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Hostess to Be Auctioned Off and More News

Hostess to Be Auctioned Off and More News


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In today's Media Mix, Food Network's first restaurant, plus Mario Batali talks about a new pizzeria

Arthur Bovino

The Daily Meal brings you the top news in the food world.

Hostess Goes to Highest Bidder: Hostess will put its historic brands, like Twinkies, up for auction to the highest bidder — but what will that mean for the buyer? [Slate]

Food Network Kitchen Opens: The first Food Network-themed restaurant opened in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., airport. [Huffington Post]

Mario Batali's New Venture: The chef is in negotiations to open a pizzeria on Spring Street in Boston. [Boston Herald]

Nathan Myhrvold Shares Secrets of 'Modernist Cuisine': Watch Myhrvold play with liquid nitrogen while he shares his view on the "modernist cuisine" movement. [Eater]

FDA Shuts Down Peanut Butter Plant: The FDA shut down the country's largest organic peanut butter processing plant when it discovered salmonella. [Los Angeles Times]


Bankruptcy Judge Delays Hostess Brands’ Attempt To Sell Off Assets

BOSTON (CBS) – A bankruptcy court judge ordered Hostess to begin mediation and resolve its differences with the union. That union, the second largest at Hostess, had refused to accept a second round of pay cuts.

In court, company lawyers had also requested $2 million in pay incentives and bonuses for its top 20 officials to oversee the liquidation, but the Justice Department objected.

Mirick-O’Connell bankruptcy lawyer Joseph Baldiga thinks the government figures if the company is going to throw in the towel and liquidating, then the bankruptcy ought to be converted to a Chapter 7, with an impartial trustee named.

Baldiga says an outcome cannot be forced on Hostess. He thinks the order is recognition by many of the parties, and the judge in particular, that it is worth one last effort to keep Hostess whole.

Hostess attorneys wanted permission to close down operations and start laying off more than 18-thousand employees across the company.


How To ‘Politely’ Decline Food

I’m posting today’s blog with Thanksgiving in mind – I’ve seen so many forum posts this week from bariatric patients (early and late post-ops as well as those on pre-op regimes) worried about the food onslaught that’s coming in the next few days days. It is however just as pertinent at other times of the year and especially with Christmas on the horizon. Here’s some sage advice and tips for survival …

GUEST POST: I thought the week before Thanksgiving would be just the time to revisit how to decline foods without hurting someones feelings.

This is SUCH a delicate subject. Truth be told….it’s not just bariatric surgery patients that deal with this. In fact, society as a whole is in a time of realising food intolerances, allergies and issues. More people than ever are aware of how food poorly interacts with them and the need to be in control of what’s on their plate.

So a FOOD focused holiday like Thanksgiving is hard on a lot of people.

It’s still a wonderful holiday that I love and look forward to every year. Because it’s time off work, time with family and the start of the holiday season!

Let’s dive into some of the more *polite* ways to handle food issues going into a food-focused holiday.

If you can, talk with the family and/or your hostess in advance.

Try to avoid using phrases like “I’m on a diet” or “I’m going low-carb” as this tends to make them feel judged. If you were about to host a load of people and you’re planning all your high-carb dishes, this can feel offensive. Instead, be as kind as you can by starting with a compliment.

Instead, try something like this…

Thank you so much for hosting! I know so much work goes into having everyone at your home and I would love to know how to help. I do have some food sensitivities I’ll need to focus on this year but the last thing I want is to put any more burden on you. I will bring dishes I can have and plenty to share.

After you’ve broken the ice with compliments and talking about your food sensitivities (instead of your diet) you can offer several different dishes for the hostess to pick from for you to bring.

Avoid saying “what can I bring?” and instead say “I would be happy to bring something. Would you prefer I brought stuffed mushrooms, deviled eggs or sautéed green beans?”

This puts the hostess in the drivers seat (which I would appreciate if it were me) and is also polite of you to offer. You also gave options that you can definitely have so whichever she picks, you’ll be in great shape. And if it’s too late to be planning the menu for this year’s Thanksgiving, try it for Christmas.

Starting with the hostess also allows you get her on your team. She’ll know in advance that you have food sensitivities and will advocate for you when other guests are asking.

Of course, if you’re the one hosting, you get to pick the menu and what items you’ll have for yourself! While the best bet is to have others make the most tempting dishes (tell them you’re hanging up your apron and passing on the recipe to them!) BUT if you are making dishes you need to avoid, save parts of the recipe you know you can have like the broccoli or green beans in the casserole.

