Twinkies: From snack cakes to cash cow? - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Twinkies: From snack cakes to cash cow?

Several people are trying to cash in on the loss of the company that makes Twinkies, but the question is will people really buy? (Source: Wiki Commons/Larry D. Moore) Several people are trying to cash in on the loss of the company that makes Twinkies, but the question is will people really buy? (Source: Wiki Commons/Larry D. Moore)

(RNN) – The announcement that Hostess Brands would close had an effect on grocery store shelves similar to what happens before a natural disaster, but the biggest craze was on the internet.

Within hours after the company that makes Twinkies told the world it plans to shut its doors, the cream-filled, golden sponge cakes became hot commodities on eBay.

An ad on eBay excitedly advertised a box of unopened Twinkies for $500 – a much higher asking price than the average going rate – but possibly a steal for lifelong fans that didn't make it to the local store in time to stock up.

One seller offered a $10 million box of "unused, unopened, undamaged" Twinkies that would be "delivered by van with your company logo displayed on it." The item got 60 offers and counting, which were all declined or withdrawn.

Twinkies are not the only snack cakes that Hostess Brands produce, and ambitious sellers did not discriminate.

HoHos, Ding Dongs, Sno Balls, Zingers, Cup Cakes and more calorie-rich, sugary fare were all there for the taking – for the right price, of course.

Another seller offered a wide assortment of Hostess cakes that included a Bearclaw and a Fruit Pie, but no Twinkies. That's probably a package deal for those people who go against the grain.

The website that specializes in auctions was not the only place the Hostess craze blew up online.

A flurry of tributes, songs and laments about the soon-to-be-extinct line of snack cakes hit YouTube, and there was no shortage of news organizations willing to offer lighthearted coverage of the story.

It had become en vogue to conduct "Twinkie experiments," unscientific tests attempting to prove that the snack cakes were impervious to fire, age, microwaves, cold weather and whatever else people could think of.

Unfortunately, the company that produced those goodies was susceptible to the elements of a flat economic climate.

More than 18,000 people would lose their jobs because of a union strike made worse by the negative effects of the recession, Hostess announced this week.

Some would argue, however, that Hostess is doing waistlines everywhere a favor by taking treats with negligible nutritional value off the market.

That's a far cry from the days when Hostess Brands was advertising its HoHos as enjoyable snacks fortified with vitamins and iron.

All is not lost for those who are disheartened or unwilling to buy into the frenzy. Knockoff recipes for one of America's favorite snacks are floating around on the internet, just a few strokes and clicks away from those overpriced, authentic versions of the snack.

Eat your heart out, folks. But hurry up because supplies are limited.

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