Cult American snacks Twinkies are being marketed on the internet like exquisite delicacies.
Hours after Twinkie-maker Hostess announced its plans to close its doors forever, people flocked to stores to fill their shopping baskets with boxes of the cream-filled sponge cakes and their sibling snacks - Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Zingers.
Late on Friday and Saturday, the opportunists took to the websites eBay and Craigslist. They began marketing their hoard to whimsical collectors and junk-food lovers for hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of dollars. That is a fat profit margin, when you consider the retail price for a box of 10 Twinkies is roughly 5 dollars (£3).
Greg Edmonds of Sherman, Texas, is among those who believe Twinkies are worth more now that Hostess Brands has closed its bakeries. He lost his job as a sales representative eight months ago, so he is hoping to make some money feeding the appetites of Twinkie fans and connoisseurs
After spending a couple of hours driving around to stores Friday, Edmonds wound up with 16 boxes of Twinkies and Ding Dongs. He started selling them Saturday on eBay, advertising three boxes for a hefty price of 300 dollars (£190).
"I could really use the extra money since I'm unemployed," Mr Edmonds, 50, said. "I figure I better sell them pretty quickly because I am not sure how long this novelty is going to last."
Contrary to popular belief, Twinkies do not last forever. Most bought in stores Friday carry an expiration date of early December, If buyers do not bite, Edmonds is not sure what he will do with his supply. He does not even like them. "I do like to have a Ding Dong, every once in a while though," he said.
figure I am getting sugar off the streets."
Although Hostess is shutting down, it's still possible that Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos could make a comeback. That's because Hostess is planning to sell its brands and other assets at an auction to be overseen by a US bankruptcy judge in New York.
Several potential buyers could emerge for Twinkies, particularly with the recent outpouring of affection. A hearing on Hostess' liquidation request is scheduled for Monday morning.