Pink Doughnut Boxes, Why This Color

pink doughnut boxes

Pink Doughnut Boxes

The pink box is a distinctly regional tradition, one so ingrained it often requires an outsider to notice.  Come to Los Angeles and it’s the no-frills pink box, with signature grease marks.   That commands counter space in our offices, waiting rooms and police stations.  Peter Yen of Santa Ana Packaging, a local manufacturer of the carnation-pink containers say’s.  A box cost about a dime each.  Pink doughnut boxes has endured with little fanfare.  Its origins something of a mystery.

One thing is certain, though, the pink box phenomenon could only happen here.  Southern California is the undisputed epicenter of the doughnut world.  L.A. County alone has at least 680 doughnut shops, according to Yelp.  The Southern California doughnut sector is dominated by mom-and-pop businesses run by immigrants.  None more influential than Cambodian Americans.  Landing here as refugees in the mid-1970s to escape the Khmer Rouge.  The Southeast Asian community quickly found a lifeline in the demanding doughnut business, and the spread of an unsung culinary icon.


Pink Doughnut Boxes Cheaper

According to company lore.  A Cambodian doughnut shop owner asked Westco some four decades ago if there were any cheaper boxes available.  Other than the standard white cardboard. So Westco found leftover pink cardboard stock.  And formed a 9-by-9-by-4-inch container with four semicircle flaps to fold together.  To this day, people in the business refer to the box as the “9-9-4.”

“It’s the perfect fit for a dozen doughnuts,” said Jim Parker, BakeMark’s president.  More importantly to the thrifty refugees, it cost a few cents less than the standard white. That’s a big deal for shops that go through hundreds, if not thousands, of boxes a week. It didn’t hurt that pink was a few shades short of red, a lucky color for the refugees.  Many of whom are ethnic Chinese. White, however, is the color of mourning.

By David Pierson/

Interesting story.  Iv’e wonder why bakery’s use pink boxes, now we know.  Bouvia

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