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Twinkies: The Breakfast of Champion Programmers Still Hard To Get

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the tell-him-about-the-twinkie dept.

News 223

An anonymous reader writes "When Hostess, baker of Twinkies, filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in November, Twinkies were no more. Then, a private equity firm bought the business for $410 million and planned to resume production in 'The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.' Now, an article in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette reports that they're still hard to get, since an unprecedented demand has caused orders to exceed production capacity 'by a significant amount.'"

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223 comments

Pathetic (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44540999)

It's pathetic that there could be that much of a demand for 'Twinkies'; the food of the unhealthy and overweight.

Re:Pathetic (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#44541005)

That's a bit rich coming from someone making an anonymous comment on an internet article, which is about the intellectual equivalent of a vending machine breakfast. I say this as a past-master at both activities.

Re:Pathetic (5, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 8 months ago | (#44541219)

In any case, what exactly is a twinkie? And are they designed for oral ingestion or for insertion via another orifice?

Re:Pathetic (1)

psergiu (67614) | about 8 months ago | (#44541451)

A (semi)solid food equivalent of a "sugary-water" drink.
Basically, a device created to facilitate the ingestion of sugar and/or corn-syrup.

Re:Pathetic (5, Informative)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about 8 months ago | (#44541759)

They are pound or sponge cake with a highly fat filled marshmallow creme filling. They are incredibly easy to make.

Todd Wilbur has a great video [youtube.com] on how to duplicate them at home. He does the same for a lot of snack foods -- Does a great Oreo [youtube.com] too.

Personally I'm not terribly excited for Twinkies' return. This most recent mess was the result of a bunch of Romney-style Capitalists trying to bust Hostess' Union for more profit, being helped along with assholes on Fox News blaming the victims of 10+ years of those assholes sucking Hostess dry.

The new Hostess is non-union and has lost most of it's talent -- and no American should ever support Union busting.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541351)

So, you prefer the ad hominem argument to dismiss people's opinions and ideas instead actually dealing with the opinions and ideas?

The USA Constitution supports the use of anonymous speech. You don't? It makes you a NSA-master!

(Disclaimer: I love baked goods and sweets. Yummy, Yummy in my Tummy! Though I don't eat them often at all.)

Re:Pathetic (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 8 months ago | (#44541723)

The NSA LOVES "Anonymous" communication.

As long as you think your communications are anonymous you are more likely to say something good.

Re:Pathetic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541791)

So if you mod me to +5 Insightful you're doing your patriotic duty?

Re:Pathetic (-1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 8 months ago | (#44541019)

What do they care? They don't have to take responsibility for their actions since you and I get to pick up the tab for their medical expenses.

Lesson learned: you get penalized if you're healthy.

Re:Pathetic (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 8 months ago | (#44541069)

What is this magic healthcare we pay for that makes them healthy and keeps them alive as long as you and I?

My understanding is no amount of money will fix type 2 diabetes and obesity in a non-compliant patient. Odds are these are going to be cheap deaths. If you want to lower healthcare costs you have to get people to do more of this stuff. Us healthy folks living into our 80s and 90s requiring round the clock care is where the real costs are.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541129)

Us healthy folks living into our 80s and 90s requiring round the clock care is where the real costs are.

The "Death Panels" will take care of you. [ /sarcasm ]

Re:Pathetic (4, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about 8 months ago | (#44541309)

Us healthy folks living into our 80s and 90s requiring round the clock care is where the real costs are.

The "Death Panels" will take care of you. [ /sarcasm ]

The death panels already exist and have existed for years and years - however their correct name is Actuary.

Re:Pathetic (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 8 months ago | (#44541361)

We could do with doctors having some end of live training. I have watched too many elderly relatives treated with expensive and painful procedures that only managed to lengthen their suffering a very short amount of time. Often increasing their suffering for that time. Yeah, lets try chemo on an 85 year old who is more cancer than man! What the hell is wrong with these doctors?

Re:Pathetic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541643)

What the hell is wrong with these doctors?

The patients ask for it. I am a doctor. Many people say that they are at peace with dying, but when they are actually near death, NO ONE really means it. In 20 years, I have seen too many people die than I can count. All of them wanted everything done, regardless of the cost and side effects, and questionable benefit. If there was even the slightest question of prolonging their life 10 minutes, as long as it was covered by insurance, then they insisted on the treatment. But I'm sure you don't want to hear that. It's easier to blame the doctor.

Re:Pathetic (4, Insightful)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | about 8 months ago | (#44541677)

We could do with doctors having some end of live training. I have watched too many elderly relatives treated with expensive and painful procedures that only managed to lengthen their suffering a very short amount of time. Often increasing their suffering for that time. Yeah, lets try chemo on an 85 year old who is more cancer than man! What the hell is wrong with these doctors?

