The latest developments in the doughnut category showcase how the market trends influence the fillings, texture and ingredients used to create advancements in this popular bakery snack.
The UK’s love of doughnuts is reflected in the success of doughnut brand Krispy Kreme and other doughnut companies that have launched in recent years such as Crosstown and Doughnut Time. The innovative product launches that we see from brands like these keeps the category dynamic and will help it to continue to grow. Doughnuts are a classic product that have moved on from being a quick roadside snack, to featuring on a doughnut wall for special occasions like weddings and birthdays.
The filling is often described as the hero of a doughnut and the ingredient that makes each doughnut stand out which is why many believe innovation in fillings is vital to help drive category growth.
Philippa Knight, Marketing Director at Puratos says: “Doughnuts are enjoyed all year round, but seasonal variants and limited time offers are a great way to drive sales. We’re increasingly working with our customers to launch unique and special doughnut fillings for seasonal events like Christmas, Easter and Halloween.”
Mike Holling, Sales and Marketing director at Birds Bakery agrees and comments: “We believe more indulgent and exotic fillings will be developed. We are already working on our next new fillings and one of those will be a clementine flavour. We also create a document for every season or event. Our next seasonal doughnut will be Halloween, followed by Christmas and then Valentines.”
Although doughnuts are an indulgent treat it’s still a category that will be influenced by health and wellness trends over the next few years. Not only are consumers choosing healthier versions of their favourite treats more often, new legislation and policies such as HFSS (where stores will have to apply new regulations on selling high fat, salt and sugar foods) and the National Food Strategy will drive reformulation. More reduced sugar, reduced fat and plant-based doughnuts will come on to the market and in potentially smaller formats so that consumers can still indulge but with less calories.
2020 is known for many significant moments and world-changing cultural shifts – including being the year that sourdough went viral. When lockdowns hit across the world and people sought out new home- based hobbies and activities, sourdough baking took the spotlight. However, the popularity of sourdough didn’t just rise in 2020, it’s grown by 11% over the past four years and it isn’t a trend that’s due to fade out anytime soon. Mordor Intelligence forecasts that the global sourdough market will see an annual growth of about 6.9% through to 2023.
A new sourdough doughnut mix from Dawn Foods is the first completely different doughnut texture to be launched into the industrial bakery sector for many years. A ‘mash-up’ that combines everything consumers love about sourdough bread and yeast raised doughnuts, Dawn Foods’ new Sourdough Doughnut Mix creates finished doughnuts with a buttery but slightly acidic, sourdough flavour that’s much less sweet than a standard American-style doughnut. While a darker sourdough bread-like crust gives added texture, the inside of the Sourdough Doughnut has a soft, light, and airy eating quality.
“Last year 25% of all NPD in the UK bakery sector was plant-based”
During the summer of 2019, Dawn conducted a co-creation process with award-winning pastry chefs throughout the U.S. The pastry chefs were invited to Dawn’s Innovation Studio to collaborate on groundbreaking new doughnut texture ideas. The winner: Executive pastry chef Mathew Rice from the Niche Food Group in Nashville, Tennessee. The sourdough doughnut concept was selected for its versatility and because it makes it easy to meet consumers’ growing demand for new and premium doughnut offerings. With this new mix, bakers can easily and confidently deliver an exciting and new doughnut, that can be used for sweet or savoury applications.
Dawn’s premium Sourdough Doughnut mix can be used across many NPD applications with the sweet/sourdough combination pairing well with real fruit or custard fillings in ball doughnuts or ring doughnuts finished with flat icing or glazes. By using a mix, plant bakeries can be guaranteed consistency, an authentic sourdough flavour and texture in every batch of finished product, without having to buy in special sourdough ingredients and creating their own starter ferments.
Dawn recently identified and unveiled eight new consumer trends to make it easy for bakers to know what’s happening in the marketplace with consumer behaviour and macro industry influencers to meet consumer need. The new mix allows bakers to create a wide range of doughnut creations, all wrapped in one doughnut format, making it easier than ever to bring consumers the treats they crave, from sourdough sweet rolls to honey butter-friend chicken sandwiches.
Another key trend in the bakery sector is plant-based options. Many businesses have been developing their recipes to offer plant-based options for those who are looking to cut out animal-derived ingredients from their daily consumption. Vegan baked goods used to be difficult to come by 10 years ago, but as consumers become more conscious of the environment and the demand for these products grow, manufacturers and suppliers have been making incredible advancements to make this lifestyle much more accessible.
