National Donut Day is today, Friday, June 7. For this special day, Rich Products has released the results of a proprietary consumer survey on donut trends, highlighting a shift in consumer preferences toward on-the-go snacking and an enduring partiality for traditional flavors, despite an influx of flavor options. 

The study, paired with information from Datassential, found that the donut market continues to grow as demand for the beloved pastry expands across the retail bakery and foodservice industries.

“We’re constantly keeping an eye on consumer trends, so that we can help our customers stay ahead of the curve,” says Amanda Buonopane, senior manager, Strategic Insights, Rich Products. “Based on our consumer survey, donuts present a huge opportunity area for retail bakeries and foodservice operators. At Rich’s, we’re focused on driving innovation to not only deliver on these consumer trends but solve key customer needs – like our fully-finished donuts, which have a unique formula that allow them to stay fresh for twice as long as other bakery options, or our wide variety of flavored donut holes that help customers differentiate themselves.” 

Among the findings in Rich’s study:

  • Donut Market Growth Remains Strong – Research shows that consumers have an enduring love for donuts. In fact, Rich’s study found that 56% of consumers purchase donuts at least once a month, and more than a third of consumers purchase the pastry multiple times per month. This demand is reflected in foodservice industry trends as well. Datassential found that inclusion of donuts on menus has grown 47% in the past 10 years, bolstered by an affinity for the sweet treat amongst a younger generation, families, and foodies. 
  • Donuts Are Enjoyed On-The-Go – While Rich’s study found that breakfast is still the most likely daypart when consumers are reaching for donuts, respondents indicated a growing preference for on-the-go indulgence, with over two-thirds (68%) of consumers citing snacking as a top occasion for donuts. This is driving higher demand for snackable solutions like donut holes, which nearly 50% of respondents noted as a favorite format to enjoy the treat. This sentiment is supported by Datassential data, which found that 76% of consumers love or like donut holes. 
  • Traditional Donut Flavors Remain on Top – While Datassential noted the emergence of unique donut themes featuring savory and global flavors, Rich’s research shows that traditional flavors continue to drive the most consumer demand. The study found that 60% of consumers in the U.S. prefer traditional glazed donuts, while 37% prefer frosted or dipped donuts, as well as donuts with a cream filling.
  • Beyond the Norm – With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Rich’s study identified that consumers are curious about how the technology may impact donut flavor options available to them. When asked about their interest in trying AI-generated donut flavors, 46% of respondents answered they were “interested” or “very interested.”