Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Twinkie Defense!

It has been a long time since I have had a Twinkie.  I remember my grade school days when we used to bring our own lunch to school.  Oh how envious I was of the kids who had "Twinkies" stashed in their lunch boxes!  On a lucky day I might have raisins, normally an apple and once a week a home made cookie!  My mom was like that, health conscious and we didn't have money for store bought goodies.  In high school sometimes I would sneak out and buy my own.  They last forever I am told.
"Best Before Aug. 2075",Can you believe that?
   I have been self employed for over forty years and always thought that if I could just cut the labor costs, to like, almost nothing, then I could have made a lot of money!  That is a way some business people think, you know.  Or if I could avoid the taxes, cut the government out of the picture.  Make up something.  Put my money overseas.  Worker's Compensation was a huge expense.  I always told my employees that if they fell then they were fired before they hit the ground.
   The CEO's of Twinkie were making $375,000 to $600,000 per year.  Each.  There were times I could have done that but I would have had the feeling that I was stealing.  I don't think one gets that kind of money from working.
   Of course if the Twinkie people had had their eyes open they would have realized that their sales were down.  They had already filed bankruptcy just a few years ago.  Why they thought that if they could cut wages and benefits 30% and raise CEO's pay 300 % then all would be alright is beyond my thinking.  But that is what they did.
   The truth is Twinkie lost to little home grown bakeries.  Even in my little town we have several of these Mom and Pop (and kids and cousins!) operations and they are great!  We have a Mexican Bakery and a French, of course!, some super specialized bakeries and health conscious one's. Really, "Wonder Bread"?  when you could have a fresh baggette?  Russian Rye or sour dough made at 4 AM this morning?
   Times change and Twinkies are gone.  We can go exploring in the neighborhood now.  See what we have been missing.
   I learned the other day that Coca Cola was a nickle for over 70 years!!! from the 1880's until 1957.
That is pretty cool and pretty cool marketing.