Saturday, November 17, 2012
Wondering About the End of an Era...or a New Frontier
A little background on the Culinary Industrial Complex:
A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny at the Scripps Research Institute (2008) suggested that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a manner similar to addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin. After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure. After the junk food was taken away and replaced with a healthy diet, the rats starved for two weeks instead of eating nutritious fare.
And that’s that: Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread and more, announced this morning it has filed a motion with bankruptcy court to start liquidating the company immediately. A huge number of jobs are soon to be lost.
“Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce,” said CEO Gregory F. Rayburn in the statement, “and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”
In a letter posted on a new site set up to communicate with employees and suppliers through the liquidation process, Mr. Rayburn pinned the blame on its striking union:
And for suppliers, the situation is also dire, wrote Rob Kissick, the company’s senior vice president for purchasing:
There has been no word yet from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers (BCTGM) union that was leading the strike — we’ll update when there is. Also one to watch is the response from the Teamsters Union, whose members earlier voted to accept the new labor deal offered by the company and have not been participating in the strike. Yesterday, the Teamsters said current strike put it in a “horrible position,” where members were being asked to “support a strike that will put them out of a job.”
So does this mean the Twinkie is gone for good? Not necessarily, the WSJ’s Rachel Feintzeig reports:
Related: Rachel Feintzeig has more on Hostess’s closure on Markets Hub.