Missing HoHos Yet? How about the 18,000 Jobs that Went With Them?

The decision by senior management at Hostess Brands to liquidate the company drew massive media attention. Hostess Twinkies are an iconic part of American pop culture, after all, a natural to grab a large audience.

And the move meant the loss of 18,000 jobs. Senior management likely thinks it will catch on with whichever company buys its iconic brands while the average worker will be unemployed for Christmas this year and into 2013.

Bah Humbug on you Hostess management for dropping the ball when it came to product innovation, and when it came to keeping your fingers on the pulse of a consuming public that simply doesn’t want Wonder bread (another Hostess product) anymore. The unions could have worked for free and that company still would have eventually failed. Now others will buy the brands and slash labor costs to improve short-term results. But unless they too become more innovative, the brands will continue their declines.

My Hostess product of choice as a child growing up in New York was a Drakes Cakes product, Ring Dings. Hostess subsequently bought Drakes, which was independent and later owned by Borden’s when I was growing up.

When I moved to the Midwest, where Drakes is not sold, I switched to Hostess cupcakes at first, then Susie Q’s and eventually HoHos. HoHos became my junk food addiction, to the point where last year I wrote about eating more than 100,000 calories of HoHos, or 29.8 pounds.

Bye bye HoHos

I had vowed to cut down and now have been forced to since my angioplasty Aug. 13. In the three months since my surgery, I had eaten four packages of HoHos. I would have that in two days last year.

So when I heard the news about Hostess shutting down, I bought myself two packages, my fifth and sixth in three months, and thoroughly enjoyed them, perhaps even more than before, since I missed the taste so much.

Entering them into my Lose It! calorie-counting app reminded me, though, why they are out for me these days. Those two packs have 34 grams of fat (I’m not to exceed 40 grams a day on my new restricted diet). They also have 440 mgs of salt, about a fourth of my new target of 1,600 mgs a day. The saturated fat in them is 26 grams, more than double my target of 10 grams a day. And the sugar content is 84 grams, again more than double the 40 gram daily target. The two packages, six HoHos, total 740 calories, so eating them put me over my daily 2,100 calorie limit for one of only three time since my surgery (the other two came when I ate large amounts of Barilla Plus multigrain pasta).

I normally would be eating them today, to celebrate a day of Black Friday shopping bargains. But, it’s obvious why I can’t eat HoHos anymore. The brand likely will be bought by another company now, I’m hoping they change and cheapen the formula to make them less desirable to me.
John N. Frank

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