Doctors!? What about 85 Year Old Cancer Man's fearful obsession with trying to eke out even a possible tiny few months more of life? What about 85 Year Old Cancer Man's family who sues the doctor years after Cancer Man dies because the doc "didn't do all he could and spend tens of thousands of dollars to eke out another few months of pitiful life for our father/son/husband!!!!11lleleventy"

Talking directly to Cancer Man I say this: dignity, motherfucker, do you speak it? Try dying with it then you selfish asshole. The ultimate issue is that in the US, there is no dialog on death and dying, there's only more fear. We don't talk about dying, we don't want to deal with dying, we don't want to see people dying, we don't want to deal with what we sometimes must do after death (like plan funerals, etc.) Death and dying as a natural part of living are treated as almost a kind of taboo subject and rarely intrudes into public consciousness except for when complete fucking morons spout off about "death panels" and pile on more and more fear.

As a people, Americans are now defined by and controlled by every kind of fear imaginable and more the kind of fear that is only imagined.

So tell Cancer Man and his family to sit down, have a nice hot cup of shut the fuck up and figure out how to make his dying as best as circumstances allow instead of driving up everyone else's medical costs, suing good doctors into oblivion and/or driving good people out of medical practice in the first place due to these hysterical lawsuit-happy SELFISH ignorant fools.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541815)

What about those bastard parents that named their child "Cancer Man" ? Seriously, with a name like that he's going to turn out messed up.

Re:Pathetic (2, Insightful)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about 8 months ago | (#44541793)

We could do with doctors having some end of live training. I have watched too many elderly relatives treated with expensive and painful procedures that only managed to lengthen their suffering a very short amount of time. Often increasing their suffering for that time. Yeah, lets try chemo on an 85 year old who is more cancer than man! What the hell is wrong with these doctors?

It's the same reason you get an XRay every time you go into the Dentist. You don't need them (visual inspection will tell almost everything you need to know), but they are a very simple and easy procedure that will get the dentist a good amount of money from the Insurance company. In addition, like mechanics and the specialist equipment they have to buy, paying off that XRay machine they are forced to buy will probably take a few thousand XRays, so they have to do it in order to survive.

A lot of the medical decisions we make in this country are satisfied by this basic economic pressure: The exact point where they can bleed as much money from the Insurance companies (who bleed as much out of you).

This is why we should have went with single payer or Universal health care in the United States, instead of using the Affordable Care Act to prop up a diseased industry. Perhaps in another 10-20 years we'll be at that point in the US, it depends on how fast the current Ultraconservative Party collapses.

Diabetic patients (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541191)

Odds are these are going to be cheap deaths.

You'd think.

Diabetic patients are just as expensive as those old people - maybe more so. And unlike the old people whose days are numbered, those Type-IIs will live a pretty long time due to the medical profession's ability to keep them going.

Stroke, renal failure, amputations, etc ... are a very heavy burden on our medical system. And when you have it in a patient who is in their 40 or 50s, you have MANY years of extremely expensive care.

Re:Diabetic patients (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 8 months ago | (#44541257)

Sure they might get some of that stuff, but I have seen plenty kick it from a stroke or simple mis-management of the disease; like drinking all night and going to bed without checking their blood sugar.

One of the big issues here is folks care is socialized so the insurance companies don't care. Young people's diseases is what they care about.

Re: Diabetic patients (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541317)

Stroke, renal failure, amputations, etc ... are cash cows forour medical system.

There, fixed that for you. Imagine the financial pain the system would feel if they didn't have oodles of chronic disease to treat for as long as possible.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541443)

My understanding is no amount of money will fix type 2 diabetes and obesity in a non-compliant patient.

And on their way to dying of complications from metabolic syndrome, they'll consume hundreds of thousands or millions in:
1) Drugs to manage their multiple conditions;
2) Emergency medical procedures to stave off their imminent death for a little longer; Stents, bypasses, catheterizations, correcting liver and kidney damage, the likely growth of GI-tract cancers as a result of eating so much garbage for so long, strokes, blood clots... the list goes on.

You don't seem to understand that "keeping someone who's very sick alive for 20-30 years" is actually quite expensive.

And yes, WE pay for it. It is subsidized - either through higher insurance costs, higher taxes, or higher prices at the doctor's office. They don't refuse to render emergency treatment (something that the people with metabolic syndrome are MORE likely to need), and the money has to come from somewhere to pay for that.

The odds are NOT on these being "cheap deaths" - in fact, the odds show that this is a signficant driver of the increases in health care costs over the past couple decades.

Re:Pathetic (3, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | about 8 months ago | (#44541525)

What is this magic healthcare we pay for that makes them healthy and keeps them alive as long as you and I?

It's called "private medical research" and "medical tourism".

My understanding is no amount of money will fix type 2 diabetes and obesity in a non-compliant patient.

