A moment of silence please. Hostess is going out of business. The 82-year-old maker of innovative packaged snacks is no more. Its assets will be liquidated and its recipes sold off to junk food collectors and disaster prep investors, and lesser brands like Little Debbie and Entenmann's must take up the slack in honor of their fallen comrade and friendly competitor.
But Hostess wasn't just a name; it was an innovator. A pioneer in dessert snack design. And as Taps plays somberly in the distance, we remember our fallen favorites.
Twinkies were a high-watermark for nonperishable packaged desserts. While these golden radioactive cream-filled cakes might be without a maker for now, they'll live on in our hearts (and pantries) forever.
Image: ABC News
Good design builds on itself; that's no less true for snacks. Zingers were just chocolate Twinkies with frosting on top. And not to blow your mind, but they came in not just vanilla and chocolate but also raspberry.
Chocodiles—another Twinkie variation—paired the most memorable name with the least memorable product. That alone cements its place in snack pack history. For now, you can still get your fix at FreshChocodiles.com, but expect future price gouging.
Image: Fresh Chocodiles
The Hostess Cupcake will forever be remembered by its signature white curlycue embellishment that sat atop a frosted and again, cream-filled, cake. Snack historians will remember it as a hallmark of Nouveau American Snack Decor.
The Sno Ball: yet another Hostess advancement—not just cream-stuffed, but cream and pink coconut-covered. It was one of the first snack designs to look nothing like a snack. Talk about a pioneer.
A donut? Nay, the Donette: Hostess's triumphant assertion that smaller is better, the same theme that has pervaded design for gadgets for decades.
And that principle doesn't stop at donuts. If there's one clear inspiration for the iPad mini, it's the mini muffin.
The Fruit Pie: An entire pie just for you. An entire pie that fits in your own hand. And little known fact: the reason for the fall of the Berlin Wall (probably).
Ho Hos bursted onto the scene in the 1920s. It was the classic iterative progression: Swiss Roll 2.0. The pinwheel chocolate cream treat later came in caramel and also holiday-focused flavors.
Suzy Q's turned the concept of a the Traditional Sandwich upside down, by replacing bread with chocolate and meat with cream. RIP, Suze.
Throughout the last century, people asked the question, Why Honey Buns? There is no honey, no bun, merely glaze and donut material. But as Dieter Rams decreed, good design is as little design as possible. And here, it's practically invisible.
Any favorites that we missed? Share them (preferably with mouth-watering images) below!