Who can resist the scent of warm, freshly-baked donuts? Not me! There are so many varieties of donuts to choose from. No matter how hard I try to order just one for myself, I always leave with a dozen box! I’m sure we all saw the ads for National Donut Day that just passed and were tempted to stop and grab some.

Consumers Love Their Donuts

I once worked in a donut shop, and people have their favorites that they aren’t willing to part with. The same customers would come at the same time each day. I could pretty much have their order waiting on the counter for them. I learned about all the types like the difference between yeast and cake, what an Old Fashioned or a Crueller meant, as well as what people assumed the pink-icing would taste like. Customers looked for filled donuts, but weren’t always sure of the difference between a custard donut and a Long John. Kids love chocolate and sprinkles, while their grandparents would order cake donuts (which I tried and I was surprised to find that I preferred cake to yeast).

Most customers asked for “the ones in the back”, assuming we had fresher donuts hiding somewhere and almost every customer pointed to the exact one they wanted from the case. This told me that consumers take their donuts seriously and they want them hot and fresh out of an oven. With less consumers driving into an office in the past year, less consumers have been dropping in for their fried-dough confectionery treat. This made the anticipation of National Donut Day that much more special.

LTOs Become More Popular

It’s been a while since I worked in a donut shop, but the biggest change I’ve seen is the amount of limited time offer flavors. I had never thought there was such an opportunity for seasonal flavor connection in donuts, but if you bake it, they will come! In January, bakeries promote cherry, in May and June, it’s strawberry, and of course, starting late summer into fall…it’s pumpkin. As food and beverage trends influence each other, look for donuts that take inspiration from other desserts and even beverages! And beverages taking inspiration from donuts! Check Out this Instagram post made on National donut day featuring a donut-flavored beer:

Check out your favorite bakery and keep an eye on those seasonal and limited time flavors…there’s always something new baking! Do you have a favorite type of or a favorite local place for donuts? Or a favorite bakery that makes the world’s best donuts? Did you participate in national donut day? Share it with us in the comments.

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