Your understanding is out of date. We are currently using Porcine stem cells and islet transplants to treat diabetes, albeit it's still considered experimental treatment in the U.S. so that insurance companies, which we still have to pay for our healthcare, rather than having a single payer system like the rest of the world, don't have to pay for the treatment:

http://www.mmf.umn.edu/diabetes/ [umn.edu]

On the other hand, if you are willing to travel to Russia, Finland, the Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Panama, or Poland, they'll happily take your money, and provide treatment for Diabetes, Parkinsons, and a half dozen other conditions, and several of the countries will even let you buy antiaging treatments as well.

When Porcine stem cells are used, you have to sign some pretty strict agreements, since they down't want PERV (Porcine Endogenous Retro Virus) crossing species boundaries, unless you agree to sexually isolate yourself on the order of the protection necessary to prevent the spread of AIDS (condoms, etc.).

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541071)

Ha ha, and it's funny how the US's obesity problem's been in effect since long before health care reform became a thing. Oh, and how the US has been notoriously more obese than countries that have had socialized health care for decades.

Go home, troll, you're drunk.

Fat Rage (4, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 8 months ago | (#44541087)

What do they care?

They all care. That is the point. You think anyone chooses to be fat, your less attractive, treated badly, can't fit normal clothes, you are generally slow, as well as a whole host of illnesses...yeah you die sooner as well, so I guess others will have to pay for your pension. Overall though its shitty being fat, and you care about it all the time.

You get penalised for being fat.

Re:Fat Rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541249)

Don't want to be a fat man,
people would think that I was
just good fun.
Would rather be a thin man,
I am so glad to go on being one.
Too much to carry around with you,
no chance of finding a woman who
will love you in the morning and all the night time too.

Don't want to be a fat man,
have not the patience to ignore all that.
Hate to admit to myself half of my problems
came from being fat.
Won't waste my time feeling sorry for him,
I seen the other side to being thin.
Roll us both down a mountain
and I'm sure the fat man would win.

Re:Fat Rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541265)

They all care. That is the point. You think anyone chooses to be fat,

I'm sure they don't wake up in the morning and say, "Wow, today, I want to become (or remain) a complete lard ass."

Then again, smokers don't wake up in the morning and say, "Wow, I hope today is the day that I finally get lung cancer."

If you're addicted to food (very possible, sweet substances do light up the reward center of your brain), seek medical help.
Everyone needs to take responsibility for their actions, if they feel that they are in control of them or not.

Re:Fat Rage (1)

Azure Flash (2440904) | about 8 months ago | (#44541297)

Fat people can fit normal clothes. Plain old, standard, totally normal 5XL t-shirts.

Then you have never been fat. (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 8 months ago | (#44541511)

Fat people can fit normal clothes. Plain old, standard, totally normal 5XL t-shirts.

You can wear *anything* as long as its a sack. If you are a man you essentially lose your waist, and as for your post you can wear a extra large tshirt...but it has to be black, oversized to look even a little reasonable. A surprising amount of companies do not even make large clothes, or only have limited range.

Re:Fat Rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541307)

They do choose. People choose to do bad things to their body all the time. Alchohol. Smoking. Hard drugs. Overeating.

If calories in < calories out, you will lose weight.

It ain't easy though. Appetite is a powerful thing and it's impossible for most folks to be hungry all the time and not eat their usual fill when food is there for the taking.

Body is a beautiful machine (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 8 months ago | (#44541461)

If calories in < calories out, you will lose weight.

Except that is an incredibly naive argument. One of the problems with *dieting* is that your body is a machine that has evolved over many centuries, and is simply not fit for today's modern world, which is built around driving to megastores, and sitting in cubicles. Food is chemicals the body can't cope with. Ironically if you eat less your body thinks its being starved...and starts turning food into fat. The bottom line is getting to be the right weight again is a constant struggle, and there is a lot of stupid advice (fad diet of the week). Its very different from an addiction.

Re:Body is a beautiful machine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541667)

"One of the problems with *dieting* is that your body is a machine that has evolved over many centuries, and is simply not fit for today's modern world, which is built around driving to megastores, and sitting in cubicles"

You just reinforced the GP's point. If calories in calories out, you will lose weight.

The problem, as you stated, is that people today do spend a lot of time sitting on ass in cars and cubicles. They do not burn calories like they should. They consume more calories than they can use. They choose this. The sadder part is that they often choose it for their kids too, and allow them to get fat and play games all day instead of running outside and playing.

It is not the fault of "today's modern world." Plenty of people live in the 21st century without being obese.

"Society made me fat." Right, I forgot. Personal responsibility is not a component of modern society.

Unless you have a metabolic disorder, it is your fault if you are fat and you have the power to improve your situation by making good choices.

