Monday, July 1, 2013
Eating the past
Twinkies, those golden concoctions with the creamy white center, will be returning to store shelves soon. And with them comes an interesting question.
Is nostalgia enough to revive a product whose ingredient list looks like a chemistry experiment and oversweet taste would make even Paula Deen blush.
Twinkies disappeared from store shelves a year ago when its owner, Hostess Brands felt they couldn't profitably manufacture the finger cakes and its other products under existing union contracts. So they shut the company down selling the brands and other assets.
I'm guessing it wasn't just high labor costs that caused the company's demise. With a brand portfolio that also includes Ding Dongs, Ho Ho's, and Wonder Bread, Hostess products are as on trend as handlebar mustaches and Victrolas.
Yes, there will be a huge surge in sales when Twinkies first return to the stores. And after the initial frenzy dies down, I'm sure still be a niche market for the them. Thanks to financial maneuvering by Twinkies' new owners, they might be able to fabricate them at a lower volume and still make money for the foreseeable future.
Even still, it's not a future that will look anything like the brand's illustrious past. Twinkies' relevance on this planet passed with the Eisenhower administration and will continue to fade as the food industry migrates to healthier, more natural options.
So there they'll be, on store shelves waiting for people to pick them up when they're feeling nostalgic.
Thankfully, they have such a long half-life, because that's not a very good recipe for fast turnover.