WWI lassies’ legacy lives on in “The Salvation Army Famous Doughnuts.”
by Shanti Hahler –
Since its inception almost two years ago, The Salvation Army Famous Doughnut program has had great success, generating $30,000 in contributions. It has been an affordable and easy-to-use marketing tool—people are always glad to receive a box of the delicious doughnuts.
Now, doughnut sales have hit a plateau. Our baking and grocery supporter, Kroger, has put the product into three baking plants and 1,300 stores, but despite their skill at merchandising and our support, they are suffering relatively high markdowns.
“The bright spot of the program remains in the Northwest, Cascade and Alaska divisions where Army support has been strong and Fred Meyer’s own leadership team really supports the program,” said Lee Stiles, Northwest Division director of development, who was the creative force in the production of the doughnuts. “Their sales are growing steadily.”
Bakery sales manager John Mohatt says the eye-catching new box design and strong promotional activity is driving sales growth. In September, they sold almost three boxes per store per day. If the Ralph’s stores in California and the 900 or so stores carrying the product in the other three U.S. territories matched that pace, the contributions to the Army would be over $75,000 per year.
The easiest way The Salvation Army can ensure the success of the doughnut program is to be sure that at every meeting of a corps, board, or committee, the doughnuts are there.
“We find the story of the lassies fascinates people, and everyone loves the doughnuts,” said Stiles. “Now, they are produced with 0 grams trans fat. I bet the lassies didn’t do that!”