Re:Body is a beautiful machine (0)

Lordy2001 (951056) | about 8 months ago | (#44541843)

It is a true argument however mostly incomplete and causes a large amount of misunderstanding. However it still holds that the body can be hacked like any other beautiful machine it simply takes study, will power and discipline. There is a big misconception is that a calorie is a calorie as the body consumes different types of foods differently and this can be used to hack the metabolism. Granted everyone has their challenges and sometimes you are fighting genetics and decades of abuse.

There have been several geeks that have published items on loosing large amounts of weight.
Tim Ferris: http://fourhourbody.com/ [fourhourbody.com] after you get past all the trendy and uptalked bulshit he actually has some pretty good points on hacking the body / metabolism
From the geek who wrote autocad and got tired of being fat: http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/ [fourmilab.ch]

See now you made me actually log in and make a post. (This is from a guy who finally tipped the scales at 300lbs and was tired of being fat one year took me down to 230lbs and it wasn't all bad it sucked at some times and took a shitload of will power at others but hey its worth it)

Re:Fat Rage (3, Interesting)

davydagger (2566757) | about 8 months ago | (#44541501)

Its called "stupid hipster syndrome", where they try and think of some cause, or something that will help the country/planet, but end up doing more harm than good, because they spend more time asserting their authority as "intellectuals", and "saviors", and can't seem to look at the people they would be helping as so much human beings.

At the end of the day, they decide that money, power and fame, is what really matters, and the rest of the world is some mess of unwashed undeserving cretins, so they fudge numbers, make things up, pat themselves on the back and congradulate themselves for disrupting other peoples lives and accomplishing nothing.

Re:Fat Rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541805)

Absolutely correct a thousand times over.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541323)

Naw, those lucky bastards will die quick and cheap deaths, while healthy people like you and I will spend decades wasting away of dementia or something in a nursing home, being burdens on both the system and our families.

Re:Pathetic (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 8 months ago | (#44541797)

In a civilized society, we take steps to prevent our fellow citizens from dying preventable deaths.

In a free society, we allow people to make their own choices to a degree.

If you have freedom and civilization, you will be paying a small part of the price for your fellow citizen's twinkies. That's just how it is. There are still incentives to stay healthy, namely that you don't feel and look like shit and have parts cut off of you, so don't worry that everyone is going to get obese and make you pay for it.

Re:Pathetic (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#44541035)

I've never had a twinkie. I want to try.
besides, most countries have taxes on sugar etc..

what I find pathetic is that they ceased production for a product in such high demand. whoever handled the bankruptcy fucked up.

Re:Pathetic (4, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 8 months ago | (#44541099)

besides, most countries have taxes on sugar etc..

heh, in the US we tariff the hell out of sugar and subsidize high-fructose corn syrup. To support the War on Triglycerides, apparently.

what I find pathetic is that they ceased production for a product in such high demand. whoever handled the bankruptcy fucked up.

Are you kidding? That strategy has generated billions of dollars worth of free advertising for the Twinkie brand and demand is now at an all-time high; profits from now go to the new owners, losses from then are accounted for in the bankruptcy and get paid for by the creditors. It's brilliant, really, in a sociopathic sort of way.

FWIW, there is a mountain of Twinkie boxes and a 5x8 advertising banner at the entrance to the WalMart in Claremont, NH. I won't need any until October, when the boy wants some of those Minion cupcakes for his birthday party.

Re:Pathetic (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541235)

besides, most countries have taxes on sugar etc..

heh, in the US we tariff the hell out of sugar and subsidize high-fructose corn syrup. To support the War on Triglycerides, apparently.

what I find pathetic is that they ceased production for a product in such high demand. whoever handled the bankruptcy fucked up.

Are you kidding? That strategy has generated billions of dollars worth of free advertising for the Twinkie brand and demand is now at an all-time high; profits from now go to the new owners, losses from then are accounted for in the bankruptcy and get paid for by the creditors. It's brilliant, really, in a sociopathic sort of way.

FWIW, there is a mountain of Twinkie boxes and a 5x8 advertising banner at the entrance to the WalMart in Claremont, NH. I won't need any until October, when the boy wants some of those Minion cupcakes for his birthday party.

They also managed to extract all the money from the employee's retirement fund and give it to themselves in the form of bonuses, then continue to reduce pay (while increasing bonuses) until the workers couldn't afford to work anymore. Then they sold the company for millions. I'd say they managed the "bankruptcy" brilliantly, from a cut-throat, anti-working folks sort of way. Now those same working-class folks are going to go run out any buy the product to reward it.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541415)

what I find pathetic is that they ceased production for a product in such high demand. whoever handled the bankruptcy fucked up.

Are you kidding? That strategy has generated billions of dollars worth of free advertising for the Twinkie brand and demand is now at an all-time high; profits from now go to the new owners, losses from then are accounted for in the bankruptcy and get paid for by the creditors. It's brilliant, really, in a sociopathic sort of way.

Not just that, but they were also making a direct political attack on unions at the same time.

