Extreme Flavor in New Products

For all the talk about younger consumers exhibiting greater interest in healthy foods, the flip side of the coin can be seen with new product introductions that are focused on extreme flavor.

Exhibit A is the wildly popular breakfast sandwich donuts at Duck Donuts, one of the fastest-growing bakery chains in America. The donut chain offers three kinds of breakfast sandwiches, all sandwiched between two donut halves. The most popular is the sausage, egg and cheese topped with maple icing and Hormel chopped bacon.

New menu items are a great way to get the attention of consumers, according to global information company NPD, and major chains welcomed in 2018 with a variety of menu introductions. “New items will drive traffic because there is a large group of consumers who are curious and want to try something new,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “They’ll try it once and if it’s really good, they’ll be back for more.”

With restaurant traffic stuck between a 1 percent increase and flat for several years now, U.S. restaurant chains are turning to value deals and new menu items, such as Taco Bell’s new Nacho Fries.

The secret to success for Duck Donuts is that it specializes in warm, delicious and made-to-order cake donuts. Customers can choose from a variety of topping combinations, including traditional favorites such as chocolate icing with sprinkles and more adventurous creations such as maple icing with bacon.

“Customers like having the opportunity to customize, and Duck Donuts is able to provide customers with a product that exactly meets their sweet desires,” says Duck Donuts founder Russ DiGilio.

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