As the future of Twinkies hangs in the balance, fans of the fatty treat are desperately stockpiling their favorite snack in an effort to prevent the possibility of its disappearance from America’s cupboards.
Hostess, the company which makes the cream-filled cakes along with other childhood throwbacks such as Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, announced on Friday that it would go out of business within weeks.
And while most of the firm’s most iconic brands are likely to be snapped up by other manufacturers, Twinkie die-hards were taking no chances after the announcement.
The snacks were flying off shelves throughout the nation, and grocery store workers reported that they were fast running out of Twinkies and other Hostess brands.
“We may have a few things left, but pretty much we’re out of our Hostess stuff,” a store manager in Chicago told Businessweek.
And a spokesman for grocery chain Supervalu warned: “We will only have the products while supplies last.”
Customers flocked to the Wonder Hostess Bakery Coutlet in Indianapolis to get their hands on the fast-vanishing treats.
Charles Selke showed journalists his plastic bag stuffed with snacks, including Zingers dessert cakes.
“How do these just disappear from your life?”, he asked.
“That’s just not right, man. I’m loyal. I love these things, and I’m diabetic.”
For others, the rush to snap up Hostess foodstuffs was motivated by historic considerations, as in the case of Samantha Caldwell, from Chicago.
She bought a pack of Twinkies to give to her four-year-old son, saying: “This way he can say, <<I had one of those>>.”
In New York City, many grocery stores had run out of Twinkies by mid-afternoon, with only Hostess’ less popular products left over.
The shortage led to the snacks selling for wildly inflated prices on eBay and other online marketplaces.
One opportunistic seller managed to offload a box of 10 Twinkies – which would normally cost no more than $5 – for $60.
It is unclear how long the sweet treats will stay fresh – while it is widely rumored that Twinkies remain edible for decades, it is unclear to what extent that is true.