With National Donut Day taking center stage today, Dawn Foods has made a big announcement regarding its next donut innovation. The company’s 100th anniversary is coming up in 2020, and with that in mind, Dawn is launching its Donut 2.0 Project.

Starting Tuesday, June 25, Dawn Foods will bring five award-winning pastry chefs together to compete for a chance to partner with Dawn to create a groundbreaking new donut texture at the company's Innovation Studio in Jackson, Michigan. Among these chefs are James Beard award recipients and chefs from Michelin star restaurants.

The five Donut 2.0 pastry chefs include:

  • Chef Sharyn Harding – Executive Pastry Chef, Heirloom Hospitality, Detroit
  • Chef Sandra Holl – Owner and Executive Pastry Chef, Floriole Café & Bakery, Chicago
  • Chef Jove Hubbard – Executive Pastry Chef, Chicago Athletic Association
  • Chef Mathew Rice – Executive Pastry Chef, Niche Food Group, Nashville
  • Chef Toni Roberts – Executive Pastry Chef, the Wit Hotel, Chicago

These pastry chefs will showcase their concepts side-by-side to a panel of judges, with judging criteria for each chef that includes taste, texture, creativity, originality, appearance, and feasibility. The winning chef will have the opportunity to work with Dawn’s R&D team to transform their concept into a commercial mix for bakers. The donut prototype will then hit shelves in early 2020.

“Donuts are in our DNA. Dawn developed the first industrial donut mix nearly 100 years ago and today, this innovative and entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive our thinking,” says Carrie Jones-Barber, chief executive officer of Dawn Foods. “Consumers are looking for new experiences with traditional classics. We know the donut is undergoing a fun, exciting revival and no one is better poised than Dawn to take the opportunity to deliver on this. Through Dawn’s Donut 2.0 project, our goal is to help our bakery customers wow consumers with a new donut they've never seen before.”

“Donut mashups are more popular than ever,” adds Melissa Trimmer, senior application chef at Dawn Foods. “Similar to the hit phenomena around the Cronut, consumers are looking for more mashups and ‘new’ takes on old favorites. This contest brings together some of the most talented pastry chefs around the country with the skills and determination to discover the next donut sensation.”