In this photo illustration, a Krispy Kreme glazed donut is shown on May 12, 2022 in Daly City, California.
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McDonald’s will sell Krispy Kreme donuts in approximately 160 Kentucky locations starting next month, for a limited time.
It’s an extension of the fast food giant’s initial test with sugary treats. In October, nine McDonald’s restaurants in Louisville began selling Krispy Kreme donuts. The larger test is intended to gauge customer demand and understand how a larger-scale launch would affect restaurant operations.
Starting March 21, McDonald’s customers in select locations in the Louisville and Lexington areas will be able to purchase Glazed, Chocolate Glazed with Chips and Chocolate Cream Filled Donuts from Krispy Kreme. Treats will be available all day and can be ordered in the drive-thru lane, at the restaurant, through the McDonald’s app and for delivery.
McDonald’s has already made small changes to the previous test, which did not allow customers to order the donuts for delivery and included raspberry-filled donuts instead of chocolate cream. But the expansion suggests that the initial experiment was at least somewhat successful in generating traffic despite the macro challenges.
Consumers have reduced spending on restaurants as inflation puts pressure on their budgets. But Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s have seen strong sales in recent quarters.
McDonald’s saw its US traffic increase in the second half of the year, bucking the industry trend thanks to its inexpensive offerings. The burger chain has also leaned into coffee – a common pairing with donuts – to encourage diners to visit more frequently. And Krispy Kreme has been able to raise prices without hurting its sales because consumers are willing to splurge on affordable treats, like fresh donuts.
Krispy Kreme uses a “hub and spoke” model that allows it to manufacture and distribute its treats efficiently. Production centers, which are either stores or donut factories, send freshly made donuts daily to outlets such as grocery stores and gas stations.
Krispy Kreme chief operating officer Josh Charlesworth told the ICR conference in January that McDonald’s testing showed the donut chain could run its daily deliveries of fresh produce to restaurants. Beyond that, however, company executives declined to share further details on the progress of the test.
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