Are donuts getting dunked?

As I passed by a Dunkin’ Donuts downtown earlier tonight, a thought occurred to me:

Nobody eats donuts anymore.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how true it was. Remember when it used to be cool to go to Dunkin’ Donuts and get a few Munchkins, or a chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles, or a marble donut (my personal favorite)? Now, it seems like it’s all about the cheesecake, the ice cream, and the pie (though I’d say that pie is less popular than the other two).

Years ago, Dunkin’ Donuts used to be strong. The store could stand on its own, it had customers (including many who were not policemen), and I like to think it was successful. But now, Dunkin’ Donuts has become the Voldemort of dessert stores–just like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Dunkin’ Donuts cannot survive without being attached to a more powerful store like Baskin Robbins or Togo’s.

(The other day, however, I drove by a “Dunkin’ Deli” where the Togo’s used to be…is DD starting to think strategically?)

And really, when you go into one of those donut/ice cream/sandwich stores, are you actually going to get a donut? You can get a donut at the grocery store. It seems like a waste of a trip to a dessert store to just get a donut.

Out with a friend? On a date? Looking for a post-movie snack? A donut is just not going to satisfy you. You need something more substantial, right? Something you need to sit down and eat. Something you can eat with silverware. Ah, yes. That is what the problem is.

Donut : ice cream or cheesecake
Hamburger : filet mignon

Both the donut and the hamburger seem to be saying, “Eat me really quickly! You don’t even need a knife and fork. And you don’t have to enjoy me if you don’t want to.” The finer foods care about their eaters more: “Relax. Stay a while. I’m a special treat. Impress your friends by eating me–I’m delicious.”

I can’t just blame Dunkin’ Donuts. Krispy Kreme is not so innocent either. Remember when they first came out, and everyone was all “WOAHHHH. They’re not really crispy or creamy, but it’s okay because those two words are spelled wrong in the title, and the donuts are just so delicious”? Schools sold them as fundraisers. They probably still do. But personally, I feel like I’m about to have a heart attack after every Krispy Kreme donut I eat, so I’ve kind of given up on them.

When I was little, I used to have birthday donuts instead of birthday cake at my parties. I would get a marble donut with one candle in it, and then we’d all eat donuts and be merry. I never realized that it wasn’t normal to eat donuts and not birthday cake at such occasions, but I was happy.

But when was the last time I ate a donut?

Is it just that I’m getting older? Are college students too mature for the donut? Or has the donut actually fallen off the face of the earth?

Like the dough in the center of the round pastry, donuts are just absent. People are glazing over them. Munchkins are coming up short.

It hurts, donut?

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8 thoughts on “Are donuts getting dunked?

  1. This article reeks of anti-donut bias. Why, I just had multiple donuts when I was home for winter break (it’s a hanukkah tradition), and I probably would eat more if there was a donut place on campus. I also buy Entemann’s when I’m home.
    I think I may have dreamed about donuts a few nights ago, too.
    Yum… I really want a donut now.
    –reuben

  2. Ok. Here’s my response to that.

    1. Jelly donuts for Hanukkah are a totally different discussion. Those are traditional. I’m not going to try to argue that hamantaschen or round challahs are out of style, and neither are jelly donuts. But you don’t eat jelly donuts year-round, do you?

    2. There must be a reason there is no donut place on campus. Think about it.

    3. You buy Entemann’s from a grocery store. Not from a donut store. Grocery store donuts are a whole separate issue. Those are fine.

    4. I remember once last summer you and I went to a Dunkin Donuts / Baskin Robbins / Togo’s place. If I recall correctly, we both ordered ice cream. If you wanted a donut so badly, why didn’t you order one then?

    5. Ha. Take that, donut fan. Long live ice cream and cheesecake!!!

  3. 1. While jelly donuts were in the majority, there was an assortment of donut types, including sprinkled and chocolate. I believe I had one of each.

    2. Well, there’s no deli on campus either, but I’m sure a lot of people could go for some fresh cut bologna. (And it has come to my attention that there is actually a “Ye Olde Donut Shop” very close to campus. I will have to start patronizing this establishment very soon, all thanks to you. hahahaha)

    3. So now we’re segregating the donuts, eh? Apparently the grocery store ones are the only ones superior enough to be eaten by you? I, on the other hand, choose not to judge donuts by their place of purchase, but by the content of their ingredients.

    4. I suppose that I was just “in the mood” for ice cream at the time. It was probably hot, which usually makes me more inclined to choose ice cream. Just because I like donuts does not mean that I must eat them constantly. I’m sure most doctors would agree that a varied diet of junk food is better than eating only one kind of junk food all the time.

    5. All part of a balanced diet–with donuts.

  4. Haha. You’re funny. What ever happened to the blog you once tried to have?

    Thanks for your comments.

    I’m gonna go eat some Oreos now.

  5. Ok, you are close to correct, but not totally. Allow me to re-educate you:

    1. Dunkin Donuts suck. This is why they are going out of business (and they are). Simply put, no one goes there for coffee anymore, with the Starbucks/Caribou crazes, and no one likes their donuts. They are not actually donuts, they are cake in the shape of donuts. Anyone who says otherwise (and I’m sure several “loyal” Dunkin fans will attack me, even though they likely do not frequent Dunkin anymore themselves) is a fool. Dunkin Donuts are not donuts, but rather cake.

    2. Krispy Kreme too is going out of business (three stores near me closed recently) and the reason is similar: People don’t want an overly-sugary donut. In fact, although they still thrive in Appalacia, where the chain began, most of the Krispy Kreme audience has moved towards the latest craze of dieting, being that our country continues to get fatter.

    3. Entenmann’s, or however you spell it, also sucks. For some reason, northeasterners still like those “donuts” (again, they can hardly be called such), but as more and more northeasterners realize that they are stupid (the donuts AND the people), the company is not selling as many pastries as it used to.

    However!

    4. Shipley’s Do-nuts continue to boom. A new Shipley’s store was just put up near me, and I’m not surprised. This is a donut for which I will go out of my way to eat! It is fantastic when cold, and even better when warm. It doesn’t have TOO much sugar (you can’t see the congealed glaze like on KK) and it’s not cakey at all. More and more people love Shipley’s!

    5. Mom & Pop places – Places such as “the Donut Wheel” somehow manage to stay in business, even booming more after the collapse of nearby KKs. That’s fantastic.

    So, simply put, the market for donuts is not getting smaller, but rather more refined. More people are buying better donuts and leaving the crappy ones behind.

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