Leading the Omaha Cronut Craze


By Jana Roberts
July 19, 2013

Maybe you haven’t heard yet, but cronuts are the new it-pastry. What’s a cronut? It is the heavenly combination of croissant dough that is cut, fried, and adorned donut-style. Created by New York City Chef and bakery owner Dominique Ansel, the cronut has ignited a craze so strong that baked-goods enthusiasts will wait in line for hours starting as early as 6am to get them. But at the Dominique Ansel Bakery, that kind of dedication allows you two cronuts, maximum.

During a recent trip to NYC, I looked into the potential of getting a cronut of my very own (to brag about it back home, obviously) but came to the conclusion that no pastry was worth the hours of wait (especially outside in the July heat) or the early wake up call. Instead, I opted for an afternoon cookie and thought little of it.

Fast forward less than a week, and I come across cronuts in Omaha! Jones Bros. (traditionally renowned for their cupcakes) has made news of their copycat cronuts on Facebook, but I believe they should be shouting it from the rooftops! Why aren’t they? CRONUTS ARE EVERYWHERE!!!

Except – they aren’t.

This should be good news, right? Jones Bros. has the leg up on a hot trend that hardly anyone in Omaha knows about. Essentially, that is the problem. No one knows they’re supposed to be looking for cronuts or waiting for in line for them for hours. How can we start the cronut awareness movement here? How can Jones Bros. and their competitors create a demand for an invented baked good?

1. People can’t want something if they don’t know it exists – As with any type of disruptive innovation, the cronut requires education. Dominique Ansel has an entire page on his website dedicated to “Cronut 101.” Fellow bakeries would be wise to promote the decadence of a croissant-donut hybrid for those outside the bakery blog community.

2. People want what they can’t have – This is clearly a “duh” statement, but not one to forget. Just because a bakery can supply all their patrons with a cronut, doesn’t mean they should. There is value in the scarcity. Besides, people who have to keep checking back might end up buying cupcakes every time the cronuts are out. Just leave them wanting more…

3. People want to be in the elite – An exclusive access to the treasured treat might be just the ticket to getting the word out. Inviting only the most loyal customers to try the cronut will undoubtedly lead to twitter and facebook coverage that will spike interest.

So that’s the unsolicited sales strategy for sparking the Omaha Cronut Frenzy. I hope it catches fire so I’m no longer the only person who is excited by their existence.

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