Foiled again. Or were we? With the pantheon of Hostess brands having gone down in a blaze of corporate haterade, we’re left with a void until those legacy snack nameplates are snapped up in a fire sale. This will happen. But hey, the foil. Does anyone remember our snack past? Back then, Ding Dongs were wrapped in a close, thin aluminum that was as pesky to remove as it was filmy. But let’s be real: it was tough to get rid of because there was a Ding Dong just past it. A chocolate discus with a creme filling that we knew was an entity, a goal, something to be feared.
The cake was in between, holding down the space between chocolate topping and creme in the antigravity. Creme always needs a shell. But it longs to survive without it, to be an ocean made sentient, possessed of a sugary brain designed only to beckon impressionable human children. This was what the foil repped, and the magic it’s got, nobody can touch. The Ding Dong was always looking for some trouble tonight.
The world changed, and the foil made an exit. Production costs and direct market mailers to youth league coaches — things were getting expensive for the Ding Dong. Hostess went to a refit bag that matched the status quo for the company’s other snack brands, Ho-Ho’s and the like. And Ding Dongs continued to quietly lose out to those other snacks, particulary Ho-Hos’s. Sure, they were kind of — OK, pretty much — the same, though one style was a hockey puck with a sweet center while the other was a swirled chocolate cylinder. But the bite threshold didn’t match at all, and was actually paramount to the Ding Dong experience. Teeth crashed through the solid edge of the hockey puck at an angle true to experience and maximum filling access. Ho-Ho’s, meanwhile, just went by too fast. A bite, and some real and important enjoyment. But unless you’re eating them frozen, which was also done back in the day, Ho-Ho’s aren’t outlasting the Ding Dong in controlled creme access. The friendly swirl could never hang with the centerline sugar bomb.
The Ding Dong will survive along with the rest of Hostess’ main line. It has to — empty endcaps in convenience stores and gas stations prove the point. We want our chocolate delights from the regional store. We want our days of yore to be packed with sugar. It’ll survive because some regional bakery will check the financials and see the glory. They’ll become the Ding Dong kings, until Bally (video games) or Gibsons (rich guys) kicks them out.