Your biggest hurdle of all comes on the big day. You likely have an idea of which aunt or which sister is going to make a scene of you not wanting to eat her _________(fill in the blank).

My best advice in staying polite?

Always try and divert the attention away to something else.

It’s like I do with my 11 month old. Oh, you’re fussy about something? Let’s distract you and re-direct your attention to something else! Blocks! Balls! Doggy!

Seriously. If your family member is so concerned about what you aren’t eating, they need to focus their attention on something else. Stay polite with compliments such as…

It looks delicious! Doesn’t baking this time of year get you excited for the holiday season! I can’t wait to get my holiday soaps from Bath and Body Works.

I’ve already filled up which is such a shame because it smells wonderful! You’ve always been such a good cook. What else do you like to cook? I’m looking for new ideas.

Even if she lists off foods you can’t eat, act very attentive and interject with recipes you’ve tried lately.

Hopefully, this approach will help you dodge some “she’s on a diet” conversations <which are the worst>. However, if the family members that are giving you the hardest time are the ones closest to you (like the ones that live in your house) you need to have honest, one-on-one conversations with them about how they can help love and support you through this process.

Extended family members need the “distract and re-direct” treatment but if it’s your spouse, mother or even grown child, I suggest a heart-to-heart talk to gain their support.

I’m wishing you all the best this holiday season! May you enjoy the time of rest, family, smells (even if not tastes!) and the feeling of successfully staying on track to meet your goals. Food is awesome. Why else would we have a holiday for it?! But it’s brief. Delayed gratification is HARD but it is worth it.


Twinkies maker Hostess to go out of business, lay off 18,500

Twinkies may last forever, but the same can’t be said for Hostess Brands Inc., the company that makes the popular cream-filled spongecake.

Hostess has asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to go out of business and lay off 18,500 workers, blaming a strike by members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Hostess Chief Executive Gregory F. Rayburn said in a statement Friday.

The Irving, Texas, company, founded in 1930, runs 565 distribution centers around the country, as well as 33 bakeries and 570 bakery outlets, including several in Southern California. As of January there were two bakeries and seven retail stores in Los Angeles and Orange counties, employing 550 workers.

The union says 24 production facilities are on strike nationwide.

Hostess said it filed a motion with Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, N.Y., to allow the company to shut down and sell its assets. The company, which also owns brands such as Drake’s, Nature’s Pride and Wonder Bread, is seeking a court hearing Monday.

The union accused Hostess in a statement of making unreasonable demands, including wage and benefit cuts of about 30% for workers, while top executives of the company received large pay raises. Hostess has filed for bankruptcy protection twice this decade, the last time in January.

“The crisis facing Hostess Brands is the result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement that resulted in two bankruptcies, mountains of debt, declining sales and lost market share,” said Frank Hurt, the union’s president. “The Wall Street investors who took over the company after the last bankruptcy attempted to resolve the mess by attacking the company’s most valuable asset — its workers.”

Many businesses have faced labor unrest in recession and subsequent recovery as unions resisted efforts to dial back benefits and wages. In 2011, for example, there were 19 major strikes and lockouts that each involved more than 1,000 workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up from 11 in 2010. The 2011 strikes accounted for 1.02 million lost workdays, three times the number of lost workdays the year before.

The Teamsters Union, which represents 6,700 workers at Hostess Brands plants, had settled an earlier labor dispute with the company.

“The Teamsters Union tried everything in its power during the company’s most recent financial difficulties to shape an outcome that would put Hostess on strong footing to be viable and preserve jobs,” Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the company’s operating and financial problems were so severe that it required steep concessions from a variety of stakeholders but not all stakeholders were willing to be constructive.”

The Hostess shutdown announcement sent shock waves through the country Friday, causing Americans to begin hoarding Ding Dongs and bemoaning their fading childhoods.

Jon Auspitz, president of Wham Closeout Foods, a food liquidator, said he expected that Hostess would sell its brands to another company and then unload equipment and leftover inventory in a “fire sale.” The brand is “very popular” among customers, he said.

Hostess products have a rich history in popular culture, but perhaps none more so than Twinkies, a favorite at county fairs — at least those Twinkies that are deep-fried — and long suspected by some consumers of having an infinite shelf life.

