:52PM (#44093619)

    with rumored shelf life on the order of the time span to cool a white dwarf to room temperature

    From the AP [tbo.com]:

    During bankruptcy proceedings, Hostess had said that its overall sales had been declining, although the company didn't give a breakout on the performance of individual brands. But Seban is confident Twinkies will have staying power beyond its re-launch.


    As for the literal shelf-life, Seban is quick to refute the snack cake's fabled indestructibility.


    "Forty-five days - that's it," he said. "They don't last forever."

  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:00PM (#44093711)

    The geek food staple the Twinkie is coming back.

    Ok, show of hands. Who among you has actually consumed a twinkie after grade school? Last one I had was during the Reagan administration. Obviously they sell but I cannot recall the last time I saw anyone actually eat one. It's like the National Enquirer of foods. They apparently sell lots but you never actually see anyone buying them.

    I don't really know any geeks who eat twinkies either. Is this a thing in some part of the country? I know some geeks who are overly fond of sugary treats (I'm one) but twinkies never seem to be in the shopping cart.

    • I do eat Ding Dongs but not very often. The rest of it, no.
    • I've probably eaten 5 Twinkies in my life. We were a Ding Dong household -- that was our choice from mom.

      I will say, Ding Dongs lost some cachet moving away from a tinfoil wrapper. Oh those glorious vacuumjammers!

    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      I was wondering the same thing. The only people I see buying and eating twinkies are the housewives or cat ladies. There seems to be a real media saturation about them, though, for whatever reason.

    • by gsslay (807818)

      No-one eats them. Why do you think the company went bankrupt?

      However, there is a meme that appears to have the perpetual life of the undead (rather like their shelf-life *rimshot*) that they are the food of choice for unhealthy slobs who don't cook everywhere. We are to believe has a big overlap on the geek population.

      As far as observational comedy goes, it got old at least 20 years ago and went meta observational around the same time. Say, have you every noticed how many comedians use twinkies as a lazy

      • No-one eats them. Why do you think the company went bankrupt?

        They sold 36 million of them [wikipedia.org] in 2011. That's a lot of twinkies if "no-one" is eating them. I just can't figure out who.

        Why do you think the company went bankrupt?

        They went bankrupt because their (union) labor costs, pension costs and debt load. Incompetent management probably played a role somewhere in there too. They had significant revenue but their costs were out of line with the amount of revenue.

        • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:50PM (#44094351) Homepage Journal

          The union took cuts twice, and each time management gave themselves huge bonuses (million +), . SO after that, why would the union cut yet again?

          The union stepped up and did their part, and management screwed them, and refused to make an actual management changes.

          • The union took cuts twice, and each time management gave themselves huge bonuses (million +), . SO after that, why would the union cut yet again?

            The union played a game of chicken with management and lost. I think it is clear the management was incompetent (and greedy) but apparently so was the union. The company had already been through bankruptcy once before. The union leadership BADLY misread the strength of their position and it cost a lot of people their jobs.

            I think the negotiation went something like this.

            Mgt: We need wage concessions, etc.
            Union: We're going on strike
            Mgt: We're going to liquidate the company if you do that
            Union: You're a b

            • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:12PM (#44094625)

              Nice rewrite of what actually happened. One of the two major reason that Hostess escaped bankruptcy in 2009 was that the union allowed thousands in job cuts and agreed to benefit cuts to the tune of $110 million. So to act like the unions did nothing is utter nonsense. They only threatened striking after the incompetent management told them that they had to make even deeper concessions

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Hatta (162192)

              It went more like this.

              Mgt: We need wage concessions, etc.
              Union: OK
              Mgt: Let's pay our selves some handsome bonuses
              Later...
              Mgt: We need wage concessions, etc.
              Union: OK
              Mgt: Let's pay our selves some handsome bonuses
              Later...
              Mgt: We need wage concessions, etc.
              Union: We're going on strike
              Mgt: We're going to liquidate the company if you do that
              Union: You're a bunch of liars and poopyheads
              Mgt: We warned you

            • by kimvette (919543) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:52PM (#44095637) Homepage Journal

              In the unions' defense: both the teamsters and the bakers union had agreed to concessions previously, while executives were ignoring the consultant they hired to fix problems and instead used Hostess as their own personal piggy bank, pocketing everything that was saved by cutting benefits and pay. It wasn't until last year that the board finally grew wise and axed the executives and promoted the outside consultant, and they did seriously try to turn the company around. The CEO of the time did NOT draw bonuses after taking the company into chapter 7.

              The bakers union had cause (based on previous experience) to disbelieve the new boss ("meet the new boss, same as the old boss" is usually true) and think they were playing chicken when they threatened to board up the company. They weren't kidding, the new boss was seriously trying to turn things around and Hostess was not liquid enough to survive, so they recalled all the trucks the next morning, closed the factories, and that was that.

