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MAILBAG: The Demented Deluxe Donut Craze [$111.00 For A Dozen Donuts?!]

Yesterday, I went shopping for donuts. Today, I’m wondering how I’m going to pay my credit card bill next month.

You see, I wanted to get donuts for a small family Chanukah party. How much could it cost already for a dozen – twenty bucks? Not a problem, I’m happy to spend that money in exchange for a smile.

But as I prepared to leave, it was made very clear to me that the standard jelly and custard donuts I’ve been accustomed to for my entire life were no longer “chic.”

“These days,” I was told, “you have to get the nicer donuts or else you’re a nerd.”

Odd, but alright, nicer donuts it’ll be, I decided.

I went to a local store and asked for a dozen of their upper-end donuts. The worker behind the counter was very courteous and helped me choose between the dozen-or-so varieties they had to offer, each one more tantalizing than the one before it.

After boxing up my catch, my credit card was swiped and then I took that fateful look at the receipt. My jaw literally dropped and my eyes bulged.

“$111 for 12 donuts?!?! You’ve got to be kidding,” I said to the cashier.

He looked at me dumbfounded.

“Yeah, that’s pretty standard,” he replied, staring at me like I’d fallen off the moon.

Shaken up, I drove back home and demanded an explanation. Everyone had the same reaction as the cashier – sure, $111 for a dozen donuts is totally normal nowadays.

Now, lest I make myself to sound like an old, grumpy man, let me assure you that I am not that. I am very open-minded and I embrace revolutionary ideas and new ways of doing things with zest and vigor (I’m even writing this on an iPad – no dinosaur zeidy here!).

But guys, c’mon. We’ve completely fallen off our rockers!

Whatever happened to Chanukah being a time for family and friends to fulfill our happiness needs? Whatever happened to Chanuka being a celebration of ruchniyus over gashmiyus? Whatever happened to good old sensibility?

If you’re not a millionaire, you can’t afford these donuts. Can you get by? Sure, perhaps so. But these donuts don’t fit into your budget in any way, shape, or form. They’re an unnecessary, gluttonous expense. And somehow, the stores baking them, or the society trumpeting them, has made it not only commonplace to spend these sickening amounts of money on donuts, but you’re actually a “nerd” if you don’t!

This is what happens when the insane people start running the asylum.

When you have individuals in the community who spend their money (or more likely, rack up credit card debt) like drunken sailors, and those same people are seen as individuals to follow and emulate, the chickens will wind up coming home to roost.

With all the terribly high, and rising, expenses frum families are already facing, from clothing to food to tuition, do we really need the fleeting gooey goodness of a overpriced donut that tastes no better than the “nerdy” ones?

It says that kol haragil b’ner havei lo banim chachomim. With the stupidity surrounding the deluxe donut craze and retarded spending habits in general, we desperately need children to grow up with more sense than their pparents. So better get moving and become ragil b’ner – having children who are chachomim is pretty much our only chance at a return to sensibility.

Name withheld upon request

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

44 Responses

  1. If these donuts are being used to mehader mitzvah for the family Chanukah party, there should be no limit on prices (although I’m still searching where chazal bring down the mitzvas aseh for a Chanukah “party”). I’m sure you all remember the “designer cupcake” craze several years ago when we willingly paid $5+ dollars for a little piece of spongecake with some chocolate icing shmeared on top but justified the expense by serving them at a seudas mitzvah after your newest eynikl’s bris. Paying several hundred dollars for a Calabrian esrog is no longer regarded as mamash insanity.
    Mi kamocha yisroel!!

  2. These letters come out every year. The neis of Chanukah was when jews didn’t follow the crowd. If you insist on following the crowd you will be buying $15 doughnuts and $300 meat boards instead of using the resources that Hashem have you to fulfill the task you were put on this earth to do. Please don’t blame others. Take a stand or condemn yourself to be a slave to the insanity around you. The choice is yours.

  3. Btw, I recently purchased a few of these fancy $8 donuts here in Monsey. I must say that they are not even that good. They look amazing! But, they are a holy mess to eat and the taste- meh! The basic ones are just fine.

  4. “Retarded spending habits”?

    Oh boy.

    Anyway, this sounds like a New York problem. Can’t find any $10 donuts out of town.

  5. I’m not sure if I get what you are complaining about. You went ahead and made the decision to buy upper-end donuts. You choose to listen to people who told you that if you buy the standard jelly and custard donuts you are a nerd.

    why did you listen to them? What did you think? That the upper end donuts weren’t going to cost a lot more? It’s like choosing to make a Chanuka party in a high end restaurant and then complaining about how expensive Chanuka parties are.

