South metro residents better hurry if they want to get one last taste of the Hostess brand's iconic, Space Age pastries—Twinkies, Ding Dongs and the like. Supplies at local stores are running low and may be gone by the day's end.
Friday, company officials announced that Hostess would fold and begin the liquidation process immediately, thus bringing an abrupt end to some of the nation's most loved (and hated) sweet snacks. The news comes after less than a week of strikes by Hostess workers, who walked out on Nov. 9 in protest of a proposal that would cut wages by 8 percent and benefits by 27 to 32 percent, ABC news reported. About 18,500 workers will be laid off, immediately. All 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores throughout the United States will be shuttered.
"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 recent years, Hostess (which is now owned by two hedge funds) has gone through bankruptcy twice. Hostess spokesperson Blynn Austin said that the company had 153 employees in Minnesota. She added that Hostess may keep their bakery outlet stores open for seven to 10 more days in an effort to sell out the remaining product.
Burnsville has one Hostess bakery outlet on Cliff Road. A call to the outlet was not immediately returned.
However, its shelves could soon be bare. Locally, the brand is seeing a last-minute boom. Employees at Burnsville's Super Target said that someone had come in early this morning and bought out the store's entire stock of Twinkies. Likewise, the Cub Foods on County Road 42 had no Twinkies left, though they did have some Ho Hos, cupcakes, and eight packs of Ding Dongs left. The Heart of the City Cub Foods had some stocks left, but didn't expect them to hold out much longer.
"They're selling pretty quick. I would come in now if you can," said one employee contacted by phone.
According to Bloomberg new, a spokeman for Supervalu, Cub's parent company, said its grocery stores were seeing a "big surge" in sales of Hostess products, with no additional inventory in stock.
"We will only have the products while supplies last," Mike Siemienas, a spokesman for the Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based grocery chain said.