National Donut Day 2012
05/31/2012 -- June 1st is National Donut Day. Unlike other food recognition days, National Donut Day, like its honored confection, is steeped in history. It was started in 1938 by The Salvation Army to honor the volunteer association’s “Donut Lassies” who offered donuts to World War 1 soldiers, who at the time were often referred to as “doughboys.”
As the soldiers began returning home from the war, they carried their love for donuts back to the states. In New York City, to keep up with the growing demand for his Mayflower Donuts, Adolph Levitt (circa 1920) invented the first donut-making machine. For a full run down on the historical confection, you may want to read The Donut Book, Levitt’s granddaughter, Sally Levitt Steinberg.
With 2012 being the 75th anniversary of The Salvation Army’s original and brilliant public relations campaign, companies are stepping up to honor the fried dough product that may just be more American than apple pie.
Often, local bakeries simply hang a sign in their window offering free donuts in celebration of National Donut Day, while the huge and mid-size chains which drive millions of dollars in donut sales, have stepped up their approach with national promotions.
FoodAndBeveragePeople.com has been tracking the national promotions in recent weeks which include the simple and the sublime:
- Dublin, Ohio-based Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop is offering its U.S. Facebook fans and those who newly “like” Tim Hortons’ Facebook page a free donut with any purchase on National Donut Day.
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme is commemorating National Doughnut Day with a one-of-a-kind complimentary treat.Visitors who stop in to any Krispy Kreme in the United States or Canada can select a free doughnut without any purchase.
- Denver-based LaMar's Donuts will offer one free donut to each guest, with no purchase necessary. "On National Donut Day, we invite everyone to help us salute the Lassies and the military men they served by enjoying a LaMar's donut on us." LaMar's spokesperson Kayde Pierce said. The offer is good for any regular donut available at LaMar's, with LaMar's Bars, Bizmarks, fritters and other products made without a center hole understandably exempt from the offer.
- Franchise giant Dunkin' Donuts have invited their Wall Street friends to the party. In honor of National Donut Day, acclaimed Broadway producer and director Harold Prince will join Nigel Travis, Dunkin' Brands CEO and Dunkin' Donut President, U.S. and John Costello, Dunkin' Brands Chief Global Marketing and Innovation Officer, to ring the Opening Bell. Less connected fans of Dunkin’ Donuts can visit participating restaurants nationwide for a free donut of their choice with the purchase of any beverage.
- Oddly, in what is publicized as an honoring of the holiday, NASDAQ will unofficially change its name to "NASDDAQ" for the day, incorporating Dunkin Donuts' iconic pink and orange D's into the NASDAQ logo while changing the "Q" to resemble a donut. (Nice try but that appears to honor Dunkin’ Donuts a bit more than the day, especially since NASDAQ did a similar logo re-do when Dunkin’ Donuts made its stock-market debut.)
- Finally, and most importantly, Entenmann’s is honoring The Salvation Army.The company announced that from April 22 to June 23 Entenmann's Bakery will donate $1.00 to The Salvation Army organization for every person who "likes" the Entenmann's Facebook page, up to $25,000. Entenmann's will also be rewarding lucky winners with ‘Free Donuts for a Year' and additional prizes through Entenmann's Facebook page.
Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army suggests, "National Donut Day has become a true American tradition in which The Salvation Army and Entenmann's Bakery asks the general public to remember those who fought in World War I, as well as their neighbors who may have fallen on hard times."
With 30 million Americans receiving Salvation Army assistance in 2011, the organization’s 3,600 officers, 60,000 employees and 3.4 million volunteers are filling far more than donut holes in people’s lives.
- LA’s Flagship Food Group To Acquire UK Based Atlantic Foods Group Flagship Food Group is a diversified food and consumer products company supplying frozen, shelf-stable, and fresh products into both the retail and food service markets.
- National Restaurant Association Projecting 448,000 Summer Jobs According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry is the nation's second-largest creator of summer jobs.
- Campbell to Acquire Plum Organics, Entering the Premium Baby Food Category Campbell Soup Company expects to close on the acquisition of Plum Organics by the fourth quarter of their 2013 fiscal year.
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