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When it comes to Twinkies people seem to either love them or hate them. On the one hand people joke that these sturdy cakes could survive in their packaging for decades and still be in their original state due to preservatives. On the other hand, Twinkies were the most popular pre-made snack cakes in the U.S. for many, many years. Whether you enjoy them or not, nothing else tastes quite like a Twinkie. The fluffy yellow vanilla cake and rich cream filling are a familiar treat from childhood and one that awakens a strong sense of nostalgia for most people. But, like so many old fashioned products these little cakes were in danger of being discontinued forever.

Twinkies stacked on a yellow plate
Via/ Flickr

Twinkies were first released in the early 1930s as a stand-in for popular strawberry shortcakes, which could only be made for part of the year when strawberries were in season. The original flavor of the cream filling was banana, but during World War II bananas were rationed and the Twinkie became the vanilla-cream-filled treat we know today.

The cakes became associated with childhood when marketing campaigns of the 1950s touted them as convenient and portable desserts that children could take to school in their sack lunches. But, changing tastes in the 1980s and 1990s veered toward healthier snacks for children and led to a decline in sales of these classic snack cakes. The company responsible for making Twinkies at the time, Interstate Bakeries, filed for bankruptcy twice- once in 2004 and again in 2012.

box of Twinkies
Via/ Flickr

The later bankruptcy resulted in a complete stop in Twinkie production. During this time fans of the cakes were saddened by the loss of this iconic American snack and the some of last remaining boxes were sold on eBay for many times their true value.

This frenzy for Twinkies and an outcry from the public kickstarted a move by two business men, Andy Jhawar and Dean Metropoulous, to buy the brand. By summer 2013 Twinkies were being manufactured again, although this time the factories were forced to be more efficient in how they did things.

selection of different Twinkie flavors
Via/ Flickr

In recent years Hostess has created a huge variety of new Twinkie products. Chocolate, chocolate mint, and even Twinkies cereal are just some of the innovations that fans of Twinkies have been enjoying lately. Few brands could have rebounded in this way and that’s largely due to nostalgia for childhood which drove (and still drives) sales.

See how this savvy brand made a phenomenal comeback in the video below.