The snacks played an integral role in the 1979 trial of Dan White, who was accused of murdering San Francisco city Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. Reporters coined the term “Twinkie defense” for White’s argument that his actions were influenced by his depression. The defense attorneys argued that White’s diet of Twinkies and other sugary foods was evidence of his depression.

The brand, a vintage favorite, even had a starring role in the 2009 film “Zombieland,” in which Woody Harrelson’s character Tallahassee barrels through hordes of the living dead looking for a Twinkie fix.

Recently, however, Hostess lost ground with customers. Sales of Twinkies slipped 0.8%, Ding Dongs fell 8.7% and Ho Hos tumbled 6.3% from May 2011 to May 2012, according to analysis from research group Mintel.

The company ceded its top position in the prepared cupcakes and brownies segment to McKee Foods, whose sales increased 1.8%, largely on the strength of its Little Debbie brand. Smaller rivals such as Bimbo Bakeries and Give and Go also poached customers from Hostess, as have private label offerings from grocery stores, according to Mintel.

And Americans’ appetite for junk food has been waning, as they increasingly look for healthful options with reduced fat, lower calorie counts and no sugar. Baby boomers and seniors, the demographics least likely to eat Hostess-style products, are growing in number, according to Mintel.

But that hasn’t stopped consumers from raiding store shelves to stock up on Twinkies and Ho Hos. A box of 10 Twinkies was for sale Friday on EBay for $50.

Supervalu Inc., which owns the Albertsons brand, reported a nationwide surge in customers purchasing Hostess products. Hostess delivers its goods directly to Supervalu stores, so the grocery chain doesn’t keep any extra inventory of the snacks in its warehouses.

“There has been an extremely noticeable gain compared to last year at this time,” spokesman Mike Siemienas said. “We are preparing for the fact that these Hostess products will not be in our stores in the future. They are available while supplies last.”


26 Hostess Gifts She'll Actually Use

Wine always seems to be the default housewarming gift, and though no one will ever turn down a free bottle&mdashat least not me&mdashif you're looking to go beyond a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, you've come to the right place. The trick to presenting your favorite hostess with a gift she'll love and actually use is figuring out her personality. Tailor the housewarming gift to her interests, skills, or whatever her home is still missing. (To any of my friends reading this, I'm always on the hunt for cool vases.) Once you've figured that part out, the search begins for a product that fits in your budget and looks classy or cool. I've kicked off the product hunt for you by rounding up 26 great gifts to give a hostess in 2020. These items are flexible enough that if you don't know the hostess that well, she can still appreciate and use whatever you pick from the list ahead.

Your friend is always saying she can't keep her plants alive, so rather than stress her out with a living thing, opt for dried florals. This colorful pampas grass bunch already comes with a vase, making it easy to gift it as is.


Hostess to Be Auctioned Off and More News - Recipes

W hich American entity was developed in Illinois, has a history of dealing with labor unions, and is full of crap? No, I’m not talking about Obama I’m talking about Twinkies! These cream-filled golden treats are returning union-free and more indestructible than ever to shelves nationwide. After a seven-month hiatus, Twinkies reenter the market this week with a refined target demographic of young males, and a recipe that extends its notorious shelf-life to a hefty 45 days.

After a dispute with the bakers union caused debt-riddled Hostess to file for bankruptcy last year, Metropoulos & Co. bought out the snack cakes part of the Hostess brand for $410 million.

CEO C. Dean Metropoulos intends to sell Twinkies anywhere candy bars such as Snickers and M&M’s are commonly sold. Metropoulos will be working on Hostess brand promotion with his sons Daren and Evan. The Metropoulos family’s 78 previous consumer acquisitions include Pabst Blue Ribbon, Bumblebee Tuna, Chef Boyardee, and Vlasic Pickles.

Dave Lubeck, executive vice president of the ad agency in charge of the multi-million-dollar Hostess marketing campaign, said, “[W]e’re really trying to move beyond the grocery store consumers into the convenience-store target, which is a younger male.”

The campaign, entitled “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever,” will employ banner ads, a Hostess food-truck tour, and social media, according to The Wall Street Journal. There is even talk about bringing in a celebrity pitchman in the same way Will Farrell represented Old Milwaukee, another brand resuscitated by Metropoulos.

