Hostess to close, but what about the Twinkies?

Hostess Brands products are shown on November 15, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.

Hostess Brands, the company that makes the snack cakes we loved as kids -- maybe secretly still do -- filed for permission to liquidate today.

The company has been in bad financial shape for some time, but it's blaming the decision to close on an employee strike that started a week ago. In a statement, the company said it will sell its assets to the highest bidders and lay off more than 18,000 employees.

Brand strategists and analysts have said that trouble started for Hostess when it didn't get with the times and shed its white-bread, sugary snack cake image.

But Adam Hanft, a brand strategist and CEO of Hanft Projects, says that's not entirely true. "There's a lot that Twinkies has going for it that has never been exploited."

If the company is selling off its brands to the highest bidder, says Hanft, someone savvy could could easily swoop in and take advantage of Twinkies' brand recognition and make it profitable. "I think that there is something cool and retro about the brand that can be tapped into, I think it can be a hipper brand for millennials because it is so iconic, and frankly, it is so unhealthy."

Basically, skinny jeans wearing, bacon and pork belly eating, hipster millennials obsessed with mid-century modern post-war cool - - well, they might be into Twinkies, too. So we don't know if Twinkies, the brand, will die with Hostess just yet.

About the author

Shereen Marisol Meraji is a reporter for Marketplace’s Wealth & Poverty Desk.

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