Next time anyone chows down on a $5 organic apple at Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ: WFMI) or counts carbs on the Atkins and South Beach diets, they should think about the consequences of their actions on the struggling maker of Twinkies.
ABC News is reporting that Interstate Bakeries Corp., which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since 2004, is threatening to shut down unless the company's unionized workforce makes some major concessions by September 30. The Kansas City-based baker, which has already announced plans to exit the bread business in Southern California and lay off 1,300 workers, also makes other wholesome fare such as Wonder Bread.
Though the story argues that if Interstate Bakeries is liquidated, some buyer will be happy to take over the Twinkie business, I am not so certain.
Sancti-mommies and a few sancti-daddies now rule the world. Kids today think that carrot sticks are snacks to be washed down with organic juice made from fruit hand-picked by colonies of aging hippies living on a collective farm. They have driven out sugary sodas from the schools and are cracking down on childhood obesity through non-competitive cardio activities that do not include ducking from balls of any sort.
Twinkies need to continue for another generation because they also provide a valuable introduction to children to the world of investing. When I was a kid, the spongy, cream-filled snacks were like gold in the trading market in my elementary school lunchroom that could be traded for anything. Times probably haven't changed much, and I imagine kids trying to swap celery sticks continue to get a chilly reception from their peers.