Fletcher previously held a number of senior roles at Innocent Drinks before moving to Graze in 2009, which he successfully sold to Unilever in 2019. Since then, Fletcher has worked on the development of the Urban Legend brand under parent company Believe in Science that he also founded.
Each Urban Legend doughnut contains less than 160 calories and at least 50% less sugar and fat than products already on the market, the company claimed.
Fletcher and his team achieved this by developing a process whereby dough is ‘set’ by steam rather and prolonged deep fat frying.
In order to make the steamed dough resemble a traditional doughnut, Urban Legends uses a technique to deposit a micro layer of fat on the outside of the doughnut, retaining the taste and texture of a deep fat product with a reduced amount of saturated fat.
“We need radical solutions to the UK's obesity crisis,” said Fletcher. “Consumers are finding it too hard to move away from treats, so instead of hoping the nation will no longer overindulge, we saw an opportunity to partner with the science community to re-think the way this type of food is made and demonstrate that manufacturers can formulate for more ‘responsible indulgence.”
Test kitchen and expansion plans
A special test kitchen and lab has been custom built in Park Royal, West London that will service the London market and work on new iterations of the products. The vision is to expand the techniques to also encompass other baked goods.
The doughnuts will be available to buy from Urban Legend’s new store in Brighton and will be available to buy via Uber Eats and Diliveroo in the near future. Plans are underway to launch in other retailers stores.
Meanwhile, Tesco supplier Baker Street has boosted listings of its long-life Classic Hot Dog Rolls and Original Burger Buns through the retailer's outlets three months after launching the products.