Friday, November 16, 2012

Hostess Brands throws in the towel. Wildlife hardest hit.

From the Hostess's mouth:
Hostess Brands is unprofitable under its current cost structure, much of which is determined by union wages and pension costs. The offer to the BCTGM included wage, benefit and work rule concessions but also gave Hostess Brands’ 12 unions a 25 percent ownership stake in the company, representation on its Board of Directors and $100 million in reorganized Hostess Brands’ debt. “We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, chief executive officer. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.” In addition to dozens of baking and distribution facilities around the country, Hostess Brands will sell its popular brands, including Hostess®, Drakes® and Dolly Madison®, which make iconic cake products such as Twinkies®, CupCakes, Ding Dongs®, Ho Ho’s®, Sno Balls® and Donettes®. Bread brands to be sold include Wonder®, Nature’s Pride ®, Merita®, Home Pride®, Butternut®, and Beefsteak®, among others.

Having grown up with these brands, I could make nostalgic observations about finding clever ways to extract the cream filled centers, or the odd waxen crust-like texture of the almost flavor-free Cup Cakes' "chocolate" frosting top, but the thing that sticks out in my mind is fishing.

Yes, fishing. With Wonderbread:

Way back in the 70s we did this at the local pond. You could buy a loaf of Wonderbread, tear off a chunk, compress it into a neutron-star dense marble shaped lump, put it on the hook, and sucker some perch to take a bite. The beauty of it was that these lumps would not dissolve, even after being in the water for some time. Mighty impressive chemistry in that dough. Probably held up to digestive acids as well.

Well, apparently, birds have learned about this:

So, one has to wonder, will the avine population be hardest hit by the sudden disappearance of the most water resistant of all bakery products?

On the other hand, fish rejoice.