I won't need any until October, when the boy wants some of those Minion cupcakes for his birthday party.

I can't believe there's such a thing as Minion cupcakes, after googling for images I think I'd be sick if I ate one at my age.

Re:Pathetic (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 8 months ago | (#44541101)

What I don't understand is why Twinkies are so popular when Suzy Qs are so much more awesome and they never even get a mention.

Re:Pathetic (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 8 months ago | (#44541429)

Shut UP! Didn't you RTFS? Do you really want the awesome chocolate-like goodness to become as thin on the ground as the yellow logs of styrofoam?!

Re:Pathetic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541133)

Except, it wasn't really in such high demand until the stories came out that it was being discontinued. Hoarders and attempted opportunists quickly bought up the remaining stock and now the "no, I won't pay $300 for a box of Twinkies" majority of the nostalgia-afflicted surpass the production rate.

Re:Pathetic (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#44541165)

most countries have taxes on sugar etc.

Which countries? (seriously). I'm curious if we're talking levels high enough to alter behavior (which I suspect would be awfully high). The US taxes sugar imports, which is part of why HFCS is used so much.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541389)

The US also set a legal lowest price (price control) on sugar, to raise the cost of the domestic sugar beat sugar, and keep big corn making loads of money.

Re:Pathetic (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 8 months ago | (#44541561)

most countries have taxes on sugar etc.

Which countries? (seriously). I'm curious if we're talking levels high enough to alter behavior (which I suspect would be awfully high). The US taxes sugar imports, which is part of why HFCS is used so much.

Denmark had a fat tax, and proposed a sugar tax, but both were scrapped in 2012. http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/11/denmark-abandons-sugar-and-fat-taxes.html [nature.com]

I found a paper copy of the British Medical Journal, and found this article informative: http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e2931 [bmj.com] but I don't have a subscription (there's a paywall).

Re:Pathetic (1)

glennrrr (592457) | about 8 months ago | (#44541277)

My impression is that the company had some expensive labor contracts and bankruptcy was its answer to voiding them.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541775)

No, what happened was the company was operating on razor thin margins and the bakers union went on strike, demanding double wages, causing the company's finances to collapse. The CEO gave the union an ultimatum - return to work or the company goes bust. The union leadership decided their power and prestige was more important than their member's jobs.

Re:Pathetic (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 8 months ago | (#44541285)

Don't bother trying it.

I was the same way: I never had one and wanted to try. I finally had one when I was like 20yo: I couldn't take more than a bit or two and threw the rest out.

I'm not a pastry snob or anything: I've tried and enjoyed a number of mass-produced pasties. I used to LOVE Butterscotch Krimpets.

But I can't see why the Twinkie is so popular, it tastes like junk. I mean: out of all of the mass-produced pasties out there... Twinkies are like the bottom of the barrel. Even the other Hostess products were better.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541391)

I've never had a twinkie. I want to try.
besides, most countries have taxes on sugar etc..

what I find pathetic is that they ceased production for a product in such high demand. whoever handled the bankruptcy fucked up.

Blame the unions. the Bakers union wouldn't come to the table and drove the company into the poorhouse. they wouldn't have needed the banks if the union could have seen the greed they were exercising was killing a once great US baking establishment.

Re:Pathetic (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 8 months ago | (#44541553)

yeah, stupid unions wanting working wages. They weren't asking for a raise, they were asking that their salaries didn't get cut from $18/hour to $14/hour!

and how much does management make to sit with their thumbs in their asses?

If they wanted to save the company, they could have. The press decided to blame it on the unions.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541445)

The original Twinkie company was run out of business because the Unions (and Unionized employees) would not take a pay-cut to save the business.
The original Twinkie company had a good number of bakeries throughout the USA and shipped their Twinkies fresh to all the retail outlets.
The original Twinkie company did reduce the size of the Twinkie before bankruptcy but it was too-little-too-late.

The new Twinkie company halved the number of bakeries throughout the USA.
The new Twinkie company did not rehired all the former Unionized employees--just the number needed for the reduced number of bakeries.
The new Twinkie company kept the smaller, "new" Twinkie.
The new Twinkie company freezes the "new" Twinkie and ships them throughout the USA--this means a smaller distribution operation.

The original Twinkie company did do some things wrong--and went out of business as a result.
The original Twinkie company did do some things right--the fresher product to the customer.

While I don't eat Twinkies, I think the running gag about Twinkies in the movie, "Zombieland" was quite enjoyable. Even zombies won't kill the demand for Twinkies! Twinkies are a part of Americana and the Pop Culture. I was sad to see them go but glad to see them come back.

Re:Pathetic (4, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 8 months ago | (#44541495)

I've never had a twinkie. I want to try.

I live in the UK, and tried one towards the end of last year. (*) In all honesty, I really couldn't see what all the fuss was about.

