Hostess is Closed: Twinkie Alternatives

Where are you, you spongy, yellow, delicious bastards?” – Tallahassee (Zombieland)

Few sugary snacks are as beloved among geeks as the Twinkie. The golden breaded shell, white creamy filling, and incredibly long shelf life are just a few reasons geeks have adopted the Twinkie as a cultural favorite.

Unfortunately, Hostess (the maker of the Twinkie) is liquidating its assets and laying off its nearly 18,500 workers after a series of bankruptcy declarations and a long strike by its workers. You might be asking yourself, “Why would someone strike to the point where the very company they work for goes out of business?”

The reason behind the strike is actually quite interesting. Employees were facing an 8% pay cut across the board, higher insurance costs, and a promise of only a 4% return in pay after two years. These aren’t just high-end jobs either, as it would affect workers from the bottom rung of the ladder up. This prompted a strike from which Hostess states it is unable to recover.

Today, Hostess has declared its closure and intention to liquidate its assets. A posting on the official website states:

Hostess Brands Inc. today announced that it is winding down operations and has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including its iconic brands and facilities. Bakery operations have been suspended at all plants. Delivery of products will continue and Hostess Brands retail stores will remain open for several days in order to sell already-baked products.

So what do we do now? We can rush to stores and stock up on Twinkies (which are probably disappearing off shelves as we speak) or look for alternatives.

Submarinos

Submarinos are a Twinkie-like pastry produced in Mexico. They may not taste exactly like the Hostess product, but they are a pretty spot-on alternative. They can be found in convenience stores across the southern U.S., but also on various places online. Submarinos come in the traditional Twinkie vanilla flavors as well as strawberry.

Little Debbie Cloud Cakes

Little Debbie makes just about everything you could imagine in the fried pastry market, including a fairly accurate Twinkie knock-off called Cloud Cakes. These little cakes are almost identical to the Twinkie, and can be found in almost any grocery store in the U.S. Sure, they might not be the real thing, but when the original is slowly fading out of existence, it’ll do.

Walgreens Gold N Cremes

One of the best Twinkie knock-offs I’ve seen over the years came from Walgreens. The Cafe W Gold N Cremes are moist and delicious. They also cost a little less than the Twinkie, which made them an appealing alternative for the budget-conscious junk food addict. I’m not entirely sure if these cakes were made by Hostess and rebranded (in which case they, too, will probably disappear) or a product of another manufacturer like Little Debbie, but they are perhaps the most accurate knock-off I’ve tried.

Images: Various

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Cameron Ryan

    “Twinkie Alternatives” I thought this was a tech site not a food blog!

    • https://plus.google.com/112301869379652563135/posts Ryan Matthew Pierson

      It’s a geek site. LockerGnome has never been exclusively tech. Geek culture is the best way to describe it.

  • http://benjaminwagener.de/ Benjamin Wagener

    And none of them seem to be available in Germany… :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1292299949 Nino Brunori

      I spent 10+ years in Germany under the US Military and they limit the junk allowed to be sold. It’s not just because it may or may not be garbage but they have a thriving snack industry themselves but you really have to like Hazelnuts.

      • http://benjaminwagener.de/ Benjamin Wagener

        Yeah, hazelnuts are really popular here, especially in chocolate. I love them in white chocolate. But I like soft, squishy things like Twinkies to and would love to something like that in our shops.

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.prijadi Denny Prijadi

    8% paycut is infinitely better than 100% paycut and lose of pension .. this is business after all. in the era of joblessness do you want to be out of work and depend on free hand out / welfare ? oh wait more than half of US is on some kind of handout already..

  • Omar

    Submarinos also come in chocolate (the best ones in my opinion).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1292299949 Nino Brunori

    I have fond memories of Twinkies until I found out the recipe is mostly LARD! or Was, now I read it was Beef Fat.

    As much as I enjoy a quick snack and don’t want anyone to lose their job can anyone tell me if there is anything Hostess makes that is healthy or worth eating?

    Especially in an overly obese American society.

    One Twinkie = Calories: 150, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 27g, Sugars: 19g, Protein: 1g

    Seriously, how many more people can ride around in Walmart Scooters before we start to care.

    Regardless of the situation Hannity jumped on it stating that Obama already wants to bail them out.

    • http://benjaminwagener.de/ Benjamin Wagener

      Everything is bad in the wrong dose. What you eat has less to be controlled, contrary to how you eat. If you eat most of your time vegetables, why not a Twinkie from time to time as a dessert? Most people just don’t know how to control their ingestion and that combined with all the yummy offerings and the special super size menus for a “real low prize” you get a horrible overeaten society.

  • ronknights

    I understood that the Hostess workers had made concessions in the past. They’ve lost a lot, perhaps even their pensions, already.

    I probably got Twinkies and other Hostess products 3-4 times a year. I consider myself a geek or nerd.

    I just know some other company will buy the assets, and Twinkies will live on.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/gpowerf G.Power

    I can’t say I will be missing the Twinkie. I had good memories of eating Twinkies as a child before I moved to Europe.

    So much so that on the trip back to the Americas as a grownup I had a Twinkie just to relieve those old sugary memories. I tell you want, I couldn’t freaking stomach it and threw them out. I’m not used to that much sugary food anymore.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mark814 M h

    You published this too quick. There is currently 4 companies trying to get the rights to Twinkies and the others and keep them coming. They shouldn’t be gone for too long. It’s probably just a matter of who ponies up the most money for them?

  • erniecc

    Perhaps you should also mention that while the employees were to get a pay cut, Executives received an 80 percent increase in pay. That’s enough to make anybody mad enough to strike.

  • http://twitter.com/gadgetgreg Greg Gazin

    Someone will buy the rights and the recipes for 10 cents on a dollar. Twinkies, which could probably survive a nuclear attack, are so popular someone should be able to snatch up this creme de la creme delight and get them rolling off the line and onto the shelves of your local 7-Eleven

  • gk

    Sounds like they should have taken a 10% cut.