Twinkies and its Hostess brand brothers—Ho Hos, Cupcakes, Ding Dongs, and Sno-balls—are ingrained in the American identity. As the Metropoulos family reinvents and rebrands the longtime snack, the Twinkie moves from symbolizing obesity, greed, and union corruption, to exemplifying American capitalism at its best.

Debt and pension obligations previously prevented Hostess from investing in research, product innovation, marketing, or upgraded production methods. Since its bankruptcy, Metropoulos and Co. has invested in modernizing several plants, replaced union employees, and streamlining distribution by redirecting delivery through retailer warehouses rather than having unionized truck drivers deliver directly to stores.

However, the Metropouloses foresee a challenge inherent in transforming a timeless product. Brand consultant Simon Mainwaring summarized Hostess rebranding as “a competition between nostalgia and nourishment.” The Metropoulos family will have to keep the traditional long-time fans hooked while also making innovative appeals to an increasingly health-conscious America.

Twinkies span four food groups, and yet they are practically devoid of nutritional value. On top of their efforts to slim down the operational side, the Metropoulos family has a longer-term vision that allocates research and development money to creating leaner products such as whole grain Twinkies, new flavors such as peanut butter, lower-calorie snack packs, sugar-substitute, or gluten-free Twinkies.

Shedding the glut of labor union control has allowed the new Hostess to realize its position as a golden enterprise synonymous with American exceptionalism. C. Dean Metropoulos expects Hostess to be profitable in the first year of operation, achieving sales of over $1 billion. Other Hostess products will return to stores later this year. Happy rebirthday, Twinkies.


This Is Your Life, Brought to You by Private Equity

Since the financial crisis, the private equity industry has become hugely influential. Here’s how it plays out in your daily life.

A year after the layoffs at the Hostess plant in Illinois, Apollo and Metropoulos arranged for the company to borrow about $1.3 billion. Apollo and Metropoulos used most of that sum to pay themselves, and their investors, an early dividend on their investment.

The firms also found a way to make money even after the company was sold. The firms, The Times investigation found, struck a deal to collect as much as $400 million over the next 15 years, based on what Hostess’s future tax savings might be.

These winnings do not come without risk to the private equity firms, which are often taking a gamble on troubled companies, and when they fail, the firms probably lose out.

And this is not a simple story of powerful investors enriching themselves while some workers struggle. Teachers and firefighters also benefit from private equity.

Pension funds that pay retirement benefits to public servants now depend on private equity to generate huge returns. Without it, taxpayers could bear more of the costs.

“Hostess’s comeback was a win-win-win-win,” an Apollo spokesman said in a statement, adding that its investment benefited workers, communities, investors and consumers. “After teaming up to take on the daunting financial and operational challenge of creating a new company around the Hostess brand, Apollo and Metropoulos & Co. completed a highly successful private equity investment.”

On a more basic level, Americans enjoy what private equity has owned: GNC vitamins, affordable jewelry at Zales, and birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Hostess’s new owners rode a wave of nostalgia for the company’s snack cakes, a euphoria that even spread to a sprawling Long Island estate. At a wedding there in 2013, packaged cupcakes were offered to guests.

It may seem an unusual choice, but this party had a special affinity for the snack cake. The bride’s father is an executive at Apollo.


This is one of the books from my 2018 TBR Pile Challenge. I picked it up because I&aposm not a natural hostess and can use all the help I can get. Truthfully, the idea of throwing a dinner party fills me with dread. It&aposs easy to get caught up in my worry of being judged. (Is our house too small? Are the decorations too plain? Is the food too basic? What if I run out of things to say? What if people don&apost have a good time? etc., etc. )

Of course it&aposs always easier to close yourself off and never ta This is one of the books from my 2018 TBR Pile Challenge. I picked it up because I'm not a natural hostess and can use all the help I can get. Truthfully, the idea of throwing a dinner party fills me with dread. It's easy to get caught up in my worry of being judged. (Is our house too small? Are the decorations too plain? Is the food too basic? What if I run out of things to say? What if people don't have a good time? etc., etc. )

Of course it's always easier to close yourself off and never take social risks. But I'm actually really proud of myself, because so far I've been meeting my goal to have at least one neighborhood family over to our house every month. We've had three families over so far this year, and each get together has gone really well! I've found that most people get a couple drinks in them and have a jolly ol' time no matter what. It's helped me understand that people aren't hellbent on judging others. In fact, everyone seems eager to look for the positive. I think we all just want to have a good time, you know?

