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July 15, 2013

Twinkies Upsized, Downsized, Upsized

Filed under: Downsizing,Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:06 am

Lost in the hoopla of Hostess reintroducing Twinkies starting July 15 is how the size of that sweet treat has changed over time.

Here is a short but incomplete photographic history of Twinkies over the past 40 years.


Twinkies 70s
1970s – 13 oz. – $1.19

Twinkies 2001
2001 – 15 oz. – $3.49

Twinkies Jan 12
January 2012 – 15 oz.

Twinkies Dec 12
December 2012 – 13.5 oz. – $4.29

Twinkies July 13
July 2013 – 13.58 oz – $3.99

In a rollercoaster history, Twinkies have gotten bigger, gotten smaller, and gotten slightly bigger again with today’s release. And while the price has more than tripled over four decades, it appears to have just been lowered by 30 cents.

And if you haven’t heard, the shelf-life of the product has been “improved” from 26 days to 45 days.

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  1. With inflation taken into account, Twinkies are less expensive than they were 40 years ago. Inflation adjust prices (less 10% for shrinkage)
    would be $4.75

    Comment by Rob of NY — July 15, 2013 @ 8:21 am
  2. Rob, if you look at it in terms of buying power for the federal minimum wage (which may vary by state), in the 1970s vs. 2013, you’ll see that Twinkies are more expensive now. For example, in 1978, the federal minimum wage was $2.65 and the Twinkies were $1.19, so a box would cost about 45% of an hour’s wages. In 2013, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 and the Twinkies are $3.99, which is about 55% of an hour’s wages.

    Comment by Jamie — July 15, 2013 @ 9:28 am
  3. Jamie, you don’t adjust prices by the minimum wage, you go by inflation as Rob did.

    Comment by James — July 15, 2013 @ 9:53 am
  4. The rate of inflation changes from year to year but the Cumulative rate of inflation between 1970 and 2013 was 500.4%. $1.19 in 1970 had the same buying power as $7.14 in 2013. Twinkies are now priced at $3.99 and it weighs 0.58 oz more today than it did in 1970.

    Comment by Peter — July 15, 2013 @ 10:57 am
  5. Those trading cards on the 1970’s box are very collectible.

    Comment by Richard Ginn — July 15, 2013 @ 11:21 am
  6. When adding inflation to the equation I’d say Twinkies have done well.

    Even if the weight has changed there has always been 10 Twinkies in the box. The thing that really matters is the nutritional contents. If old Twinkies have the same number of calories or fewer than new Twinkies then Twinkies are a good deal…

    for people that don’t care about eating junk food that is. I use the term “nutritional” loosely in this case.

    Comment by Wayne R — July 15, 2013 @ 12:06 pm
  7. Who cares about the weight of the Twinkies. What ruined them was changing the cream in them to something pretty inedible. Once upon it was good and didn’t coat your tongue. Yuck.

    Comment by Mary Ann — July 15, 2013 @ 10:00 pm
  8. Take a look at bakeries. How they have downsized certain bake goods such as coffee rolls, bagels, muffins and donuts. My daughter-in-law is a baker and it is standard procedure at this point and IMO every bit as sly as manufacturers reducing packaged goods whole increasing price after a few months,

    Comment by Rick — July 16, 2013 @ 8:49 am
  9. I’ll have to agree with Mary Ann on this topic.
    When I was youngster (forty-plus years ago), Twinkies tasted good. Then, they changed the filling.
    They tasted terrible after that change.
    I don’t care what the price is, the calorie count, or the amount per box.

    Comment by Jack — July 16, 2013 @ 10:14 pm
  10. Yes, they may have changed the filling and flavor but many of us still like them. To each their own.

    Comment by Peter — July 17, 2013 @ 7:23 am
  11. Now if they’d just go back to the 1970’s recipe before the days of high fructose corn syrup and other unpronouncable artificial ingredients, I might buy them…. They were great when I was a kid; not so good anymore with all the preservatives.

    Comment by Julie — July 17, 2013 @ 11:17 pm
  12. Does anyone know how the ingredients have changed over the years?

    Comment by Linda — July 29, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

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