Our guest blogger is Suzanne Meriden, owner of The Scoop on Cookies in Huntington Beach, CA. In this post, she ponders the death of a beloved brand.
Economies all over the world are struggling, the Middle-East conflict is in a deep violent mess, and our country is still reeling from an electoral divide. But one force seemed to unite us Americans together, Twinkies!!! On November 16th Hostess brands, a strong American tradition and symbol of our culture founded in 1930, announced that it will no longer be. After rough sales and employee strikes, the company made the decision to file for bankruptcy and shut down production in 33 plants. Cue the social media outlets: Facebook status updates and Twitter feeds streamed in unison about the announcement. YouTube ‘How to make Twinkies’ videos went viral. And Twinkies saw a large market share on ebay. On 11/16/2012 at 7pm, 5 boxes of Twinkies were worth $125.
Gone is the famous nostalgic brand that we all cherished and loved. The brand flew off the shelves in the bread sections of grocery stores. No more Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, or Wonder Bread. Will someone attempt to buy the brands? Is someone going to buy the recipes and the equipment? What are carnival vendors going to fry if there are no Twinkies? According to Orange County Register writer, Nancy Luna, Chicken Charlie sold 50K deep fried Twinkies at the OC Fair last summer. So many questions clouded cyberspace and the minds of so many Americans.
We all know Twinkies are full of sugar. They are definitely not good for our diets. And many of us did not really buy them on a regular basis. But it didn’t matter. We knew they were there when we needed them. It was a sweet memory of our pasts. A mid-day treat we looked forward to, that our sweet mothers threw into our lunch boxes. Way back when we were younger. When everything was still so much easier. When life was simpler. It’s not just the Twinkies that we are agonizing about; it’s the nostalgia that comes with it. The Hostess halt comes at a time when most of us in America are struggling in one way or another, economically, emotionally, psychologically. It comes at a time when we need comfort, yet comfort is being taken away. It’s a time when we are mad at our government, at each other, and frankly at the whole world. At a time of so many unknowns, a very familiar nostalgic symbol was disappearing. It is so amazing to watch friends and their followers bicker via social media about the economy, the elections, and Middle Eastern affairs, and then to suddenly watch the same friends soften over a sugary American brand. It reminded me of how on the inside we are all the same beings with good intentions. We are lovers of life’s simple goodness. With time however, we put on faces and labels that complicate everything around us. Some of us build the complications from certain experiences, some follow for belonging, and others are naturally born into them.
But no matter how different our experiences make us, we all yearn for the same sweet simplicities of life. After all, before we are rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, naturalized or American-born, we are human beings. Today I take with me a lesson from our love for Twinkies! Let us focus on the simple creamy goodness inside, and remember that the outside is a protective sponge that can be untouched, dipped, or fried, depending on people’s tastes.
Follow Suzanne on Twitter @scooponcookies and https://www.facebook.com/thescooponcookies