Anyway, this book definitely has some good advice when it comes to throwing parties. There are eight sections covering different types of gatherings, from a formal cocktail hour to a backyard picnic. I really like the sections on Setting the Scene (how to prepare your house for a party) and The Cocktail Hour (suggestions for making bomb ass cocktails, as well as how much alcohol to stock). Each section has lots of recipes, too, and even though I haven't tried any of them (and probably won't), it helps to see sample menus for each occasion.

The tone of the book is more formal and uptight than casual, which means it's a little too intense for my liking. But I still appreciate reading about proper etiquette and helpful tips for throwing a successful party. I know I have a long way to go when it comes to truly impressing guests, but it's still comforting to know that a clean house, pretty flowers, a signature dish, and a delicious cocktail are pretty much all it takes for people to get a good vibe from your shindig. And you only get better at it the more parties you host, so I guess we'll just have to keep having people over.

People often stress when it is time to host a party and receive guests. Some are hung up on perceived archaic rules. Others are just uncertain as what they should expect while many just go with the flow.

Here is a book that promises to explain everything you need to know to host a party effortlessly and with elegance, whether it be an informal lunch or a more formal affair in 339 "easy-to-digest" steps. 339?! Such an odd number. Whilst this reviewer must accept that there are people for WHOM this People often stress when it is time to host a party and receive guests. Some are hung up on perceived archaic rules. Others are just uncertain as what they should expect while many just go with the flow.

Here is a book that promises to explain everything you need to know to host a party effortlessly and with elegance, whether it be an informal lunch or a more formal affair in 339 "easy-to-digest" steps. 339?! Such an odd number. Whilst this reviewer must accept that there are people for WHOM this book will be a godsend, much of this book just seems to be reasonable common sense and thus superfluous to many.

Taking a look at the start of this book was, for this reviewer at least, a bit of a revealing and worrying warning. "A Hostess's four golden rules," it begins, ignoring that many men can and do host social gatherings, are to "coddle your guests", "plan ahead", "less (dishes) can be more" and "when the party starts, be in it." Well colour me surprised, shocked even. Who would have thought of that? Things continue in such a vein and whilst one doesn't want to denigrate those who really feel that they need this sort of help, it really starts to border on the facile at times.

The saving grace for this book might be the suggested menus and the 98 recipes (again, what a strange number) provided. Nothing is particularly ground breaking or unique to this book and if you already have a good bookshelf full of recipe books then you can equally find many similar or better recipes. The recipes themselves are reasonably laid out, with average photography and oblivious to the fact that people might cook outside of the United States thanks to their sole reliance on US-centric measures. Internal signposting and navigation is not the best either.

Sadly to say this is a book that one fears is destined to sink without a trace. Artisan usually comes out with some superb titles so it is a surprise that they've put their name to this book. For a collection of hints and tips and a few recipes it is rather average in nature, even if you have no other cookbook or Internet access at home. For a couple of dollars at a remainder store it might be worth it for a quick browse, but other than that it is hard to raise any enthusiasm for this title. It had a lot of promise but the actuality was an entirely different thing.

What's a Hostess to Do?: 313 Ideas and Inspirations for Effortless Entertaining, written by Susan Spungen and published by Artisan. ISBN 9781579653682, 288 pages. Typical price: USD17.95. YY.


12 Smart Ideas For A Simple Summer Party

Susan Spungen initially set out to be an artist. "But I didn't have what it takes," she says, "because I don't like to starve." Indeed, her love of food combined with her aesthetic flair has led to a lifelong vocation as a cook, food stylist, and recipe developer. Martha Stewart discovered Spungen, then a young pastry chef, and hired her as the founding food editor of Martha Stewart Living she stayed with the company for 12 years. She has since worked as a culinary consultant for such food-centric movies as Julie & Julia, It's Complicated, and Eat Pray Love. Her guide to entertaining, What's a Hostess to Do? (Artisan), can steer us through the do's and don'ts of summer parties. But remember, Spungen says, "there is no entertaining police. Don't be afraid to make your own rules."

TAKE IT OUTSIDE

&bull Be ad hoc in the summer. Invite people on Thursday for Saturday dinner. In warm weather I like to create menus I can prep in advance. I keep gazpacho in the fridge and make it a meal with the addition of fresh crabmeat or shrimp. Or I'll marinate a butterflied leg of lamb in the morning, then head to the beach. In the evening I'll just throw it on the grill. For dessert, I usually make fruit crisp I keep a big batch of the topping in my freezer so it's ready to go.

