Bye-Bye Cupcakes

by snrosenstock

Step aside cupcakes! You may have entered the food industry full force a few years back and maintained a steady flow of loyal consumers, but a new dessert trend is spreading rapidly and I am excited for it to officially make its mark.  Yes, the cupcake trend was fun and certainly delicious, but it’s time for a change.  This new trend made its big debut back in 2011, but for whatever reason has not gained much recognition amongst foodies…until now.

What is this new dessert trend you ask?

DOUGHNUTS!

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My Image: Camden Lock, London

Don’t expect these to be anything like the ordinary, mass-produced doughnuts we secretly love to eat.  The trend has taken off wildly and pastry chefs are thinking outside the box for ways to incorporate this beloved American classic onto menus.   With the grand opening of gourmet doughnut shops as well as the addition of doughnuts to restaurant menus, these tasty bites will surely please any palate at any time of day.

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My Image: Banana Cream Doughnut; Camden Lock, London

I, like many of you, am always searching to eat something new and exciting.  My weakness: an old classic turned up a notch.  Trends often spark when restaurants replace elements of classic dishes with current food trends, and that is exactly what is happening with doughnuts.  To add a little twist on a soul food favorite fried chicken and waffles, chefs are beginning to replace waffles with deliciously warm, golden brown doughnuts.

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C/O Google Image: Federal Donuts, Philadelphia

Pastry chefs are working equally as hard to transform these balls of heaven. Youwill soon find yourself ordering perfectly fried, fluffy, bites of dough accompanied by indulgent dipping sauces, like chocolate, caramel, and raspberry- think beignets!

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C/O Google Image: Stanton Social Manhattan

But why doughnuts…and why now?

According to Jonah Berger, assistant marketing professor at UPenn  “trends are influenced by what others are doing, and what’s popular now can help predict what’s popular next.”  People in the food industry recognized the wild success of cupcakes and saw it as an opportunity to expand within the dessert industry.  Doughnuts are versatile, a blank canvas if you will, and can be repurposed for sweet, savory, and comfort food dishes.

The article continues to explain that we as consumers have the ability to predict future food trends simply by analyzing current trends.  Like I mentioned earlier, people saw the success of cupcakes as a movement in the dessert industry and took it as an opportunity to further expand.  Doughnuts have been on the back burner for quite some time now, so it makes sense that they are listed as a new food trend for 2013.  Other cultures and foodie cities also provide insight on potential future food trends.  What’s hot in California now will soon spread to the east coast and visa versa, sending trends back and fourth.

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My Image: Doughnuts in Budapest (raspberry jam)

For a trend to spread, it must be received well by the public.  Certainly there is a reason doughnuts are getting a lot of buzz in the media.  Gourmet doughnut shops will continue popping up on street corners and menus as long as we continue to love them.

Now, I am just waiting for the day I turn on the Food Network and see a commercial for the new television program “Doughnut Wars.”

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My Image: Filling of Hungarian Doughnut in Budapest

NP 4/2

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