Readers may remember me yawning. I said the Twinkie name was too valuable and someone would buy the name, make them again without union help, and rake in some big bucks. A story by Steven Bertoni of Forbes this week said that is exactly what happened.
Billionaire C. Dean Metropoulos and Apollo Global senior partner Andy Jhawar bought the brand in 2012 and opened a bakery in Kansas.
The new factory is bright and clean. Tight rows of Twinkies m arch along the $20 million Auto Bake system with the precision of Soviet soldiers in a May Day parade. Yellow robotic arms, which look like they should be welding Teslas rather than boxing Twinkies, stack snacks with hypnotic rhythm. This 500-person plant produces more than 1 million Twinkies a day, 400 million a year. That’s 80% of Hostess’ total output–output that under the old regime required 14 plants and 9,000 employees. And it’s about to get more efficient: Metropoulos and Jhawar just installed a second Auto–Bake system, this one for Cup Cakes, and the governor is here to cut the ribbon.They saved Twinkies. Metropoulos previously saved Bumble Bee Tuna, Chef Boyardee and Pabst Blue Ribbon. He told the reporter: “No one ever thanked me for saving Vlasic pickles.”
Imagine what would have happened if President Obama had not bailed out GM. The company could have been saved. Pontiac might still be around, Saturn too. Instead of blowing billions on some bureaucratic fetish car like the Volt, Metropoulos could be building Cadillac convertibles.
Instead of paring back the staff and bringing in innovation, the government appointed a politically correct CEO -- The First Woman CEO Of A Car Company -- who is a joke.
The government protected the very things that brought down GM: Unions, lack of innovation, inefficiency, and not knowing the market. GM is just another Amtrak.
Have a Twinkie. Those we will make because the politicians have no interest in them. Now if you don't mind, my red Mustang GT convertible awaits me.