Even accounting for the fact it may have been marginally stale- since it was an import- it had that almost "uncanny valley" fake quality to it of something that would never have been conventionally "fresh" in the first place. It reminded me of some off-the-shelf (also long-life) waffles I'd tried previously and been similarly unimpressed with.

The snack itself was just bland; mediocre cake and an uninteresting, over-sweet cream filling. Nothing disgusting, just... pointless.

"Long life" baked goods like Twinkies don't seem to be as culturally important over here. I'm only guessing, but possibly the popularity of long-life snacks like the Twinkie may be greater in the US because being more geographically spread out than other countries made keeping goods fresh more of an issue, particuarly when Twinkies (etc.) rose to prominence in the mid-20th-century.

(*) The fact this was around the time of the bankruptcy was pretty coincidental; a new shop importing US snacks had opened, and I was curious to try one. I paid something silly for it- around £1.75 IIRC- but again I doubt that was because of the bankruptcy- the shop markup was already high, and they were charging more for individual ones split from their packs.

Re:Pathetic (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 8 months ago | (#44541521)

what I find pathetic is that they ceased production for a product in such high demand. whoever handled the bankruptcy fucked up.

What happened was Hostess had no capital to run, and no ability to borrow so they had no choice but to close. It was not until after the bankruptcy that the debts were clear, pensions reduced, and union contracts ripped up that Hostess became a viable company to buy. It was simply too big a risk to buy until the ink was dry on the bankruptcy filings.

Re:Pathetic (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 8 months ago | (#44541531)

no, the ceased production because demand dropped to the point they were no longer profitable.

http://idle.slashdot.org/story/12/11/16/1849212/hostess-to-close-no-more-twinkies

they were going through the death throws, i.e. cutting wages, etc...

Well I bought them as a EU citizen when visitting (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 8 months ago | (#44541663)

As a EU citizen you are probably aware not a single food from the US comes from the US... there is NO food exported by the US to anywhere else that did not come from somewhere else to begin with. Real American foods such as American Cheese, American Beer, Grits and .... well that is about it, are not export. American bakery products are amongst them. And for good reason.

Twinkies are famous for being one of two things to outlast the nuclear holocaust. And you got to pity the cockroaches if that is the only food left. The maker claims their long life is a myth but I tested this by keeping them on a hot PC for over 2 years and the taste at the end had not changed. Can't say if they spoiled, just that the taste has not changed.

So what is the taste. Imagine a cake.... now imagine cake without butter. Ah, like Chiffon cake you might say... NO. In order to have a long shelf life, the hostess company does not put butter in its cakes. This might confuse those of you who think ordinary cake with butter has a long shelf life if properly wrapped but you know, Americans. They have however NOT simply made a Chiffon cake (also does not contain butter) but added something else. Don't know what but it is chemical You could lick an oil refinery and not encounter such a chemical taste. Why you might want to lick a oil refinery? Possibly because you just ate a Twinky.

The cake is truly horrible in every regard, taste (chemical), texture(dry), color(frightingly yellow pale). Inside the Twinky the ugliest caterpillar ever made a cocoon and died just as its entire body had degraded into a white mass. There are various candy interiors you better not think about to closely, this is they their queen. I think it actually serves as a coating for you taste pupils to guard you against the true horror of the cake.

So why do American love it so much?

THEY DON'T!

When I went to the US a few years ago, I went on the hunt for them because I heard so much about them and had to taste them. Most Americans I asked had no idea what I was talking about. I finally found them at Redneck central Walmart. Everything you ever heard about the USA and don't really believe is happening right now at Walmart. I now understand the compulsive need American feels to own a dozen machine guns.

To recap:

If you EVER hear about a regional delicacy that hasn't made it past its region. Take a GODDAMN HINT. Chocolate, Beer (except American), Wine, Cheese, Appels etc etc ARE NOT regional delicacies because they taste damned good and everyone loves them. Rotten fish, maggot cheese, American cheese are ONLY available in select locations because everyone will sooner declare war then import them. This includes ANYTHING from the hostess company.

They went bankrupt for a reason. Americans are fond of them because their mothers (who hated them) gave them a cake from a big box to shut them up and of such things the memories of childhood are made. But nobody in the US actually eats them. You shouldn't either, I did so you don't have to.

Re:Pathetic (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 8 months ago | (#44541149)

There was an entire end-cap full of them when I went grocery shopping yesterday.......I passed them up, but I could have easily filled several shopping carts with them. Had I known I could still turn a profit on them, I might have grabbed a few.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541407)

I don't think an individual can turn a profit on them. I think the stores are demanding to stock more than the company can produce. I don't think this is a $300/box situation like when the bankruptcy was announced.

