There's something about the way the fried, sugary dough of a donut melts in your mouth that has Knoxville addicted. Businesses are cashing in on the nationwide trend.

"I think there's some kind of donut craze going on right now. I can't pin point it. Chicago and New York are the two epicenters of it and it's spreading out from there," said Jimmy Wooten, co-owner of Status Dough.

In about a one mile stretch of Kingston Pike in West Knoxville there are four donut shops: Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, Duck Donuts and Status Dough.

North of there you can find Dippin' Donuts, Makers Donuts, and Back Dough, a late night pop up shop at Lonesome Dove.

"It's unbelievable how many donuts there are just in this area," said Emily McClenagan.

McClenagan and her family of four are on the hunt for the perfect donut. WBIR 10News caught up with them at Status Dough.

"Friday is our day off so we usually say it's Donut Day and they get really excited," she said about her three-year-old twins.

With so much competition, businesses are getting creative to stand out. Knoxville is eating it up. Duck Donuts regularly has a line out the door. In their first few weeks of opening, they had wait times upwards of an hour.

Status Dough only opened a few weeks ago, and they've been pleased by the turnout of customers.

"We've sold out every day we've been open. We couldn't be happier. We can only make so much. We would like to stay open and keep later hours but we think closing early is a good problem to have," Wooten said.

Status Dough makes about 1,200 donuts a day.

Duck Donuts makes closer to 4,000 donuts a day. The North Carolina franchise says they are significantly out-selling their other store locations.

"We're set to be making almost double the donuts that everyone else is," Grimes said.

What is it about Knoxville that loves donuts so much? After all, we are known for our love of the outdoors and fitness.

Wooten said he thinks it's because even work out junkies have a cheat day.

"When they get the day off and want something good, they'll come try us," he said.

Grimes said she thinks donuts are so popular in Knoxville because they create an experience, they're not seasonal, and every age group loves them.

"I think it's such a versatile product. People can have it for breakfast, for mid-morning snack, and people come even for dessert or after dinner," she said.

Whatever the reason, the businesses hope the fascination is here to stay.