Fast-food inventor is on a wild ride, join the journey

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th June 2018

A LINE of food industry players is forming a queue at Crag Carrick’s door, inventor of Australia’s latest fast-food innovation – the Donug.

The cross between a doughnut and a chicken nugget is set to rock the Chiko roll and take to the catering field at sporting events alongside the meat pie.

Donugs – part doughnut part chicken nugget

It’s a savoury, deep-fried, crumbed, spiced chicken mince in the shape of a donut with three sauce options, retailing for $12 off a production cost of $4. The chicken is free range and hormone free.

Mr Carrick’s brainchild was born in his food truck in Australia’s hipster heartland, Melbourne’s Thornbury – at the inaugural chicken nugget festival there last year.

But the Donug really came of age last week with a publicity bonanza, a breakthrough deal done on Network Ten’s Shark Tank television show, introducing start-ups to a panel of investors (sharks).

Mr Carrick’s head has been spinning since then, but he told Australian Food News he had prepared for success on the show by securing his “licensing and IP” ahead of time.

It’s every food truck vendor’s dream come true

“The phone’s been ringing hot and my calendar’s full, speaking with a range of different players in the food industry from manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, restaurant groups, entertainment venues, etc”, Mr Carrick said.

“Right now these are all high-level conversations, seeing what the possibilities are and what the scaling up process might look like.

“We are just about to move into a small-scale manufacturing stage, which will take care of events and festivals and a small amount of wholesale.”

Details of the talks are subject to non-disclosure agreements, Mr Carrick said.

But he said consideration was being given whether to license the product, manufacture it under contract or “do it ourselves”.

The challenge to landing Donug in supermarkets

Donugs could be available at a retailer near you

“If we want to go to that level it’s going to require large-scale manufacturing, which will be a lengthy (ramp up) process,” Mr Carrick said.

“Securing the quality of the product at a large-scale manufacturing level would be the trickiest part.

“We are looking towards sports stadiums, entertainment venues, major events.

“The beauty of the product is that we can knock it out really quickly. It’s not like you need to wait for a burger to be assembled, or fries to be cooked, or drinks to be made.

“It’s a singular item that we change-up with a range of sauces. You can have a big one or a small one. They are basically the only variables we want to have at the point of sale at the moment.”

Mr Carrick said the first stage of development is to produce a child’s serve, then see about dietaries.

“We’d love to go vegan … we can certainly do a vegetarian product,” he said.

You can get in touch with Crag at