MYRTLE BEACH — The empty shelves at grocery stores and ridiculously high selling prices on eBay tell you all you need to know – people want to get that last Twinkie before they’re gone forever.
Since Friday’s announcement that Twinkie maker Hostess Brands Inc. would close its doors after years of rising labor costs and the changing tastes of Americans, Myrtle Beach area residents have flooded supermarkets hoping for one last taste of the snack cake jokesters said would outlive humanity.
“We sold out early yesterday,” said Michael Byrd on Saturday. Byrd, operator of the Piggly Wiggly at The Market Common said it wasn’t just Twinkies. “Ding Dongs, same thing.”
On Friday, the Piggly Wiggly had only six boxes of Twinkies left on its shelves, Byrd said. They were snatched up by 9 a.m.
He added that 30 customers came in during the day and asked if there were any more available.
Derrick Hall, grocery manager at the Myrtle Beach Food Lion on South Kings Highway, said his store is also sold out of Twinkies, but still have Ding Dongs in stock.
Hostess made not only Twinkies and Ding Dongs, but also Sno Balls and Ho-Ho’s.
Those who were too late to find the snack cakes at the stores have another option at their disposal – the Internet.
Boxes of Twinkies are available for sale on eBay. However, they’re significantly higher than in the store.
One seller priced a box of Twinkies at $89.99
Hostess’ decision not only means there will be no more Twinkies on store shelves, but also that its 18,500 employees are out of a job.
That includes the employees of the Hostess Bakery outlet store in Conway. An employee at the store referred questions to the corporate communications department. A message left for a Hostess spokesperson was not returned.
In January, Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in less than a decade.
Then, last week, thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike after rejecting the company’s latest contract offer. The bakers union represents about 30 percent of the company’s work force.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.