&bull My favorite summer drink right now is a twist on the Aperol spritz: prosecco, Aperol orange liqueur, and club soda, on the rocks with a little citrus juice and garnished with an orange slice.

&bull I don't know why we've all become obsessed with rosé in summer&mdashin a blind taste test, is it really that different from white?&mdashbut I'm right there. Or try a Lambrusco, a dry, fizzy red that is served cold. It's great with red meat.

A summer setting by Spungen.

HOSTESS RULES

&bull When I first started out in catering, there was a lot of glitz and bottles of Cristal. Today, formality is out of fashion. I tell people to host a buffet rather than a sit-down dinner party, or to serve the meal family-style. Use runners and placemats instead of a tablecloth. Dial it down.

&bull What's out: baskets, fancy napkin folds, and anything too precious or fussy. What's in: saltcellars with different kinds of salt, from pink to Maldon a loaf of bread wrapped in cloth or even placed right on the table, which would have been unheard of in our mothers' day!

&bull The hors d'oeuvres I make are super-simple. It's all in the presentation. I like to use cherry tomatoes as a container for any filling for instance, I stuff them with hummus and top with olive slivers. I stockpile interesting picks, such as bamboo knots, for dressing up classic hors d'oeuvres like melon and prosciutto.


The Bakery Workers union, which represents 5,000 of the 18,500 employees at the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, went on strike on Nov. 9. The company had imposed paycuts and other concessions opposed by the union's membership.

On Friday, management announced a shutdown of Hostess and appeared before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain on Monday afternoon seeking approval to liquidate.

But Drain said he wanted the parties to try one last time to reach agreement. Drain will serve as the mediator at a session scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Only one day of talks is set for now.

Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn said the company needs a final decision on Tuesday. Monday's hearing on the liquidation motion was rescheduled for Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Tom Becker, spokesman for Hostess, said operations at its plants and distribution centers nationwide remain shutdown at this time. They were closed Friday morning when the company announced plans to liquidate.

Rayburn had said on Friday that it was too late to save the company, even if the Bakers returned to work at that time. That belief was echoed by company attorneys in bankruptcy court Monday.

"It would be very hard for us to recover from this damage, even if there were an agreement," said Heather Lennox, one of the lawyers for Hostess.

But Drain was clear that he wanted every effort made to avoid liquidation before he would sign of off the the company's motion. He cited the 18,000 jobs at stake.

"I believe that mediation only works if the parties are willing to do it, but I'm also strongly suggesting that they should be willing to do it," he said.

Bakery Workers' union lawyer Jeff Freund wouldn't speculate about the chance for a deal following the hearing. He had told the court that the union had already spelled out what needed to be done in order to produce a viable company.

"The court very respectfully asked that we participate in mediation and we'll honor the court's request," Freund said.

Rayburn refused to handicap the chances for a deal.

"I guess there's always a chance," he told reporters. "We'll take all the help we can get. [But] it doesn't change our financial situation."

But he insisted that management would be pleased if it could avoid liquidation.

"Everybody would agree that 18,500 people out of work would be about as bad a result as you can get," he said.

Hostess has announced its intention to sell its brands and recipes for various products and other assets as a way to generate cash for its creditors. Even if the products are purchased by other companies and once again sold to consumers, most potential buyers are unlikely to rehire Hostess employees to produce or deliver those products.

One hope for the unions and the employees was raised earlier in the day Monday when private equity firm Sun Capital Partners disclosed it wants to buy Hostess as a going concern, including reopening the shuttered factories and continuing union representation of Hostess workers.

Before Sun Capital's interest was first reported by Fortune Monday, the unions' statements and filings seemed resigned to the fact that Hostess will be closed down and the hourly workers will be out of work.

The Bakery Workers union issued a statement Saturday citing mismanagement over a number of years for the company's troubles.

"Hostess failed because its six management teams over the last eight years were unable to make it a profitable, successful business enterprise," said the union.

But it said its members understood when they went on strike that a shutdown of the company would likely occur.

"They were well aware of the potential consequences of their actions but stood strong for dignity, justice and respect," the union's said.

A spokesman for the Teamsters union, which represents 6,700 workers at Hostess, said he could not comment on the mediation.