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Snooth User: EMark

NWR: Why are Donut Boxes Pink?

Posted by EMark, May 29, 2017.

This was some of the better reading in today's L.A. Times:  Why are Doughnut Boxes Pink?

I guess I'd never though of it, before, but, sure enough, every mom and pop strip mall donut shop uses pink boxes.  Yes, we do have corporate donut giants, here--e.g., Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts--and, in fact, the boxes that they use are not pink--emblazoned with corporate colors and logos.  The aricle is not clear that pink is a Southern California thing.  So, I am tappinig the wisdom of the Snooth crowd.  Does there appear to be any convention in the boxes used by local neighborhood donut shops in other geographies?

Back in the olden days when I worked for a living, I made regular trips to Honolulu.  Occasionally, someone would bring in pastries from a Chinese bakery.  Invariably, these came in very beautiful bright red boxes.  The article explains the significance of the color red.

The article goes into some detail on the fact, familiar to most of us here in Southern California, that local donut shops are predominantly owned by Cambodian immigrants.  FWIW, nail salons seem to be mostly ethnic Vietnamese.

I have reason to buy boxes of donuts on a semi-regular basis.  For the life of me, I can't figure this out, but it seems that donuts here in eastern Los Angeles county are more expensive than in the Long Beach/South Bay areas.  I can't imagine why.  Everything else on that side of town is spendier.  Not only are donuts cheaper in that area, but it is not unknown for some places to add a half dozen donut holes gratis.

Also, I might add that my research shows that Moon Donuts in Torrance has the best examples of Sugar-Coated-Boiled-in-Oil belly bombs.  Peggy's theory is that they change their oil much more frequently than others.  Whatever it is, they are good.  They don't toss in any free donut holes, though.

Duncan and Stephen, if you would like to add a non-US-centric view to this, that would be excellent.


Reply by GregT, May 29, 2017.

Fun article Emark. I never thought about it but now that I do, a lot of the dumplings and pastries I bought in Chinatown NYC came in pink boxes too, and all the bags were pink. Donuts are something I'd never buy or eat, but I can just imagine cakes and cookies in those boxes. Interesting how these things become part of the culture by accident. Also interesting that people find the stuff from various regions to be of particular interest. I remember when Krispy Creme came to NYC - I took a bite of one and thought it was as bad as the Dunkin Donuts that were ubiquitous. But they sold them at Macy's! Then in San Diego, there was actually a news article about Dunkin Donuts showing up. Funny stuff.

Reply by Stephen Harvey, May 29, 2017.

You got to love donuts

Made famous by Homer Simpson

I have been a donut fan since the sixties as a school kid

My favourite is plain donuts sprinkled with sugar

I usually buy mine from the local bakery so they come in a non descript brown/white paper bag

Chocolate topped donuts probably dominate the Aussie world although we do have a Krispy Creme takeover happening of recent times

Reply by rckr1951, Jun 2, 2017.

Interesting and enjoyable read.  I never paid attention to the box in the 20+ yrs in Ca., but now that I think about it I don't remember getting it in another color even though we had a Duncan Donuts right down the street.

Reply by EMark, Jun 2, 2017.

Where/when did you live in CA, Paul?

FWIW, when I was a youngster, we lived in Madison, WI in '62-'63.

Reply by rckr1951, Jun 2, 2017.

Lived in San Diego and Long Beach from '72-'92 and briefly in Lake Arrowhead before moving here.

I was living in Oregon, Wi (7 mi sth on Hwy 14) during your time in Madison.  Remember well the '62 Badger Rose bowl team - Vander Kellen, Pat Richter et al. 

Reply by GregT, Jun 3, 2017.

And there's the classic donut recipe from Paula Deen.

You take your stale Krispy Kreme donuts (because of course you'll have plenty of them in the house), and you put those into a casserole dish that has been greased with plenty of margarine. Pour sweetened condensed milk over them, maybe use two cans. Make sure the donuts are wet. Put the whole dish of slop in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F until yummy!

Don't know if it would work with Dunkin Donuts.


Reply by dmcker, Jun 3, 2017.

Proposal for an experiment: we lock GregT in a windowless room with nothing but several cases of pinot noir and several *white* boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts, for about a week, and see what happens. Perhaps we also make it possible for him to leave after half that time if he writes detailed tasting notes, with photos, for the PN, and the donuts.    ;-)

Reply by EMark, Jun 3, 2017.

I listened to that game on the radio.  Pretty exciting.  When we moved to Madison, we learned about the difference between VHF and UHF telecasting.  Madison had four TV stations--three UHF and one VHF.  Our TV only understood VHF.  So, the only thing we were able to watch was the local CBS affiliate.

There was some girl in my Jr. High School, more than likely, in some of my classes, who was Pat Richter's cousin. So, he was a speaker at a school assembly that winter.

The other thing I remember about living there, along with how stupidly cold it would get, was how the entire state went gonzo over the high school basketball tournament.  Anybody who had a ticket to the finals had an excused absence from school or work.  

Part Deux of L.A. Times penetrating coverage on the local donut industry.  Did anybody miss National Donut Day, yesterday?

Reply by rckr1951, Jun 3, 2017.

Still go gonzo over the BBall Tourney.

And no I did not miss, though I did not need also.

Reply by dmcker, Jun 4, 2017.

Hey, why turn down free donuts on nat'l donut day? Plenty of outlets didn't even require beverage purchases it would seem. Wonder which one Greg frequented?  ;-)

And Mark, to help with your int'l perspective, Japan has plenty of Mr. Donuts (affiliated with KFC and Pizza Hut over here) and Krispy Kreme. Also cool craft donut shops run by hipsters in millennial-fashionable neighborhoods, so the food doesn't have as negative a junkfood connotation over here as there (remember the 'Japanese Diet' heavy on carbs back before Zone then Atkins came along? People noticed Japanese weren't heavy and figured it was just due to how they eat, then aggregated that in haphazard fashion before publishing the book. Now, of course, Japanese are experiencing the beginnings of an obesity trend thanks to all the American chains and an easier, more affluent urban lifestyle). Dunkin' Donuts exited after many years, and while not donuts Cinnabon mushroomed, disappeared, and is back again with a smaller footprint. Similar story for many US chains. Wendy's did the same and is now back in a JV with a downmarket local Japanese chain, Taco Bell is giving it a try again, etc., etc. IHOP was here years ago but withered on the vine fairly quickly, Denny's was quite US-style for awhile but now is lots of ramen and almost entirely Japanese in menu. It's part of a huge conglomerate that bought up 7-11, does a lot of Internet banking, etc. 

No pink bakery boxes over here. People tend to buy smaller volumes, and vendors tend to want to brand, even wrappings. Do have fond memories of those boxes, both from elementary school when a bakery on the route between my home and school would put strawberry creme pies in them when I was able to twist my mom's arm since she and my grandmothers never made that type of pie, and my freshman year in college when after prodigious consumption of the dirt weed of the time I and a friend would make a run from the dorm to the local bakery where we'd get big boxes of maple bars. They and bottles of Cherry Kijafa were somehow what our sweet teeth required at that time, and we'd already had dinner earlier so pizza never entered the equation....

Reply by Coleney, Jun 16, 2017.

Interesting article, thank you for sharing.

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