Re:Pathetic (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#44541373)

No, what's pathetic is a society which makes it easier to get a bag of cocaine 365/24/7 than it is to buy a package of Twinkies at the store. It doesn't matter that the cocaine is probably healthier. If you want want to make Twinkies easy to find, the government needs to label them a Schedule 1 substance. Nothing creates a market like prohibition does.

Re:Pathetic (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 8 months ago | (#44541453)

agreed. To this day, I've never actually seen a nerd consume a twinkie.

I think it just comes from some gross prerojitave that if someone is fat they must eat twinkies.

Good grief

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541533)

Hey, asshole. Some of us exercise pretty damn hard during the week AND have the metabolism of a jackrabbit, to boot.

I do three different styles of fighting AND I generally eat what I want.... and don't gain weight past 193lbs.

There are millions upon millions of people in the united states. You think people who eat twinkies are all unhealthy and overweight? What about kids who burn off that excess energy in the span of an hour?

GodDAMN you're fucking stupid.

Slashvertising. (1)

six025 (714064) | about 8 months ago | (#44541003)

*n/m*

Re:Slashvertising. (1)

dstyle5 (702493) | about 8 months ago | (#44541831)

In all my years of University and working at tech companies after I have yet to see anyone eat a Twinkie. Can't say I've ever heard of them being called the "Breakfast of Programmers" before, but I guess they had to shoehorn a way to put it on /. Even the overlords at DICE gotta eat I guess.

The horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541013)

twinkie twinkie little rock-star, how I wonder where your creams are.

pittsburgh is spelled with an h (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541017)

n/t

Re:pittsburgh is spelled with an h (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541043)

Hicksburg?

Two Birds, One Stone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541065)

So they got rid of unionized workers and increased demand to unprecedented levels in one stroke?

Watch for the "Hostess Model" to be the path that more companies to follow in the future.

Re:Two Birds, One Stone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541527)

Offer only good for products with crazy-high brand recognition.

Re:Two Birds, One Stone (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 8 months ago | (#44541749)

Only in the near future ... median wages can only fall so far before the majority of the consumer market for luxury goods implodes.

Twinkies? Keep 'Em! (1)

GTRacer (234395) | about 8 months ago | (#44541097)

Keep your Twinkies. Zingers are the superior creme-filled cake. Because of the icing! Mmm, vanilla-flavored, artificially-colored sugar topping!

Re:Twinkies? Keep 'Em! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541301)

Please. *Everybody* knows Twinkies are the bests.

Thank you,
Emacs

Re:Twinkies? Keep 'Em! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 8 months ago | (#44541739)

I was about to turn in my nerd card, but I see I'm not the only one. I never did like twinkies, not even as a kid. Too sweet and too little substance. And no chocolate!

Ding Dongs, now, I like those. But I prefer bear claws and Danishes and all the traditional baked sweets (mmm... devil's food cake!) to any of the Hostess stuff.

Come to think of it, there's little corporate food or snacks I really like. I only buy potato chips because I'm too lazy to make my own.

pittsburgH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541137)

There's an H in Pittsburgh you insensitive clod!

Breakfast of programmers? (5, Informative)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 8 months ago | (#44541223)

I've seen a lot of developers eat breakfast over the decades and don't recall ever seeing anyone stuffing their face with a Twinkie. Tankards of coffee would be a far more accurate observation.

Re:Breakfast of programmers? (3, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#44541475)

I really don't get where this stereotype of developers/geeks being unhealthy comes from. Of all the people I know, geeks seem to be more likely to engage in regular exercise. And most of them eat pretty well. Sure there's a few outliers, but for the most part, I find that developers are actually in pretty good shape compared to the average person.

And as usual, the blue collar worker is screwed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541233)

Because Twinkies are suddenly magically profitable again. Never mind that it is on the backs of the labor that produces and delivers them ( http://stream.wsj.com/story/latest-headlines/SS-2-63399/SS-2-272258/ ).

The socially responsible programmer says, "BOYCOTT HOSTESS!" and finds a new breakfast of champions.

Re:And as usual, the blue collar worker is screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541707)

And put those people who chose to work those jobs back into the unemployment pool? Brilliant, you insensitive clod.

Seems to me the socially responsible programmer would be urging to open the boarders, stop devaluing the US currency with constant inflation (inflation devalues hard earned money of workers [especially the lower classes], so bankers can take out low- or no- interest loans to gamble in things like the lending mortgages to unqualified home buyers) and remove the minimum wage. Currently a lot of our goods are made in sweat shops in communist China or in poor areas of India, and then shipped halfway 'round the world. China's environmental laws are laughable, and shipping all this stuff has a huge carbon foot print. China has extreamly low economic mobility, and most places of employment are owned by the oppressive government. Bringing production here would be a net increase to US employment (including higher paying jobs, as management and creative jobs would be spurred by the increase in production here), US GDP would increase, world wide human rights improvement, world wide reduction in carbon emissions and other pollutants, and make the US a production economy again instead of a consumption economy. Opening the boarders would increase the supply of low level workers, giving people in harsher nations (politically or economically) a place to come to create a new life. Statistically speaking, First generation born Americans are over represented in the millionaire class, despite their typically low income roots. America would be the land of opportunity again. It would also increase the tax and payroll tax base, and help us decrease not only the deficit but also the debt and unfunded liabilities in the long term.

