If we're talking about the top snacks that people of all ages absolutely love, donuts would easily snag the top of the list. With their array of flavors and recipes, there's always a perfect donut for everyone. In fact, in the year 2020 alone, at least 201 million Americans have consumed donuts. With these great demands, the donut marketplace is projected to grow $5.69 billion by 2024.
Despite the increase in consumer spending and their ever-growing love for donuts, consumers are becoming increasingly mindful of the ingredients and snacks they consume. So, for those seeking to create “better-for-you” healthy donuts with functional and healthy ingredients, we put together a list of the top five ingredients you should use.
Known for supporting skin health and joint pain relief, collagen has become significantly popular in the food and beverage industry as a superfood ingredient. In fact, the global collagen market size has witnessed a projected CAGR of 9% by 2028 due to consumers' growing awareness of collagen’s benefits. With this in mind, incorporating collagen as an ingredient for your donuts is certainly a good idea for your brand. Wondering what that will look like? Collagen-infused donuts have a light, soft, and cakey texture, and also taste delicious! Adding collagen to your keto, paleo, and vegan donut formulas will not only make for a perfect treat for all types of donut lovers but will also help you capture more market share.
2. Plant-based Sweeteners
Plant-based sweeteners, like allulose, erythritol, monk fruit, and stevia, are healthier and natural alternatives to artificial sugars. Compared to regular sugar, they contain zero to low calories, making them must-have ingredients for all your healthy donuts like keto, plant-based, and paleo donuts. With the market size expected to reach $4.72 billion by 2028, including these plant-based sweeteners in your innovative donut formulations can increase consumer interest while making your healthy sugar-free donuts taste just as good as the regular ones.
3. MCT Oil
MCT oil is a healthy fat derived from medium-chain triglycerides. MCTs usually come in the form of coconut oil and boost energy and fat-burning capabilities, which means they are perfect for those on keto. When formulating your donut, try using MCT oil instead of canola oil. Not only will creating an MCT oil-infused donut help you capitalize on one of the hottest diet trends, but also pique the interest of health-conscious consumers going back-to-work who are looking for energy-boosting, fat-burning snacks.
4. Protein Powder
Protein powders are one of the most popular supplements in the food and beverage industry because they are fortified with a myriad of vitamins and minerals. Some of the more popular powders include whey protein, pea protein, and soy protein, all of which contribute to the growing protein powder market. They are perfect add-ons to your nutritional donuts. They provide a great source of protein and can transform your donuts into healthy protein donuts for those who are diabetic, pre-diabetic, and weight-conscious.
5. Healthier Flour Alternatives
Over the years, consumers have been more interested in gluten-free ingredients due to dietary restrictions and nutritional specifications. This has led to a huge push for wheat flour alternatives, such as almond flour, coconut flour, and cassava flour, in the food manufacturing industry. According to market research, the market for these flour substitutes is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% by 2025 due to the paradigm shift for healthy lifestyles. Compared to traditional wheat flours, these functional flours are lower in calorie and carbohydrate content, making them great for ketogenic and low-carb diets. As more consumers cut down on their gluten intake, creating almond flour donut or coconut flour donut recipes will help increase sales and capture more market share in the long run.
As consumer behavior shifts, it is necessary for food brands to create innovative products, from protein bars to healthy donuts, in order to keep up with the growing trends of the CPG space. And a key step to creating an innovative nutritional snack is to infuse it with the right healthy ingredients that can work well with an array of diets. In this vein, food businesses will need to find the right protein bar co-packer that has access to the cutting-edge ingredients and capabilities needed to make their dream a reality.