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The Joy of Koffee

From the March 2015 issue.

US donut chain Krispy Kreme has identified coffee as its most likely segment for growth and is going to extraordinary – and in some cases extremely novel – lengths to make that happen.

Tea and biscuits. Milkshakes and fries. Coffee and donuts.

Many of the world’s most popular snack foods form a gastronomical double act with a beverage of equal or greater fame. And anybody who has watched American television knows that coffee is to donuts like the sun is to the sea.

So it makes sense that coffee forms a large part of many donut retailers’ business. In fact, while an increasing level of dietary awareness among consumers in developed markets has presented donut makers with a number of challenges over the past decade, the global thirst for coffee is seemingly unquenchable. This makes the beverage an increasingly important part of the donut business.

North Carolina-based donut chain Krispy Kreme is no exception to this rule. In fact, the United States chain has become one of the leading proponents of using quality coffee to enhance its business over recent years.

While Krispy Kreme has been selling coffee alongside its donuts since its inception in 1937, it was in 2011 that the global chain marked a serious shift in its focus towards its hot beverage offering with the introduction of its signature coffee blends.

Krispy Kreme’s coffee menu is now as extensive as any mainstream coffee chain, featuring a wide range of both hot and cold coffees, along with the full spectrum of flavoured options, from mocha to vanilla spice.

Its introduction of three Krispy Kreme-branded varieties – the house blend, the dark roast and the house decaf – in 2011 marked the company’s wholehearted embrace of coffee as a key plank of its business and the segment most likely to contribute significant growth.

It is a strategy that has been employed to great success by that other global donut retailer, Dunkin’ Donuts, which carries the distinction of being the largest by-the-cup retailer of coffee in the US, ahead of even Starbucks.

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