No, People Aren't Actually Stockpiling Twinkies

Categories: Biz, Dish, Media

One of these Twinkies can be yours for just $8,000, payable to eBay seller rizzyt2.
We tried this morning to make it clear that the Twinkie is safe. Some private equity firm will swoop in and buy the brand at bankruptcy auction, along with Sno Balls, Ding Dongs and any other Hostess snack cake that carries with it a whiff of nostalgia. It's inevitable.

According to news reports, that hasn't stopped people from raiding supermarkets and convenience stores as if the zombie apocalypse were upon us. Stores in Ohio, in New York, and wherever else a bored assignment editor is looking for a local angle on the Hostess story are selling out.

Or is this just a case of media outlets making mountains out of molehills? Take Bloomberg Businessweek's "Twinkie Junkies Raid Stores" headline on a story bolstered by the assistant manager of a grocery store in Chicago saying "We may have a few things left, but pretty much we're out of our Hostess stuff."

The better barometer of our collective psyche is eBay, where one entrepreneur apparently sold a 10 pack of Twinkies for $59.99.

Mentioning that fact alone, as ABC News did itself gives the impression that people are acting in a way they might in preparation for zombie apocalypse. A longer look on eBay says otherwise. There are any number for 99-cent offers without so much as a bid. Same for this $8,000 "collector's" Twinkie.

So probably some people are making a special trip to the store to buy some Ho Hos, but there doesn't seem to be any sort of Twinkie mania. This is speculation, by entrepreneurial types on eBay and by news outlets looking for an angle.

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A common urban legend claims that Twinkies have an infinite shelf life or can last unspoiled for a relatively long time of ten, fifty, or one hundred years due to chemicals used in production.[17] This urban legend is false, although Twinkies can last a relatively long time (25 days or more) because they are made without unstabilized dairy products and thus spoil more slowly than most bakery items.[18] In reality, Twinkies are on the shelf for a short time; a company executive told the New York Times in 2000 that the "Twinkie is on the shelf no more than 7 to 10 days."


if  your  stockpiling  have  worse  problems  than running  out  of them...

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I feel sorry for the 18K who will be laid off.  Otherwise, I'm about as concerned about Twinkies as I am about General Petraeus and his lady friends.


it is the perception of scarcity driving the rush to buy the remaining hostess products. as soon as stories were published about the liquidation of the company, people panicked and trying to explain that the brand won't go away is like King Canute trying to stop the tide


It's OK to stockpile them: they have a shelf life of 22 years...more or less.

scottindallas topcommenter

 @MisterMean $2.5 million is a hefty salary for a competitive consumer good.  That according to the report represents a recent tripling of his salary.  This is part and parcel of why top marginal income tax rates should be higher and at far steeper rates.  $1m/yr is a huge income, and should be taxed at 50%.  Something like that would be better for the stockholders and the firm. 


 @MariaB I seem to recall that it is one food group that has unlimited shelf life.

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