Doughnut celebrates a decade in India, but how glazed is the future? 

Doughnut was a Hollywood dessert, some thought it was a sweet version of the vada, though some had tried a lookalike product. But is the future of the three big doughnut brands in the country — Mad Over Donuts, Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme — as glazed as a sugar-coated roundel? 
  • For Krispy Krème, product familiarity is the key. The more the sampling, the better are the chances of customers getting hooked onto the product.
  • While in the US, doughnuts are still a breakfast item but in India it’s an all-day snack which has made it more challenging for the brands to expand their reach.
  • Mad Over Donuts, for instance let in the consumers to see how donuts were freshly made at stores. They also rolled out waffles, cupcakes and eclairs. The logic was simple the biggest player in the segment had to drive consumption. 
  • A booming millennial population, helped doughnut brands in India. This segment easily got connected with the American dessert.
  • Top players are rethinking their retail strategy by shifting to smaller store format because this will not only cut operational cost but will also make it feasible to penetrate deeper into smaller towns and cities where headroom for growth remains massive. 
Doughnut is at an inflection point right now moving gradually from niche to mainstream market. While competition from unorganised players remains high, cautious expansion is the key. Pushing doughnuts and coffee culture in a country where idli with coffee and a bun with tea rule the market might not be easy, it will take some time before it becomes a part of everyone’s daily life.


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