Interstate Bakeries (IBC), the largest wholesale baker and US distributor of bread, filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday blaming America’s increasing desire for low-carbohydrate diets for its decline in sales.

Shares in the company, which also manufactures America’s famous Hostess Twinkies brand, plunged by almost 40% yesterday to $2.05, having started the year close to $15, according to newspaper reports.

This followed the news that James Elsesser, chief executive and chairman, yesterday resigned from both jobs, handing control over to Tony Alvearez, the chief executive of Alvarez and Marsal, a turnaround specialist.