Five kids and five adults are one step closer to seeing their pop culture-inspired donut flavor featured in Bashas’ supermarkets bakery cases next month.

The theme of this year’s 9th Annual Donut Flavor Craze Contest was “pop culture,” so Bashas’ challenged Arizona kids and adults to dream up new donut flavors inspired by their favorite album, video game, television series, book, cartoon or even motion picture.

“From Taylor Swift, Prince, and Jimmy Buffett to Star Wars, Pac-Man, Purple Rain, and more, the creative donut flavors that Arizonans submitted represented pop culture from today and years past,” says Ashley Shick, director of communications & public affairs for Bashas’ Family of Stores. “There are iconic representations of games, characters, and music that have stood the test of pop culture time. After nine years of this contest, we are still blown away by the creativity and vision of Arizonans young and old.”

Ten local finalists were chosen from two categories (kids ages 8-17 and adults 18 and older) based on a 100-word description of their best donut flavor idea, including the proposed name, description and key ingredients. The finalists reside in Buckeye, Gilbert, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix and Thatcher, Arizona.

Bashas’ named the following five kids as Donut Flavor Craze finalists for their submissions:

  • Pot of Honey Donut: Inspired by the beloved children’s story character, Winnie-the-Pooh, this donut has crumbled Nilla wafers and a drizzle of honey on top, with two Nilla cookies placed on the top of the donut for ears. Pooh’s Pot of Honey donut is sure to make you feel as happy as Winnie-the-Pooh is when he has his pot of honey and is surrounded by friends! (Elizabeth B., age 17, Gilbert)
  • Chew-Donut: A Star-Wars-inspired Chewbacca donut with coconut flakes as his fur and a stripe of chocolate for his belt. (Florence W., age 10, Thatcher)
  • Bluey-Blueberry Donut: Inspired by the popular animated children’s television series, Bluey is a lovable and inexhaustible Blue Heeler puppy who is learning all about the world. This donut has blueberry and white icing with ears sticking out! (Matilda W. age 8, Thatcher)
  • The Inheritance Games Donut: Based off the Inheritance Games book series, this donut has peppermint/mint-flavored cream and cookie crumbles on top of chocolate frosting. (Isabella L., age 16, Buckeye)
  • Pac-Man Donut: This video-game-inspired donut scores extra points because it is filled with strawberries. A strawberry-cream-filled donut with yellow frosting and Oreo cookie on top is designed to look just like Pac-Man. (Owen R., age 17, Phoenix)

Bashas’ also named the following five adults as Donut Flavor Craze finalists for their submissions:

  • The Swiftie Donut: Inspired by Taylor Swift’s popular song, “Karma,” this donut is filled with strawberry glitter buttercream, then dipped in hot pink icing and topped with a turquoise drizzle. (Danny H., Mesa)
  • The Jimmy Buffett Donut: Inspired by the late singer-songwriter famous for his “island escapism” tunes, this powered-sugar donut is filled with coconut crème and chopped pineapple. (Mark K., Peoria)
  • Purple Rain Donut: This June marks the 40-year anniversary of Prince’s 1984 pop/rock album “Purple Rain,” so it’s only fitting that this blueberry-filled donut is topped with purple icing and white sprinkles. (Heather H., Phoenix)
  • What’s Up Doc Donut: “Eh…What’s Up, Doc?” This delicious carrot-cake donut is what’s up! Bug Bunny’s favorite donut features carrots and a light cream cheese frosting. This donut will be a sweet treat that everyone is sure to go Looney for! (Brian V., Mesa)
  • Despicable Donut: Inspired by the Minions, this “Despicable Me” donut has banana-cream filling and a yellow, banana-flavored frosting. Black goggles and a big smile on top complete the look. (Keyana H., Mesa)

Two winning donut flavors (one youth, one adult) will be selected by a panel of local celebrity judges and announced in time for National Donut Day on Friday, June 7. The winning donuts will be available in Bashas’ bakery cases across the state for a limited time, during the month of June, joining the grocer’s more than 45 donut flavors and varieties that are available year-round.

In addition to having their donuts featured in Bashas’ bakery departments across the state, the two winners will be named Bashas’ 2024 Donut Ambassadors and receive $500 in prizes including a Bashas’ gift card, baking/cooking gadgets and one dozen donuts every month for a year.

Bashas’ will also distribute a $50 grocery gift card to the runner-up in each age category (one kid and one grown-up), and a $20 grocery gift card to the six honorable mentions in each age category (three kids and three grown-ups).

National Donut Day was originally established to honor The Salvation Army’s service to soldiers during World War I. Around 250 volunteers traveled overseas to provide emotional and spiritual support, sweet treats, clothes, and supplies to troops. These women, known as “Donut Lassies,” made and hand-delivered donuts to the front lines and are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops returned home from war. In honor of this holiday, Bashas’ supermarkets will donate 10 percent of all donut sales on Friday, June 7 to The Salvation Army.