It’s universal: donuts are in demand. As the first industrial donut mix company, it has been our mission for nearly 100 years to deliver outstanding products to our customers around the globe who produce the world’s best donuts every day. Across our core customer base, including the retail, foodservice and artisanal bakery segments – donut sales continue to grow. In fact, more than a third of U.S. foodservice operators believe donuts are a long-term trend and more than 70 percent of consumers in the EU have purchased donuts in the last six months.
The evolution of the donut--from bacon infused to the creation of the Cronut®– has consumers across the world not only craving donuts, but expecting to see new versions of the old classic. As our customers continue to react to this growing consumer demand, our top priority is to provide them with the products, services and bakery expertise needed to respond successfully.
From innovative toppings and glazes to mashup formats, the options to delight consumers seem almost limitless. Looking at our research however, there are many ways to navigate this growing demand and come ahead of the competition – allowing you to not only keep your loyal customers happy, but increase sales by reaching new clientele as well.
Here are some helpful tips we encourage you to utilize to bring your donut offerings ahead of your competitors.
- Alternative ingredients: Gluten-free products, sugar substitutes and vegan offerings have proven they are here to stay across food categories. As donuts continue to rise in popularity, consumers will start seeking donut offerings that better fit their dietary preferences or needs. Offering the only great tasting, gluten-free or vegan donut option in your market could become a key differentiator for your bakery.
- Any time, any place: Consumers in the EU do not think of donuts as just a breakfast pastry and tend to buy them in supermarkets or bakeries throughout the day. Similarly, consumers in the U.S. tend to be more impulsive and are open to treating themselves to a donut at any time of the day. In order to advantage of this trend, experiment with new flavor profiles to entice consumers to try a savory donut as an afternoon snack or a dessert donut as an after-dinner indulgence.
- Fresh, flavorful donuts rules: Regardless of the trend that influences your donut decisions, bakeries will be most successful when they remember one thing: People buy donuts because of their flavor. In the U.S., “flavor” continues to be the top attribute that attracts consumers – more than topping, type or packaging. In that spirit, fresh continues to dominate consumer preference. To achieve the fresh, great taste that meets consumers shelf life and quality expectations, it will be increasingly important to use robust ingredients that perform consistently under varying conditions (e.g. temperatures, handling). Focusing on fresh works for everyone: quality donuts that can be sold for longer, generating increased profits, and satisfying both the seller and donut consumer.