Go nuts for doughnuts

21 May 2021

Patisserie Cake Items
Yeast Raised Doughnut
Cake Doughnut
Fried Items
Fine Patisserie Items
Taste Tomorrow

By Georgia Goldsmith, R&D Manager fillings, Puratos UK

As a nation we love doughnuts – it is predicted that by 2024 the doughnut industry will be worth $9.50 Billion globally*. What trends are driving doughnut sales in the UK?

As the R&D Manager for fillings within Puratos UK I’m lucky enough that I get to work on a lot of delicious, saucy fillings, glazes, and caramels. However, my favourite product by far is doughnut fillings. Doughnuts are the ultimate chameleon; everyone loves a plain, fresh, fried doughnut but the versatility a filling or topping can provide is what really elevates the humble doughnut. In recent years we’ve seen a real evolution in doughnut fillings and that has given me the opportunity to work on some weird and wonderful fillings like spooky slimes or fruity and fresh curds.



Seasonality in Doughnuts

Seasonality and special events are huge. Consumers in the UK want to celebrate! They are seeking out food, beverages, experiences, and accessories to help immerse themselves fully in the occasion, and of course what is better than sweet treats for the ultimate celebration??

With their short shelf-life and versatility, from the base to the topping, filling and décor, Doughnuts make the perfect seasonal product.

A doughnut for every occasion - Doughnut producers are having great success with limited time offers and seasonal doesn’t just mean Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. There are now doughnut launches for all kinds of occasions, recently we have seen themed doughnuts for Father’s Day, Easter, and Valentine’s Day. With a summer of sports ahead (fingers crossed) we expect to see lots of tennis and Olympic themed doughnuts from all around the world.

There’s an artisan doughnut maker in Newcastle I follow, who is a personal favourite of mine, called Proven Goods. They have a fantastic monthly seasonal menu focusing on local ingredients and the seasonality of those ingredients. They’re a real trend setter in terms of premiumisation and sustainability. The additions and inclusions in their range are fantastic – mini meringues, marshmallow fluff, pralines, stroopwaffle pieces – all handmade. https://www.provengoods.co/



Do the doughnut – shapes and formats

Doughnuts come in all shapes sizes – from giant ones to the mini doughnut holes and beignets. Sold individually, as a pick and mix or in multipacks, packaging can range from the traditional paper bag or tray to luxurious ‘chocolate style ‘boxes.

Top 4 ultimate doughnut styles:

  • Traditional doughnuts – Ball of dough with filling
  • Finger doughnuts – Longboys make amazing gourmet finger doughnuts
  •  Shapes – Hearts, squares and ‘beaver tails’ are all popular
  • Doughnut holes -a great way to use leftover dough: Good for the environment and your business.





Transparency is key

  • Artisans are leading the way for sustainability and transparency in doughnuts. Proven Good for example take coffee from a local café to make their mocha glaze for doughnuts, they then give their waste coffee grounds to a local soap manufacturer to make an exfoliating soap.
  • There’s increased consumer interest in what goes into a doughnut filling. Consumers want cleaner label products with natural colours and flavours. The preference for store cupboard ingredients only seems to be becoming more prevalent and it’s not just in doughnuts, it’s across category.
  • The filling is the hero of any doughnut – yes, it’s important to have a great base as a carrier but the filling is what makes each doughnut stand out.  When formulating a new filling it’s important to deliver a high impact filling as cleanly as possible. We will use natural flavours, starches and colours and try to keep products and profiles as authentic as possible . And all palm oil products are strictly RSPO.



Plant based power

At Puratos we believe that plant based is more than just a trend, whether it’s choosing a full vegan diet, vegetarianism a flexitarian lifestyle  or  just being  “plant curious”, everyone is looking at being more plant focussed or, as we say at Puratos, being #plantforward.

·       “Accidentally vegan” products are becoming increasingly more common. Some retailers are making doughnuts that are suitable for vegans but don’t push them as plant based, using a suitable for vegan base then including jam fillings or and plant-based caramels, custards, and chocolate fillings.

  • Often the plant-based versions can prove to be more cost efficient with less price volatility than dairy based products.
  • Premium plant-based is becoming a huge trend, those following a plant-based diet are still looking for luxury, premium and exemplary taste, and texture.
  •  As a business we’re getting more and more requests for vegan products or enquiries that existing lines are vegan suitable.  We have over 250 products in our range to cater for all requests from everyday to premium and from the filling to topping to the base.

When it comes to creating new fillings, I love a challenge – whether it is a new texture or flavour that you are seeking or you are looking for something that is more naturally healthy or your customers are looking for reduced sugar then contact me and let us create something fantastic for you!


Source: *Goldstein Research, Images - Unsplash

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