The moment we all feared has arrived, as Hostess Brands on Friday asked a federal judge for permission to cease all operations and commence liquidation of the company. The proximate cause was a failed effort to unilaterally impose wage and benefit cuts that backfired by prompting a strike and further injuring the company.
But Hostess has been in some trouble for a while now. Wonder Bread just isn't the brand titan that it once was these days, and efforts to move into multigrain niches and such haven't gone very well.
The company's various packaged snack cakes are cultural icons but also pretty unfashionable in the era of artisanal cupcakes. It'll be interesting to see what happens to the firm. Liquidation in this case doesn't mean that we'll never see these products again. The brands may be parceled out to different food conglomerates or all taken over by some other firm. The last time Hostess went bankrupt, Mexico's Bimbo Bakeries tried to acquire them, and they might make another run at it.