Gourmet donuts offer a creative, appetizing way to excite your customers and grow your bakery’s sales, according to Dawn Foods. Donuts that mix flavors, textures and an unexpected combination can help differentiate your bakery. From Dirt Cup to Chocolate Peanut Overload, Dawn Foods offers you the opportunity to delight your customers with donuts that will take your business to a new level.

Dawn dives deeply into consumer trends and is a rapid adapter to new technology. Online ordering is rolling out across the country and can help bakeries adjust to the new digital age. Dawn’s technical service representatives now communicate in a variety of ways with customers including digitally. Overall, the mission is clear for Dawn to be a full-service everyday partner for local bakeries.

“As COVID-19 has changed our day-to-day lives, we’re constantly evaluating the industry to see what we can modify within our offerings to help our customers. We put our customers at the center of everything we do and aim to arm them with innovative tools and resources to produce the best possible offerings,” says Melissa Trimmer, senior bakery application chef at Dawn Foods. “While we have seen slight shifts in consumer behavior impacting Dawn’s current 2020 trends, we still believe these to be an accurate source of information for the remainder of 2020. As we discover new insights or trends, Dawn will share them with customers on social media and website (www.dawnfoods.com/trends).”

Exciting new flavors drive higher sales. Sales of birthday cake flavored items grew 24% between 2017 and 2018, and Dawn now brings this on-trend flavor to the donut case with the new Dawn Exceptional Birthday Cake Cake Donut Mix. Its moist, light-colored crumb and delicious vanilla flavor look and taste like a classic birthday cake. And with rainbow sprinkles incorporated into the mix, specially designed not to color bleed or melt during frying, these donuts truly deliver on the birthday cake experience.

Furthermore, always at the forefront of new technology, Dawn helps customers use today’s technology to their advantage. “Our always-on culture plays a major role in sharing food experiences online,” Trimmer says. “Consumers have a desire to show off experiences that are unique and memorable – and as a result, we see more intricate cake designs. Our customers are embracing this reality by offering sweets that not only taste good but also offer the ‘wow’ factor in design.”

Celebrations to remember

Every year, National Donut Day brings excitement about the donut category to consumers across the country. This year on Friday, June 5, National Donut Day brought tremendous energy, enthusiasm, and innovation to donut lovers nationwide, from California to Maine.

What is interesting is how the unique celebration began. Each year on the first Friday in June, National Donut Day honors Salvation Army Donut Lassies, dubbed Donut Girls, who first made fresh donuts for American soldiers serving in France during World War I. Two women, Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance, cleverly decided to fry the donuts that were made from the limited ingredients available, according to the Salvation Army.

The scent of fresh baked goods permeated the air and drew homesick soldiers to the service “hut” where they could enjoy a taste of home, according to historical records. Word spread quickly among the soldiers. “If you’re hungry and broke, you can get something to eat at The Salvation Army.”

Approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers traveled overseas during WWI to set up these service “huts” located in abandoned buildings near the front lines. One of the volunteers was Signa Leona Saunders from Brainerd, Minn., who wrote a memoir about her experience. In addition to serving donuts, the Donut Girls also provided writing supplies and stamps, and offered a clothes-mending service to the soldiers in battle.

Donuts became synonymous with the Salvation Army and American WWI vets who were returning home with the nickname “doughboys.”

The tradition continued as the Donut Girls again served soldiers in World War II and the Vietnam War.

The very first celebration of National Donut Day raised funds for people in need during the Great Depression. Since then, the day is a way to honor the memory of soldiers on the first Friday in June.

Today, The Salvation Army provides 64 million meals, including donuts to millions of Americans every year. In Minnesota and North Dakota alone, 992,000 meals are served annually to people in need. The donut continues to be a comfort food served by The Salvation Army to those in need during times of disaster.