|June 9, 2009|
|National Donut Day is a Time for PR|
|By Greg Hazley|
|The bitter (and sweet) business of donuts is united today for National Donut Day with a flurry of PR activities that give the industry’s players a moment of levity amid the sector’s recent doldrums.|
The donut world has been hobbled by the rising costs of raw-materials (Krispy Kreme’s earnings were down 53 percent in the first quarter) and the summer months are particularly rough on the industry. And after years branching out to tout its breakfast sandwiches and iced drinks, Dunkin got back to its marketing roots in May with its first major donut campaign since the 1990s.
But June 5 is seen as a day for purveyors to shine. Rivals Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts are both offering free donuts today in some form, backed by PR efforts via their respective agencies, Fleishman-Hillard and RF Binder.
Dunkin is also leveraging the donut goodwill to unveil its newest customer-created offering – “Toffee for Your Coffee,” a glazed, sour cream cake donut topped with chopped Heath Bar. Look for that treat in the fall at Dunkin, which says it sells 2.5M donuts a day.
But the retailers aren’t the only ones getting in on the action.
Interstate Bakeries’ Hostess brand, working with Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, is offering up a historical perspective on donuts, noting it produces enough donuts each year (two billion) to wrap around the earth three times. IB also wants journalists to know that Louisville, Ky., consumes the most donuts per capita (bought at grocery stores) than any other U.S. city, followed by Cincinnati, Roanoke, Va., Knoxville, Tenn., and Indianapolis.
With all the buzz, there isn’t much mention of the original purpose of the “holiday,” which was started in the 1930s as a fundraiser for the Chicago Salvation Army during the Depression. Donuts were chosen to honor the so-called “Lassies” of World War I – women who served donuts to soldiers in France.
Bashas Family Stores, a grocery chain based in Phoenix, picked up on the day’s origin in a campaign with PR firm C-K PR that is delivering donuts to cops and giving away 10 percent of sales to the Salvation Army.
Happy Donut Day to all.
(Image via photobucket)
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