              Interesting tidbit: the Teamsters knew the score actually tried to coax the Bakers Union negotiators to agree, because the cut the last Hostess CEO requested was to be a temporary one, until (if) the company got back on track. The Bakers' Union ignored the Teamsters and decided it was another bluff. Unfortunately for Hostess employees, it was not a bluff. It was game over.

            • by jdev (227251) on Monday June 24, 2013 @04:08PM (#44095783)
              Unions had already agreed to $100 million in concessions during the previous bankruptcy. The bakers union was being asked for something like an additional 25% in cuts over 5 years, while there were reports of raises and bonuses for management. On top of all that, management had stopped contributing to the pension fund and there is still a lawsuit over that. Agreeing to the cuts would have taken wages well under the market average could have depressed wages for the entire bakers industry. So let's not try to play this as a one-sided "unions are dumb" argument. There were good reasons for the unions to reject the concessions management proposed.
            • by rsilvergun (571051) on Monday June 24, 2013 @08:48PM (#44097321)
              I've got MOD points but I can't let this slide. The management was very, very competent. It's just they were after something other than a successful company. To wit: The Pension Fund. The hard part about stealing a pension fund is doing it legally. It requires enormous skill, business and legal knowledge to do it.

              What Hostess' management did wasn't just mismanagement, it was a complete lack of management. The bought the company, paid themselves just well enough to stay within the bounds of legality, and then ignored the company entirely. They put no effort into expanding, into controlling and managing the supply chain, or into anything else. Then they sat back, waiting for the company to die and used the pension to pay back the creditors they'd racked up debt with.

              The last part that makes it all nice and legal is when a judge ruled that the creditors get paid before employees do. If you paid your own cash money into your pension while working at Hostess you literally got robbed. As an added bonus they killed a major Union without any bad press.

              But nobody talks about that. All they talk about is playing an imaginary game of chicken. FYI: You can't win a game that the other side isn't really playing.
          • by steveha (103154) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:03PM (#44095175) Homepage

            The union stepped up and did their part, and management screwed them, and refused to make an actual management changes.

            Actually, no.

            I followed this story. The way it actually worked:

            Hostess went into bankruptcy in 2004. It found investors who bailed it out and it kept going.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostess_Brands#Bankruptcy_.282004.29 [wikipedia.org]

            Hostess went into bankruptcy again. It found additional investors who bailed it out and it kept going.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostess_Brands#Bankruptcy_and_liquidation_.282012.29 [wikipedia.org]

            Hostess was running out of money. Management set up a deal that would cut costs by paying workers less. This was not what the workers wanted, but according to management, it was essential to save the jobs.

            One thing that riled up the workers: management got paid a lot. In an effort to make the workers happier, the top four guys at Hostess had their salaries lowered to $1 per year for 2012.

            http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/26/hostess-twinkies-bankrupt/ [cnn.com]

            But the major costs at Hostess had to do with worker salaries, particularly with respect to delivery of Hostess products. Union rules required Hostess snack foods and Wonder bread foods to be delivered on different trucks, which had to be loaded by different people. A "Hostess" worker couldn't load a "Wonder" truck, a "Wonder" driver couldn't drive a "Hostess" truck, and the company couldn't contract out delivery. So, if a small town in a distant location wanted to buy Hostess cakes and Wonder bread, two trucks would have to drive out there, not one. Also, there is some complicated stuff I don't really understand about Hostess paying pensions to a whole bunch of workers, many of whom had never worked for Hostess.

            http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-on-the-right/111912-633985-unions-dont-always-benefit-workers.htm?p=full [investors.com]

            http://ohioansforworkplacefreedom.com/how-unions-killed-twinkies-and-wonderbread/ [ohioansfor...reedom.com]

            Now, pay attention, because here's the key part: the Teamsters Union had been fighting with Hostess management, and they had seen the accounting numbers, and they believed that (at least on this issue) management was not lying. If Hostess didn't cut labor costs, it was doomed.

            I am not an expert on unions, but my impression is that the Teamsters Union is not exactly a shill for management.

            It wasn't Teamsters Union workers who went on strike: it was workers of a smaller union called the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). The Teamsters Union publicly told BCTGM not to strike. Check out this page from the Teamsters Union web site:

            http://www.teamster.org/content/teamsters-bakery-workers-should-hold-secret-ballot-vote-hostess [teamster.org]

            The story gets even crazier. Management publicly told BCTGM that if the strike wasn't over by a specific date, they would shut down Hostess. BCTGM continued to strike. Management shut down the company. Then... a judge ordered both sides into an extra round of negotiations, and I thought to myself, "Here is where BCTGM can back down yet save face. They were unwavering in the face of a threat, they can proudly tell their members that they didn't back down until they were forced to, but they can still save all the jobs." But it was not to be. BCTGM continued to strike and Hostess shut down.

