A baker in the Soho district of New York City created a sensation recently with a new concoction called a “Cronut,” which is a cross between a donut and a croissant.   There is now “Cronut Mania” in the city, with scalpers even getting into the act offering to stand on the long lines outside the shop and deliver the indulgent dessert directly to your office or home for as much as $100/Cronut (I did not make this stuff up!)  But this mania may die faster than a termite after eating some wood siding!

Cronut  Thanks to social media and the internet, the dessert went viral the first day it was sold at the lone shop with over 140,000 links in the first 24 hours. Now there are copycats all over the world from Vancouver to Sydney.

My guess is that this craze will go the way of cupcakes but much sooner.  Product life cycles keep getting shorter and shorter in this wired world.  I lived in Japan for many years and that country boasts the most curious and fickle consumers in the world.  Bakeries and ice cream stores seem very susceptible to this phenomenon.   A new concept opens and there are lines out the door for a few months and then everyone move on to the next big new idea!  Some clever shop owners went to the trouble of hiring young students to stand in line and create a buzz.  After all if there was a long line it must be good!  Just go to any drinks vending machine and you will be amazed at the variety and the frequency of new product introductions.

Not surprisingly, when all is said and done the brands with heritage remain to dominate the market.  McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts – they may not be very interesting but they still give us comfort and we do return after standing on those long lines to try the latest and greatest thing!


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