Love’s Bakery is kissing its iconic powdered-sugar Donettes goodbye, the last of the regular flavors the company has been making for decades.
Byron Chong, vice president of sales and marketing, said Friday that the 169-year-old Hawaii bakery has seen a steady drop in sales of its once bestselling powdered Donettes over the years, and even bigger decreases on the sugar-coated and coconut-crunch varieties it discontinued earlier this year.
“We understand the white powdered donuts are one of Hawaii’s favorites; however, the snack market is so competitive and people are always looking for the next best thing,” he said. Even “our employees are really sad to see it go,” Chong added.
Love’s is planning to roll out new flavors — blueberry and lemon — in mid-May to see if that brings back doughnut sales.
Terry Elliott, the company’s president, said Love’s doughnut sales have declined for 15 years, even as specialty doughnut shops have become trendy. For the past few months, Love’s has only been baking the powdered Donettes, but running the production line only three hours a day was inefficient and did not justify the expense, he said.
Chong said Love’s was producing 75,000 Donettes per week, sold in 11-ounce boxes or 18-ounce tubs. Since the discontinuation of the Donettes was announced on Instagram on Thursday, “we have seen demand for the doughnuts skyrocket. We had 4.5 weeks of ingredient inventory on hand, but are now hoping we can produce for another two weeks.”
According to over 800 Instagram posts, Love’s customers are looking all over for Donettes, some planning to buy five boxes and freeze them, but they’re sold out at the usual grocery outlets, Chong said. “We didn’t think it would be as crazy!”