It’s been nearly a year since Hostess declared for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but the swell of nostalgia over the death of the Twinkie is still going strong. Eulogies for the iconic Hostess snack are all over Twitter and Facebook, but you can’t pay bills with memories. Now, the failed snack tycoon is selling the company for parts – brand by brand. The company’s CEO claims to be engaging in talks with “hundreds” of buyers interested in purchasing the now-shuttered Ho Hos and Twinkies factories.
News organizations continue to hound the company for information on the possibility of Twinkie’s resurrection under a new owner. It seems everyone wants to know if a new company would change that famously addictive Twinkie formula.
And addictive is right, to the chagrin of health proponents everywhere. Twinkies contain 150 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 19 grams of sugar. This adds up to a whopping 750 billion extra calories a year sold to the global population.
Despite the obvious dangers to personal health treats like this impose, the effect on financial and medical welfare is overlooked. Health insurers most definitely profile patients on the basis of weight, body fat, and diet. It could even affect employment. CVS instated a policy that requires workers to report their weight, body fat, and glucose levels if they plan to get their health insurance from the company. If they fail to do so, they are faced with a $600 penalty.
So how upset should Americans really be over the fact that they may have eaten their last Twinkie? The latest video of our Hidden Costs Series suggests, “not very.”
- Video Transcript
- Health: D
- Locally: (D)
- One single Twinkie contains 150 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 19 g of sugar – over half the recommended daily intake of sugar for women and over a third the recommended intake for men. Worse, you’re not going to get much nutrition from the treat which is made with refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
- Globally: (D)
- Hostess makes 1,000 Twinkies a minute – over 500 million a year. That’s 750 billion extra calories without a gram of nutritional value being pumped into the global population. When it comes to health – Twinkies aren’t a super food.
- Environmental: C+
- Locally: (B)
- A single Twinkie will produce a minimal amount of plastic and cardboard litter. Unfortunately, most cities won’t accept Twinkie stained cardboard in their recycling. However, a single package of Twinkies on its own will only add a handful of trash to the 1,600 pounds of garbage the average American produces each year.
- Globally: (D)
- 17 Hostess bakeries in American consume 40,000 miles of plastic to package Twinkies each year and use up 51,500 barrels of crude oil. Of course, the announcement of Hostess’s bankruptcy will certainly mean less environmental impact as the bakeries begin closing down.
- Economic: C-
- Locally: (B-)
- At $1-$2 per package, Twinkies won’t make a big dent in a person’s wallet. While 500 million Twinkies sold per year sounds like a lot – it’s only .6 Twinkies per person. However, when the company announced its impending closure the cost of Twinkies reached $100 per box on bidding websites.
- Globally: (F)
- While the ultimate fate of Twinkies lies in the balance, the moment Hostess announced its intent to declare bankruptcy the company started making plans to lay off its 18,500 workforce and board up the doors. Despite a $2.5 billion revenue year in 2011, the company still lost $341 million, and couldn’t handle a national strike in 2012 and had to close its doors.
- Final Grade: C-