Normally the best thing about getting donuts is the donuts themselves. But in this post you are going to have to tease your tastebuds for a little longer so we can appreciate the packaging and design elements of donut brands.
This list contains some big names in the donut world that we have all heard of. And some smaller brands we may not have. But they all do a great job in advertising their donut brand to the world with packaging and general brand design in one way or another.
So get ready, I am about to make you all incredibly hungry and hopefully make you appreciate the design work that has went into these donut brands.
Credit to Krispy Kreme
Let’s start big, we all know Krispy Kreme. And if you don’t, where have you been and why don’t you eat donuts?! Anyway… Krispy Kreme have brilliant packaging. It is well designed and instantly recognisable as there’s. The old american diner style gives the brand and packaging visual that people love.
Krispy Kreme is an established brand and doesn’t have to do a great deal anymore to sell its products. But in this world if you aren’t adapting and innovating you will eventually get left behind. Krispy Kreme are a huge company, and have the ability to go full hog when it comes to marketing. They create special donut packs for certain holidays and recently created the “Pudsey Dozen” all in support of Children in Need. All with its own unique packaging. They have even went as far as creating donut walls and towers ready to buy for parties or gatherings.
Now if you are a small company, it can be hard to throw money at all sorts of marketing, but it doesn’t have to be big. You can look throughout the year and plot events where you could create something to help with your business marketing.
So not only do Krispy Kreme have some lovely packaging, they really take advantage of every opportunity to market themselves.
Credit to One Plus One Design
I have talked about Bronuts in a previous post, but I thought it was so good it had to make the cut for this list also. If you would like to read my previous post click here https://www.canny-creative.com/snack-packaging-design-conveniently-digested/
Bronuts has some beautifully minimal packaging. Using elements from the well crafted brand. They keep white as the main colour with simple branding elements throughout. They polish off this minimal packaging with clever personable messaging. For example on a donut box, where you lift the lid there is a lip that simply says “YUM!”. Bringing in simple touches like this can enhance the experience of consumers using the packaging. I know I would smirk if I seen that as I was opening up some packaging.
Creating a more personable and engaging experience is a big part of packaging design. Obviously the product is important but if you can make the user not only enjoy your donuts, but enjoy the whole experience. Then you are building relationships with customers that are rooted in your brand, not just your product. These relationships are harder to break, but that means you as a brand have to hold up your end of the bargain. You have set the bar, now you have to stick to it and go above it.
Credit to Voodoo Doughnut
Voodoo Doughnut are a donut brand with locations all over the west coast of the US, along with a couple of locations in Universal Studio resorts. They have a very particular style and that runs through into their products.
In the last example I talked about creating relationships with customers. This creates a picture in the customers head of what they expect from your brand, in both product and personality. Voodoo make this personality crystal clear from the get go. And keep pushing it down your throat, quite literally if you think about eating the donuts.
Their signature donut is the Voodoo Doll, it is shaped exactly like a voodoo doll with a pretzel stake in it. This is just the tip of the iceberg, they are incredibly forward and cheeky with some of their donuts. Please go look for yourself, some are not family friendly.
So don’t be afraid of being who you are. Some people may not like it, but these days, anyone can find something offensive. But if you set your stall out early, your customers will know what they will be getting and will come to expect that. Now if you are in a business where content is sensitive, it is probably best not to go down a forward and cheeky route. So its key to understand who you are, what message you want to put across and will your customers like it?
Credit to Garbett
Happy Maple is a Adelaide-based bakery all about producing small batch 100% vegan donuts. Made from gluten, tree nut and peanut free products. This is an ever growing trend as consumers become more savvy about what they are putting into their bodies and how it is affecting the planet.
Similar to the last two examples, Happy Maple put their flag in the ground very firmly with what they are about. And through their branding, messaging, and packaging they have projected this. I have written a few posts that delve into packaging design, they have some great examples of sustainable packaging. Give them a read here:
Happy Maple keep their packaging minimal. Using a simple sleeve with donut illustrations on top of a contrasting vibrant blue colour. They seem to use a sustainable container that the sleeve wraps round. But when doing research I could not confirm this. Although this would sit perfectly with the brands overall message.
Similar to Voodoo, Happy Maple have went full steam ahead with who they are and their brand messaging. In a totally opposite way to how Voodoo do it. You need to find who you are as a business and build your brand and packaging around that.
Credit to Dots Original
Dots are the perfect example of how to keep things simple. Sometimes design can be a tricky task, especially packaging. Figuring out what needs to be on the packaging, how you represent the product, and how the user is going to interact with it all?
What you can be left with is a lot of information all getting packed onto a small item of packaging. Dots have decided to take away a lot of that worry and kept the design of their packaging minimal. And in doing so, clutter-free.
They put on exactly what is needed whether by law or for brand recognition. And after that they do very little. They have a picture of the product, the logo and essentially that is it.
Even the packaging colour is neutral or transparent. Making packaging transparent is a clever way to allow the consumer to see the product for what it is. No unrealistic representations of the product means you could come across more trustworthy. Almost saying, this is our product and we aren’t hiding it.
Finding subtle ways to suggest certain messaging to consumers is key. Whether that is having transparent packaging to show that you aren’t hiding anything. Or using natural colours to show all your products use natural ingredients. Packaging allows you to build on the existing brand message.
A few of the examples in this post have had a very 50’s american diner visual to them. Obviously the big guns like Krispy Kreme have built their brand around this. But when I came across this packaging concept for donuts, I loved the fact they took that visual style and through it in the bin. And didn’t hold back on telling us either.
They ditched that recognisable visual style that comes with many donut brands. And swapped it for a typically scandinavian style that matches perfectly with the swedish treat they were packaging.
The packaging concept itself is all about user experience. The idea of being on the go is what we have all gotten used to. Eating, drinking, messaging, even paying bills on the go. But once you have opened a pack of donuts on the go, they are open, losing that freshness and just being a bit awkward to carry. Step forward the packaging designed by Emelie Johannesson and Oliver Sjöqvist. They have created a carry box that allows you to pull one out at a time, each with its own wipe, napkin and a messaging telling you exactly how many you have left.
8Munkar is a great example of being who you are. They did not feel the trendy 50s american diner visual was for them. So they used that to their advantage in the packaging. Have a look through the full project here https://thedieline.com/blog/2015/7/9/student-8munkar
Credit to Proven Goods Co
Proven Goods Co
Proven Goods Co are a small batch bakery based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. They have built a brand and their business using social media to its full capability.
First the brand. Again similar to 8Munkar, they have ditched the 50s American visual style and went with a much softer and more inviting hand drawn approach. They have matched this with a softer colour palette, using pink and a charcoal grey. Both the colour and the hand drawn elements come together to create a unique and personable brand.
Proven Goods Co use their social media to its full extent. Posting great content that no only looks delicious but is informational as well. For example alongside all the images of mouth watering donuts. The featured stories on their instagram explain in crystal clear simplicity how you can purchase donuts and where they will be.
We say that any business needs to understand that social media is now a big influence on consumers buying patterns. And if you are to be successful and grow, you need to harness the power of social media for your business. This can be different in different industries but it can be a powerful tool.
Conclusion: Tasty Donut Brands and Donut Packaging to Digest
Hopefully this post has given you plenty of insight into how you could build a successful donut brand. And some tips and tricks for other food businesses and beyond. But if you were only here because you seen donuts then it should have just made you hungry.
If you need any help building your food brand or are in another industry and want to chat about how we can help you get your message across more clearly. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
reading time: 10 minutes