Army launches “Doughnut Roadshow”

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by Jena Hubbard – 

SHOPPERS AT A Fred Meyer store in the Northwest look over a display of The Salvation Army Famous Doughnut.

On January 5, The Salvation Army’s Northwest Division launched its Famous Doughnut product in Fred Meyer stores throughout Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska. Salvation Army officers, staff, board members and volunteers rushed to their local Fred Meyer stores to buy doughnuts for themselves, for their families and co-workers. The Fred Meyer store nearest to the Northwest DHQ nearly ran out of doughnuts that first week due to DHQ staff purchasing doughnuts for meetings. To top it off, a surprise snowstorm shut down production at the bakery where the doughnuts are produced.

“It was clear that internal Salvation Army marketing efforts had created a demand for the doughnuts; however, we began to wonder if the general public was buying the doughnuts as well,” said Major Joe Posillico, general secretary for the Northwest Division.

So, on January 15, the Northwest Division enacted Operation Doughnut Roadshow, a daylong event that entailed Salvation Army staff and officers hand-delivering soldier’s helmets filled with boxes of Famous Doughnuts to television, radio and media outlets along with a press release announcing the arrival of the Famous Doughnuts.

One reporter nearly missed a story deadline in his rush to rescue his share of Famous Doughnut boxes from the clutches of the security guards at the front desk of his office.

By the end of the day, the Doughnut Roadshow team was exhausted, but considered the operation a resounding success.

Immediately following the Doughnut Roadshow, television, radio and print media including the Associate Press ate up the story of The Salvation Army’s re-entry into the doughnut business with its Famous Doughnut.

Also helping to drive excitement and the, ahhh, hunger for the Famous Doughnut were a number of generous in-store and newspaper advertisements placed by Fred Meyer the week of January 11.

“The Famous Doughnut is selling extremely well for a new product. It has been popular with Fred Meyer customers since the day it was introduced due to the fact that it is a tasty alternative and a terrific addition to our selection of boxed doughnuts,” said Fred Meyer Public Relations Director Rob Boley.

In fact, the Famous Doughnut has become, well, so famous, that Frontier Packaging, the company who prints the doughnut box has had to order another run of boxes in order to keep up with the demand.

“If we can keep up this level of demand and momentum through our testing period with Fred Meyer, the Famous Doughnut and its message of compassion and hope will be unstoppable,” said Salvation Army board member and Famous Doughnut creator Lee Stiles.

Please call 1-800-736-7291 if you have questions about the Famous Doughnut or would like to get the doughnuts in a store near you.


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