Voodoo Doughnut is a top tourist attraction for visitors in the cities it’s located. Image courtesy of Rockobilly
Tourism is big business for cities across the country. According to the U.S. Travel Association, direct spending on leisure travel by domestic and international travelers totaled $683.1 billion in 2016. For many of these travelers, sightseeing and shopping are primary leisure travel activities. However, the one thing that is absolutely necessary on a trip is food consumption.

The rise in foodie culture has placed an emphasis on meals that not only taste great, but are also visually-appealing. Travelers, especially those among the millennial and Generation Z demographics, are seeking culinary destinations during their trips that fulfill both of these requirements.

Many foodservice establishments have caught on to this fact, which is a smart business strategy. These travelers must spend their dollars somewhere, so those who can cater to their desires are well ahead of their peers. The World Food Travel Association states that 93% of travelers can now be considered food travelers, or someone who participates in a food or beverage experience while traveling.

This can be anything from going on a food tour, to shopping at a gourmet store, to visiting a local chocolatier or bakery that makes the area famous. It is a form of exploration, and tourists don’t want to miss out on anything that could be considered essential to the experience of a city.

The interior of Voodoo Doughnut is colorful and inviting. Image courtesy of Rockobilly
So how do you make your bakery a vital part of your city’s experience? Look no further than Voodoo Doughnut, originating in Portland, Oregon. This growing doughnut empire first started as a neighborhood destination for a sweet treat. Soon, though, it began building its reputation as a top tourist attraction in the city of Portland.

Voodoo Doughnut was able to craft that image through high-quality products and ingenious marketing. It all started with the development of unique doughnut flavors. The shop features staples such as the Bacon Maple Bar and the Portland Cream that satisfy the purists, while more outside-the-box ideas exist for the adventurous. One such doughnut features bubble gum dust and a piece of bubble gum on top, while another resembles a voodoo doll complete with a raspberry jelly filling and a pretzel stake.

An afterlife aesthetic has served the business well. It’s apparent in a great deal of Voodoo Doughnut merchandise. This has allowed the shop to cultivate an entire brand, an identity that customers can adopt into their lives. A record label called Voodoo Doughnut Recordings was started in 2013, championing music both doughnut-related and not. Portland is known for having an eclectic music scene and “The World’s Leading Doughnut-Based Recording Company” is now a part of that, yet another reason for tourists to stop by.

Today, Voodoo Doughnut has stores in Portland, Eugene, Denver, Austin, and Universal City. With each new location comes a new opportunity for the brand to develop in a community. This strengthens the community, and vice versa. That symbiosis allows for more food dollars to be spent by tourists looking for tasty activities in the cities they visit.