According to the Wall Street Journal, the company that makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as early as this week. This would be the second time that Hostess Brands, Inc. has filed for bankruptcy in less than a decade.

Sales of Twinkies have been down about 2% in the past year, and the company owes more than $50 million to vendors, which have been demanding payments on shorter timeframes due to the companies' shaky financial condition.

The privately held Irving, Texas, company employs approximately 19 thousand people and carries more than $860 million in debt has been facing a cash squeeze due to higher costs for sugar, flour and other ingredients.

Once in bankruptcy court, Hostess will also try to renegotiate labor contracts and reduce other costs. Failing that, the company could face liquidation. Could that spell the end of the Twinkie? If that worries you, stock up now. They have a shelf life of 137 years, and if you deep fry them, even the stale ones still taste yummy!

[The Wall Street Journal]