    • by ArcadeX (866171)
      I bought a box after watching zombieland. i think i'm good for at least another few decades now, will prob take that long just to get it out of my system
  • by RenHoek (101570) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:01PM (#44093727) Homepage

    Ever since hearing that after a nuclear war the only two things left are cockroach and twinkies, I've been keeping 2 twinkies in my basement since the 80's. And they're still 100% good. So I guess it's pretty much true.

  • These foods are naughty.
  • by cellocgw (617879) <cellocgw&gmail,com> on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:03PM (#44093747) Journal

    The USA public may have been sad at the thought of a Twinkies shortage, but the Secret Shadow Government engineered this re-booting of production for one reason. They know we need massive stores of Twinkies to sustain our brave zombie-killers in the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse.

  • Everybody knows that the four food groups are salt, sugar, cholesterol, and preservatives.
    • by Quirkz (1206400)

      I've always gone by salt, sugar, grease, caffeine. Bacon isn't a group, it's just a particularly inspired combination of salt and grease.

  • It seems wrong that a brand discontinued by its owner should sell for $400 million. Perhaps I just don't understand the consumer business. Maybe that's why I'm a hardware designer...
    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:51PM (#44094369) Journal

      It seems wrong that a brand discontinued by its owner should sell for $400 million.
      Perhaps I just don't understand the consumer business.
      Maybe that's why I'm a hardware designer...

      It's not really the consumer business, it's the corporate chop-shop/knacker business.

      "Hostess Brands" has reasonably strong product lines and revenue; but it was having trouble with those pesky 'employees' who wanted 'the wages and benefits specified in their contracts', like some kind of parasitic commies or something. Some of them even had the temerity to suggest that demanding that they take major cuts when the 'Chief restructuring officer' and other higher ups had received 80% raises was a show of rather bad faith.

      By chopping up the company for parts, the various brands, which are valuable, can be divorced from any "legacy pension and medical benefit obligations and restrictive work rules"(as the company describes them, in the self-pitying tones of one who has conveniently forgotten agreeing to them...) and turned into sweet, sweet cash, any facilities worth keeping can be sold off, and operations and creditors who actually matter can continue as normal. (Thanks to a little strategic-under-funding of the pension plan, American taxpayers [pbgc.gov] will get to do their part to ensure that real creditors come out unscathed.

  • Geek Food Staple? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrGamez (1134281) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:24PM (#44094009)

    Could you not just write "Bazinga! 42! All Your Base!! xD!" instead?
    If anything, the Twinkie is the food staple to those who are too nostalgic or stupid to know to buy ANYTHING ELSE.

    The sturdy main component of the foundation to the geek four food groups of sugar, fat, caffeine and bacon

    Ugh. I feel ashamed this is in the summary.

  • They must be happy now to have their Twinkies back! ;)

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:35PM (#44094147) Homepage

    The reason that Hostess went under is that management refused to play nice with their unionized workforce, and they decided that they'd rather have no company than a union shop. Now that the union is busted, they've restarted production with a non-unionized workforce, "generously" allowing those workers to return to their old jobs at about 1/3 what they were paid before.

    And if you're wondering which side to blame: Before the strike that ended Hostess, there were a couple rounds of the union taking pay and benefit cuts followed by management giving themselves bonuses for convincing the union to accept the cuts. That's why the union didn't buy the "but if you don't take the cuts, the company will go under" argument.

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:38PM (#44094179)
    This is another case of corporate S.O.P: declare bankruptcy for one reason; to void any and all obligations to current - and especially - retired employees.

    So as you gorge on your new Twinkiees, try to ignore that no doubt they were made by newly or re-hired workers from the now-permanent underclass: longer hours, lower wages, little or no benefits, and laughable health insurance.

    Not that much of this will matter to the increasingly Randian crowd on Slashdot.
    • by HCase (533294) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:02PM (#44094517)

      "Not that much of this will matter to the increasingly Randian crowd on Slashdot."

      Oh, please. You know that if a worker just shows a little initiative, and works hard on the twinkie production line, they will be rewarded with wage increases and promotions until they are able to join elite non moocher society. /s

    • by Rakarra (112805)

      This is another case of corporate S.O.P: declare bankruptcy for one reason; to void any and all obligations to current - and especially - retired employees.

      This is one reason why I dislike corporate pensions so much -- there are so many ways for companies to get out of those obligations. Never accept compensation that assumes that the company will even be around anymore in the next month, much less the next year.

      Corporate 401ks are almost benign in comparison.

  • Glorious indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:15PM (#44094673)

    Welcome back, Type II Diabetes. We have missed you.

  • by goffster (1104287) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:05PM (#44095201)

    Same great product! Without that heavy union after-taste.

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