Sad news for Twinkie lovers this morning. Hostess Brands, the maker of popular packaged desserts like Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, has announced that it will shut down operations and liquidate the company. Hostess Brands, headquartered in Irving, Texas, will shut down after nearly 80 years in operation.

This morning, the company tweeted about its closure:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Hostess_Snacks/status/269444065253273600″]

According to the New York Times, the already-bankrupt Hostess Brands was crippled by a nationwide strike of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union. Two-thirds of Hostess Brands’ factories and about 5,300 Hostess Brands’ employees were impacted by the strike. The company’s CEO gave Hostess employees until 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 15th to end the strike and return to work.

From a press release:

On Nov. 12, Hostess Brands permanently closed three plants as a result of the work stoppage. On Nov. 14, the Company announced it would be forced to liquidate if sufficient employees did not return to work to restore normal operations by 5 p.m., EST p.m., Nov. 15. The Company determined on the night of Nov. 15 that an insufficient number of employees had returned to work to enable the restoration of normal operations.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, chief executive officer. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

Of Hostess Brands’ 18,500 employees, 300 are located here in the Bay State. According to the Boston Business Journal, Hostess has 13 operations in Massachusetts, including four facilities in Worcester. Here is a complete list of Hostess’ facilities in Massachusetts:

  • 91 Foster St., Brockton
  • 601 Pond St., Braintree
  • 189 Crawford St., Fitchburg
  • 647 Andover St., Lawrence
  • 420 Eastern Ave., Malden
  • 323 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield
  • 1566 State St., Springfield
  • 2406 Cranberry Highway, Wareham
  • 215 West Boylston St., West Boylston
  • 75 Quinsigamond Ave., Worcester
  • 39 SouthWest Cutoff, Worcester
  • 205 Chandler St., Worcester
  • 983 Milbury St., Worcester

Nationwide, Hostess Brands has 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers. The company has filed for both Chapter 11 bankruptcy and, most recently, Chapter 22 bankruptcy in January 2012, in an attempt “to reorganize its finances, principally by cutting labor costs,” reports the New York Times.

Unfortunately, a more health-conscious consumer, amongst other factors, has forced Hostess Brands to liquidate.

The good news for junk food lovers, however, is that Twinkies are said to have a never-ending shelf-life, so stock up while you can.