Earlier this year, Puratos launched the new Soft’r Doughnut, a 50/50 vegan suitable mix for yeast raised doughnuts, as part of the company’s Soft’r brand. Two new smooth and creamy fillings were also launched – vegan caramel Filling and vegan chocolate filling. Both are made in the UK and have been developed with British consumers’ taste preferences in mind, Puratos says. The new fillings are perfect for post-bake injection in doughnuts and muffins, or as a dipping sauce.
These product launches form part of Puratos’ new Plant Forward solutions. Aiming to provide inspiration, supreme taste and texture, with the ultimate joy of doing something good, Plant Forward aims to offer a full range of plant-based solutions that enable the removal of eggs, dairy and other animal based ingredients.
“Birds Bakery sell over 35,000 doughnuts a week”
Puratos UK says it is committed to offering vegan solutions for all, in the belief that plant-based diets are now beyond a trend and have gone mainstream, as consumers realise the positive impact that a plant-based diet can have on both health and the environment. With over 250 vegan suitable products in its range, for bakery, patisserie and real Belgian chocolate, and the capability to offer bespoke solutions, Puratos UK’s #ChallengUsVegan campaign urges customers to let Puratos UK solve any plant-based development challenges they have.
Lydia Baines, Digital and Comms Manager, Puratos UK says: “Last year, 25% of all NPD in the UK bakery sector was plant-based so we know there is a huge appetite among consumers, especially with a record-breaking 560,000 people signing up to the 2021 Veganuary campaign. We also know that taste and texture are key drivers for the success of plant-based products, and these are key attributes of our new Soft’r Doughnut mix and luxury caramel and chocolate fillings.”
The bakery market has seen unprecedented growth, even throughout the Covid pandemic where many people looked to home baking as a way to relax, calm anxiety and explore new skills. The latest innovations show just how adaptable the industry can be and these new trends of health and wellness has allowed for further development in ingredients and textures. Doughnuts, in particular, are well-placed in the snacking category due to its ability to be modified for both sweet and savoury products, especially as consumers are on the lookout for new flavour experiences. Whilst consumers are looking to be healthier in their day-to-day lives, the need for indulgence has not dissipated, and luxury ingredients and products across the bakery industry is still very much in demand, meaning the opportunities in foods like doughnuts will only continue to grow in the future.
Philippa Knight, Marketing Director at Puratos says:
“The new Soft’r Doughnut is a 50/50 vegan suitable mix for yeast raised doughnuts, as part of our iconic Soft’r brand. The doughnut mix forms part of our new Plant Forward solutions. Aiming to provide inspiration, supreme taste, and texture, with the ultimate joy of doing something good, Plant Forward offers a full range of plant-based solutions that enable the removal of eggs, dairy, and other animal derived ingredients.
We’re committed to offering vegan solutions for all, as we believe that plant-based diets are now beyond a trend and have gone mainstream. Consumers now realise the positive impact that a plant-based diet can have on both health and the environment and are choosing more plant-based baked goods such as doughnuts. Last year 25% of all NPD in the UK bakery sector was plant-based so we know there is a huge appetite among consumers and as a business we are receiving more and more requests for vegan suitable products.
We’ve recently launched two new smooth and creamy fillings – Vegan Salted Caramel and Vegan Chocolate. Both are made in the UK and have been developed with British consumers’ taste preferences in mind. The new fillings are perfect for post-bake injection in doughnuts and muffins, or as a dipping sauce for churros.”
Mike Holling, Sales and Marketing Director at Birds Bakery says:
“Doughnuts with quality fillings are very popular at present, at present we are seeing a double-digit sales growth in ambient Doughnuts. This has encouraged us to spend more time in New Product Development to launch a further range of ball Doughnuts starting off with Sicilian Lemon filled doughnut along with a coffee fudge filled doughnut with a caramel topping. This will become part of our premium range.
More indulgence seems to be the requirement at present, a box of freshly filled doughnuts is always seen as a treat and with the amazing ingredient combinations they make a fantastic gift for party get together or just to say thank you. Birds Bakery sell over 35,000 doughnuts a week and I am positive a great deal of these are given as a treat.
Future government legislation on a sugar tax may become a concern, but the baking industry has a good track record of reformulating recipes to reduce sugar in products.
Recovery from the pandemic is the major challenge for a number of businesses, during the lockdowns our stores in the local community traded exceptionally well, whilst the town and city centre stores struggled due to the lack of customer footfall.
We had to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and develop new revenue streams. I don’t believe the baking industries have been fully recognised their efforts during the pandemic.”
Image credit: Dawn Foods
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Editor, International Bakery
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