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The doughnut: Canada’s unofficial national sugary snack

The Story

There are more doughnut shops per capita in Canada than anywhere else on the planet. Canadians eat more doughnuts than any other country's citizens. Although the doughnut is often seen as an American icon, it has become Canada's unofficial national snack. The popularity of the deep fried treats has to do with Canada's love affair with coffee, reports CBC's Beth Harrington. Coffee and doughnuts go hand in hand. And since coffee is Canada's number one beverage, its partner in crime, the humble doughnut, ranks up there in popularity. 

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Evening News
Broadcast Date: Sept. 1, 1994
Reporter: Beth Harrington
Duration: 5:08

Did You know?

• American Hanson Gregory is credited with inventing the doughnut back in 1847. Gregory was watching his mother fry dough cakes when he had the idea of cutting out a hole to remedy the gooey, often uncooked, centres.

• Coffee is the favourite beverage of adult Canadians, other than tap water. The average coffee drinker consumes 2.6 cups of coffee a day according the Coffee Association of Canada.

• Tim Hortons is the most popular doughnut chain in Canada. There are currently over 2,500 Tim Hortons shops across Canada selling over three million doughnuts a day.

• The business is named after its founder Tim Horton, who played in the National Hockey League for 22 years. Horton opened the first Tim Hortons in 1964 in Hamilton, Ont.

• In 1965, Ron Joyce, a former Hamilton police constable, took over the original Tim Hortons store. Back then a dozen doughnuts cost 89 cents. Currently (2004) a dozen Tim Horton doughnuts will set you back $4.95.

• In 1974 Tim Horton died in a car crash while travelling to Buffalo. Not long after Horton's death, Ron Joyce paid Lori Horton (Tim's widow) $1 million for her shares in the chain, which included 40 stores at the time.

• Years later Joyce Horton took Ron Joyce to court claiming the deal between them was unfair. She lost the lawsuit in 1993, and was declined for appeal in 1995.

• In 1995, Tim Hortons merged with American hamburger chain Wendy's in a deal worth $580 million.

• Tim Hortons faced competition when American-based Krispy Kreme opened its first doughnut shop in Mississauga, Ont. in December 2001. First day sales at the Mississauga branch exceeded $70,000, setting a new opening day sales record for Krispy Kreme.

• Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. has committed to opening 32 doughnut stores during its first six years in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.

• Along with doughnuts, Canadians consume more Kraft Dinner than anyone else in the world. The bright orange instant macaroni and cheese product is the most purchased packaged grocery item in the country. In 1996, Canadians bought some 75 million boxes of Kraft Dinner. Watch CBC Midday's Tina Srebotnjak investigate the popularity of Kraft Dinner with two KD enthusiasts.



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