When Nick Magistrelli, vice president, sales for Rademaker USA, speaks to a potential customer about a donut line, it’s not uncommon for him to talk about products that aren’t traditional donuts.

“There’s a trend toward breakaway or clustered products,” he said. “You’ll see more of that in the market, where the end user can buy something like donut holes but in a nested group.”

Mr. Magistrelli also noted that a good majority of his customers who produce donuts also make cinnamon rolls as well.

“That dough is thinner,” he said. “A lot of times, if you’re going to get into one of those types setups, you might need one more reduction component to get the dough thin enough before applying a cinnamon paste, or a strewing unit to put a dust or paste on the dough sheet before coiling it up and cutting it.”

The key, Mr. Magistrelli said, is building flexibility into the sheeting equipment.

“Then, when you go onto the makeup table, there’s tooling that makes it possible,” he said. “The rotary cutting and guillotines have unique characteristics that allow you to make different products in the donut category.”

On the cake donut side, it’s a simpler process to make a traditional ring product, and innovation with new shapes and sizes is pretty rare.

However, depositing equipment can be used to introduce non-donut products like churros into the market. A few years ago, Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group developed a churro plunger that allows customers to create them on a cake donut line.

“Customers have been able to make churros in lengths up to about 6 inches,” said Mike Baxter, product information and marketing coordinator, Belshaw. “With cake donuts, it’s about designing a plunger that will successfully make a new and different shape or variety. It’s a process that requires experimentation. It takes patience and expertise to design a plunger that makes a successful new variety of cake donut.”