    Maybe try to find a different crowd to hang out with .

  6. Sorry, but you’ll get no sympathy from me.
    Where I live, the local groceries sell delicious doughnuts for $2 apiece. Yes, it’s true that more expensive options are also readily available, but no one’s forcing you to buy them. My blessing to you is that being forced to “make do” with a standard donut rather than an upgraded one should be the only form of deprivation you’ll ever experience.

  7. I guess they’re trying to compete with the $1000.00 KingDOMA kosher Superbowl sandwich. Sih doo asach mishugayim oif der velt.

  8. For that price you could have bought a nice esrog that you could have used for an actual mitzvah all the days of Succos, or 2 -3 pounds of shmurah matzah also used for an actual mitzvah. I’m unaware of the mitzvah of any kind of donut.

  9. Smerel and Goldilocks, so true. This is the guy following the crowd while complaining that everyone must stop following the crowd. Just grow a spine and stand up to the insanity, and you will discover how easy and liberating it is.

  10. I can tell you from a first hand experience this morning that I noticed these donuts set up on a table at the local “express” store with no price on it. I asked the lady who was writing the flavors on the boxes as what the cost was. She said $7.95 a donut!
    I said you got to be kidding and she replied it’s bc of COVID.
    These stores should be ashamed to price gouge and the Vaad should step in as well to put an end to this craziness!

  11. I hope this author is a troll. If not I don’t know how she isn’t bankrupt yet with her hashkafa of “not being a nerd”

    No sympathy here

  12. Perhaps a boycott of donuts is in order. There was a 1902 kosher meat boycott of New York City kosher butchers in response to a coordinated increase in price of kosher meat which brought the price down.

  13. This is not price gauging. The problem with the OP was in not asking for the price before purchasing. The standard has become “I want it, I buy”. The idea of asking “can I afford it?” and “is it a reasonable price?” are becoming questions of the past. These vendors charge prices bec. they know that no one will ask the price first. Maybe they will grumble when they see the receipt or maybe they won’t. Either way, the sale is made because our spending habits have change.

    The necessary change is in our attitudes not the prices of luxury items.

  14. To all the negative commenters: If you have nothing good to say, then better not say it. The OP probably feels pretty stupid now, and if he wants to complain, then let him complain, even if it falls on deaf ears.

  15. Companies are entitled to produce both inexpensive/economy and expensive/luxury donuts.

    Consumers are also entitled to purchase either, both, or none of the above.

    If a typical frum store has the option of carrying one or both, and chooses to carry only the expensive ones, then that would be an issue. But as long as everyone has choices, I don’t see the issue.

  16. “the Vaad should step in as well to put an end to this craziness!”

    Absolutely. The Vaads should move $10 donuts to the TOP of their action lists. This is more of a threat to klal yisroel and yiddeshkeit than conservative rabbonim performing kiddushin, bochurim going OTD after watching pritzus on the internet and allowing varbeshe minyanim at the Kosel. In the interim, all profits from the sales of these donuts should be donated to the local shomrim (with deference to all the bad jokes about cops and dunkin donuts)

  17. I made my own and I am almost 80. Spend 3.50 on ingredients for 2 dozen. By the way Gourmet Glatt charge 1.79 pet doughnuts. So don’t be nuts.

  18. This should definitely be a topic for next year’s motzei Shabbos keynote session at the Agudah convention. This past week the hot topics were about iPhone and Neflix. Next year it’ll be about high end doughnuts and $95 onsies.

  19. Prediction:

    2 years from now there will be “Kimcha D’Chanuka” organizations to ensure families have $150/dz for Chanukah.

    You heard it here first!

  20. A dozen donuts at Dunkin or a pack of Entenmanns is about $10. We have lost sight of acceptable versus unacceptable if it’s okay to spend $111 on 12 donuts.

  21. The only way I could substantiate that kind of price these days would be if, aside from mehadrin kosher, the ingredients were organic and non-GMO whole grains, with a good cold-pressed oil used for frying, and natural, healthy sweeteners (such as organic cane sugar or syrups and fruit fillings).

  22. Regular איסור אונאה ripping of yidden like that I think there will a be a דין וחשבון on every donught they sell

  23. I would be more concerned that your family had that attitude you described. Teach them that this isn’t proper or even sane. Good luck

  24. I used to get breakfast from a very popular spot in Flatbush. One morning I asked the guy making my sandwich if he can add some hot sauce. I was charged an extra 50 cents for that. I never bought anything there ever again

  25. Spend the money on a deep fryer and make your own doughnuts. You’ll save money in the long run and freshly homemade doughnuts taste much better than store bought.
    If you don’t want to make your own dough, you can use something like Rhode’s frozen dinner rolls which make nice doughnuts. Cookie icing, sprinkles and various fillings can also easily be purchased.

