Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Somewhere, the Japanese Homer Simpson is drooling: Mister Donut to change recipes for first time in 42 years - The Japan Times

Mister Donut to change recipes for first time in 42 years - The Japan Times

I love Mister Donut, but it's my second pick behind Krispy Kreme.  My brothers and I grew up on Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  We didn't get them often, but the HOT DOUGHNUTS light could lure even my parents into making an unscheduled stop at the Krispy Kreme store on Slappey if we happened to be driving by at the right time.  I'm a doughnut lover, and Krispy Kreme is the one by which I judge all others.  Those of you from places with your own regional brands must have your own standards, and that's fine.

Here in Japan, I suppose Mister Donut to be the standard setter.  When I first arrived here back in 2004, it was the only doughnut game in town.  That changed soon after with the arrival of Krispy Kreme's flagship store on the south side of Shinjuku Station.  I stood in those long lines to get a taste of home, and I wondered how Krispy Kreme's expansion across Japan would affect Mister Donut.

Perhaps not at all, I thought.  While students often asked me about them-- the doughnuts they referred to as "Krispy doughnuts"-- and seemed at least amused by their arrival in Tokyo, whenever they'd actually try them they usually declared them too sweet.  By contrast, Mister Donut's offerings were a bit blander, which I just figured better fit the refined Japanese doughnut palate.  There'd be ample room in the Japanese market for both the less sweet and the intensely sweet, so I thought.

Now Krispy Kreme has become well entrenched here, but I don't know if they're the reason for Mister Donut's problems and this attempted solution.  "Tastier" doesn't necessarily mean sweeter.  There are Krispy Kreme shops all over Tokyo (I can't remember how many, but you can look it up as easily as I can) and the era of two hour waits is long over.  My fiancee recently went to the Krispy Kreme in Nagoya Station and told me it wasn't all that busy.  She might have been there at an off-peak time or maybe the craze has ended.  I have been to Mister Donut here in Hamamatsu more than once in the past few months and had trouble finding a table.  These are just personal observations.  Rely on the business people to know how their own companies are doing.  Maybe both stores are doing each other in.  I hope not.

I need my doughnuts.

No comments: