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

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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.