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Donut Research - Piedmont Region

It’s no secret that donuts are a part of North Carolina culture. Some of the most famous donut shops are located across the Piedmont, Coastal, and Mountain regions of the state, including major brands and mom and pop shops. Our research group looked to understand the culture of donuts, preference variation by region, and the impact of childhood donut experiences on current preferences, and more.

19.1% of responses from our donut survey came from the Piedmont region. The respondents were split on the favorability of cake based vs. yeast-risen donuts. The majority of respondents from this region preferred to eat their donuts during the early to mid-morning and were willing to pay $1-2 on average. Respondents preferred their donuts from a national chain rather than a local shop, specifically Krispy Kreme. This confirmed my hypothesis that I created based on my own experience as a donut lover growing up in the Piedmont region. The entire experience of getting Krispy Kreme donuts makes it stand out among other shops.

I did assume, being from the Piedmont region, that Duck Donuts would be extremely popular because I grew up hearing the most about them. Duck Donuts and Glaze King were the two most popular responses for favorite local donut shops in the Piedmont. Though Ducks originated on the coast, there are shops in 3 major Piedmont cities: Raleigh, Cary, and Durham. The respondents overwhelmingly grew up eating donuts from national chains, which I assume is why they still prefer chain donuts over local donuts. Based on our research, donut culture in NC is alive and well!


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