Moreover, they aren't suddenly profitable again by magic, they could have always been profitable but Hostess was completely mismanaged. The workers were getting stooped, the union bosses and the executives were making out like bandits, and they were leveraged to the hilt. There marketing was expensive but terrible.

Plenty available in Columbus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541271)

Walked by a whole rack of them in a Giant Eagle yesterday.

This may be heresy, but... (1)

barlevg (2111272) | about 8 months ago | (#44541345)

Are Twinkie addicts really that committed to "authentic" Twinkies? Plenty of companies make knock-offs, which, in my limited experience, are not significantly different from the real McCoy.

Don't forget the "h" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541485)

It's Pittsburgh with an "h."

sigh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541499)

I actually thought it was a good thing they shut their doors and stopped producing twinkies. How many years were added to lives of the general population and dollars on health problems not wasted in this country because they were gone? It's hard to say, but probably a lot. They did everyone a favor by failing at basic business sense. I for one think it's unfortunate they're back in production again.

awful (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 8 months ago | (#44541555)

You know what else is hard to get? Heroin.

"Champion programmers" don't eat Twinkies. Fat programmers eat Twinkies.

Don't fuck up your body, please. You only get one and it's already out of warranty.

People are still eating the one from last year! (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 8 months ago | (#44541575)

They may not be ramped up in making them yet with getting the supply chain going and such but the run on the stores when they were going out of business I wonder how many people are not worried now that they are back.

Twinkies vs. Dreamies (4, Funny)

Psion (2244) | about 8 months ago | (#44541615)

I noticed Twinkies back on the shelf a couple weeks ago. I ran up to the stack, hefted a box lovingly and said, "I knew you couldn't resist me for long!" A stockboy standing nearby laughed, but what does a mere lad know of true love?

Now I know, however, a shadow has fallen upon this romance. In Twinkies' absence, I tried Tastykake's Dreamies. Her smooth, flavorful cream enrobed in fresh, rich-tasting sponge cake was more than simple comfort when Twinkies left. Dreamies shared sensations with me that were unfulfilled fantasies when Twinkies were my sole companion. Every night after dinner with Dreamies was an exquisite exploration of forbidden flavor. Sometimes, I even had two!

When Twinkies came back, my heart and stomach pounded; lovers reunited! We left the grocery store and I buckled my box safely into the passenger seat and started the engine. At the first traffic light, I reached over and deftly parted her cardboard folds and reached for the treasures within. Cellophane yielded willingly at the next red light and soon familiar flavors and textures burst in my mouth!

Something was wrong.

My tastebuds now expected the fresher, richer flavors of Dreamies. Twinkies had a familiar, hydrogenized aftertaste, but Dreamies didn't. I don't think my companion noticed at the time, but when we got home, I put her on the shelf and have only reached for her twice since then. I've even ... shared her with my wife and little boy. "Yes, please! Help yourselves!"

There's no way Twinkies doesn't know now. Something has changed between us. I think I hear sobbing in the kitchen when she doesn't know I'm near. I feel bad, but I know she feels worse because she was the one who left. I want to make it work, but Twinkies just can't bring me the sensations for which I yearn. I've ... moved on.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541703)

Well he was eating Twinkies
as he drove on down the highway
listening to the DJ play Merle Haggard and his band.

He didnt see the semi
as he pulled around the corner
and he died with his Ding Dong in his hand.

Oh yes he died with his Ding Dong in his hand in his hand
That creamy filling spread across the land
He didn't see the semi as he pulled around the corner and he died with his Ding Dong in his hand.

Well there was a country singer
who was eating Zingers
as he sang with a red hot country band.
Well that band was really smoking
till the singer started choking
and he died with his Ding Dong in his hand.

Oh yes he died with his Ding Dong in his hand, in his hand
that last song they sang was really grand.
Well he thought he was the mostest
till he bit that big black Hostess
and he died with his Ding Dong in his hand.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541785)

Link [youtube.com]. You'd be surprised what's actually available there. Song starts at 1:20 in the video.

There was never a shortage in Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541765)

Maybe they should have a contract with the bakery in Canada that makes them. As they don't seem to have problems with production.

Breakfast... really? (1)

Kozz (7764) | about 8 months ago | (#44541833)

I guess I've long since ignored the polls on slashdot's front page, but I'd like to see the a poll like this.
What's your average time interval between twinkie consumption?
* 1 day
* 1 week
* 1 year
* 5 years
* 10 years
* closer to infinity

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