The Scrapbook takes some pleasure in noting one happy ending in the annals of industrial disputes.
As readers will remember, Hostess Brands, the company that manufactured Twinkies, “cream-filled” CupCakes (“you get a big delight in every bite”), and other politically incorrect confections, stopped producing them last year when the company couldn’t meets its unions’ demands and declared bankruptcy. It was a toxic combination of labor overreach and evolving public taste.
Except that public taste has not evolved quite so far as, say, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the editors of Bon Appétit might hope. The anguished cries across the land about the loss of Twinkies were so loud, so insistent and self-evidently heartfelt (in these pages, see “Down Twinkies” by Mark Hemingway, Nov. 16, 2012, and “The Day the Twinkie Died” by Matt Labash, Dec. 10, 2012), that Hostess was acquired by a determined new owner—and Twinkies (and their delectable corporate cousins) will be back on America’s shelves by July 15. Like the rise and fall of New Coke (1985), this is an encouraging example of the triumph of public sentiment over elite opinion.
And we say this, by the way, in spite of the fact that Twinkies are no particular favorite of The Scrapbook. (Our tastes in sugary confection run more along Little Debbie/Dunkin’ Donuts lines, but that’s not the point.) Despite what you may read, or see on TV, most Americans do not subsist on a steady diet of sugar and fried foods, or a daily dose of Grand Slams at Denny’s. Twinkies, like most foods of that type, are an occasional indulgence for the vast majority of citizens; and in the land of the free, it is up to them to decide how often the consumption of a single Twinkie—every day? once a week? twice a month?—is worth the 150 calories of blissful nothingness.