  26. Someone should create an NFT for these donuts…why not right?

    At the end of the day, this is greed. Obviously, the cost to produce these is probably less than $1 each, so the margin here is astronomically high like 700% or more. But then, why not 10,000% or 20,000% or more…money has lost meaning when you have people charging thousands of dollars to people who pay for a virtual crypto land space inside of a online gaming platform or an NFT. The prices will go as high as the market will bear them. When there is demand and limited supply, prices rise and greed will push price gouging. At the end of the day, unless some type of unified price consortium is formed you can always find cheaper right around the corner if you are willing to look for it. Nobody is forcing you to pay for something you don’t want…but people are also lazy they don’t want to be bothered or troubled to have to search for a good price for something and wait for something…everyone wants instant coffee today. My wife for example makes the most amazing donuts at home in our deep fryer…couldn’t be happier with our <$.30 cents per donut cost and tastes amazing. Yes, I have to wash the dishes when she finishes making them…but hey life is full of little struggles right? You can't have everything easy…you can't have your cake and eat it too…unless you want to pay for it. Sometimes you need to price match, shop somewhere else or say no to price margins of 700% + which is just ripping you off.

  27. Same concept for six-figure weddings, $5000+ per person for a Pesach program, and $300 bottles of wine. Thr doughnuts have no actual Mitzvah, while the lopsided above Mitzvah can be adequately performed for a fraction of those costs

  28. I agree with the writer. The doughnut “craze” is out of control. Doughnuts should not cost more than $2. Just because they decide to put a cookie untop of the doughnut to make it look “fancier” shouldn’t rake up the price 300%. It makes no sense. People are convinced that the more expensive the doughnut is, the better it is. It’s all psychological and people trying to fit in. Fortunately, I don’t fall for this peer pressure and the classic $1.49 doughnut makes me and my family happy and I don’t care what people think….

  29. Which should I do? Crowdsourcing or a FaceBook appeal for my next Chanukah party?

    Cut your suit according to your cloth. I would have told the seller to void the sale and walked out. As long as there are people willing to pay these outrageous prices, there’ll be businesses laughing all the way to the bank.

  30. If this bothers you so much letter writer then it’s time to move OOT. You wanna be trendy and buy $10 donuts, go ahead, the store will be thrilled. You wanna be a “nerd” and buy $2 donuts? Go ahead, trust me no one could care less. You must nr living in a place that places much too high regard on the unimportant things and everyone devotes way too much time to trying to be like the next door neighbors when it comes to utter nonsense. Move to a place where you are respected for who you are especially when it comes to something as stupid as a donut. C’mon really? That’s what you’re judged on where you live??

  31. I called one of these pop up stores this morning on Central Avenue and asked how much the donuts were and they said they weren’t allowed to give prices over the phone.
    I called back again and they hung up on me after asking the question again. They were angry!
    They must know they are ripping people off and are told not to answer these “price questions” on the phone.
    I agree the VAAD needs to pull the hechsher from any one of these stores that prey on us by offering only the expensive donuts.
    Could you imagine the shalom bayis issues this must cause when the spouse comes homes unaware of the price they just paid for these donuts!!

  32. I assume these are not for the regular doughnuts, rather there seems to be “high-end” doughnuts, filled with some expensive cheese stuff and some expensive topping. It is also likely the dough used in these expensive doughnuts are not your simple doughnut dough, rather they include additional ingredients.

    It’s like an expensive piece of cheesecake.

  33. For all of you out there looking for a great deal on donuts L’Kovid Yomtov, Shoprite has all their Entenmans donuts on sale for $2.99. According to a local Rav here in Monsey, they might not even be considered Cholov Stam due to the fact that they use powdered milk. My Son brought home 8 of these crazy great looking but terribly difficult to eat donuts that the OP bought, and 6 1/2 of them are still on the table. They’re really not that good.

  34. @2scents
    Sorry to deflate your imaginary elite doughnut dreams.
    I have been there, I have tasted therm. It seems to be the same dough and there was no rationale based on costs. I will agree that there was more imaginative use of ingredients. they look great, especially in Williamsburg where the dairy ones need to each have a flag marking dairy status. By the way, the doughnut decorating craze arrived here, the price craze, not so much.
    Any mature adult will soon realize that some of the creams were not meant as fillings and don’t belong in a doughnut. I define mature as 31+

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