Ah, the evil unions have destroyed an icon of Americana. The wild Twinkie once roamed the shores of this great nation. Nearly the apex snack food and certainly the apex sponge cake. They were mighty, filled with sugary goodness (and things that most people can’t pronounce). Indeed, they were hallowed by all.
But no more will the Twinkies roam the land… at least until another bakery company (one that knows what the hell they are doing in a business ecology) buys the rights to “Twinkies”.
Unions are not totally at fault for killing Hostess. There has to be a great deal of blame laid at the company executives who gave themselves 80% raises in 2011. Of course, the paltry few million in raises was meaningless against the massive hundreds of millions of dollars that Hostess had in debt.
To give you an example of the idiocy of the Hostess management chain, they came out of their first bankruptcy deeper in debt than they went in. There may have been good financial reasons at the time, but it doesn’t make sense to me. And then they failed to capitalize (literally) on their bankruptcy with new equipment, new processes, and a leaner (i.e. less expensive) system.
Now, their deals with the unions were not good for the company. And the unions took a hard line (what do you expect after years of union member layoffs, reduction in benefits, wages, etc followed by a executive raise and bonus package) and it all came apart.
Hostess is a case study in how NOT to do business in the modern world.
Most of the information in this post came from this article at Fortune. Hostess is bankrupt… again. It’s a long, detailed article that explains all the major issues that Hostess had. They were doomed to fail long, long ago. It’s just coincidence that the final failure came days after the election.
Edit to Add (because I love you all):
How to make your own “Hostess” cupcakes (except that are good and contain some espresso).