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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Gainesville Twinkie supply low

An artificially sweetened panic swept through Jenn Prevot’s family last weekend.

As news of Hostess Brands’ bankruptcy spread, the 19-year-old food science and human nutrition sophomore had to act fast.

“My stepdad said we have to stock up so we can have it for the rest of our lives,” Prevot joked. “We went to three different supermarkets because they were all sold out. It was like like an epic journey for Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Twinkies.”

Hostess Brands announced Friday it would begin to wind down operations immediately after declaring bankruptcy. The company cited disagreements with unions for their faltering finances.

But there’s a glimmer of hope. On Monday, Hostess Brands and one of their biggest unions agreed to a mediation session in hopes of avoiding a Wonderbread-less world, according to the New York Times.

The two groups will meet today. If no deal is reached, Hostess will go back to court on Wednesday to push for a close-out plan.

The feasible end of Hostess’ products resulted in the brand’s fans rushing to stores to scoop up as many treats as they could find.

Bobby Nellis, a customer service representative with the Butler Plaza Publix Super Market, located at 3100 SW 35th Blvd., said after Hostess’ bankruptcy went public, the store offered half-off discounts on all the manufacturer’s products the store had left in stock.

Nellis said his Publix sold the last of its 36 remaining boxes of Twinkies on Saturday.

“I heard plenty of people looking for Hostess products,” Nellis said. “(Customers) said that everywhere else was sold out, too.”

Local restaurants may also feel backlash from the brand’s potential bankruptcy.

Munchies 420 Cafe serves fried Twinkies drizzled in the customer’s choice of sauce.

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Cameron Douglas, the restaurant’s kitchen manager, said it’s hard to say what the loss of the dish’s signature ingredient will do to Munchies’ dessert menu.

“It’s one of our top-selling dessert items,” Douglas said. “We haven’t made any decisions about what to do yet.”

Contact Shelby Webb at swebb@alligator.org.

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