retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Eater reports that Voodoo Doughnuts has ended a challenge to customers that it has extended for years, but that last weekend resulted in the death of one of its customers.

The story says that Portland, Oregon-based Voodoo has for years challenged its customers to eat a half-pound doughnut (the equivalent of a half-dozen normal-sized doughnuts) in 80 seconds, with winners getting "bragging rights, a free meal, and other swag."

But last Sunday, at Voodoo's Denver store, "that challenge was taken on by 42 year old Travis Malouff who began choking on the doughnut and soon thereafter died of asphyxia, due to obstruction of the airway." As a result. the company announced that "it has suspended the challenge at all seven locations."
KC's View:
Voodoo, which is an enormous tourist attraction in Portland (there often are lines of dozens of people waiting to buy doughnuts, many of which have names unmentionable on this website), is well-served by ending this promotion for good. I don't mean to get curmudgeonly, but somehow I lately find these kinds of promotions, trading on gluttony and excess, to be sort of hard to watch.

It ought not take someone's death to make people realize that we can do better than this.