The math isn’t mathing at one Krispy Kreme location.
TikTok creator Ryan Morrow (@almost_napoleon)—who’s also a Napoleon Dynamite impersonator, though that’s not relevant to this story—recently posted a video about a curious pricing promotion at the doughnut shop. The video has more than 247,000 views and almost 7,000 likes.
@almost_napoleon @Krispy Kreme ♬ original sound – Ryan Morrow
In the video, Morrow shows a tray of mini chocolate iced doughnuts topped with M&Ms. The price placard reads, “2 for $3.39 or $1.69 each.”
“Let me see,” he says, pulling up the Calculator app on his phone. He crunches the numbers—$1.69 multiplied by two is $3.38.
Morrow lets the numbers speak for themselves, but yes, the price advertised for two doughnuts purchased together is actually a penny more than the total for two individually priced doughnuts added together.
It’s unclear why Krispy Kreme priced the doughnuts that way, but it should go without saying that when a business advertises a price for buying multiples of a product, the cost is usually less to encourage customers to buy more at a greater value. (Buy one and get one half off, and such.) It’s not exactly an incentive to buy more doughnuts if they’re exponentially priced, even with a one-cent difference.
Morrow captioned the video, “@Krispy Kreme im not good at math but…”
“I went to KK once and told the person taking my order I wanted 24 donut holes. She said ‘They only come in dozens.’ I died,” one commenter wrote.
Another commenter wrote, “the crazy part is..ppl think they’re getting a steal cause they dont do the [math].”
One viewer had a suggested line for ordering and saving yourself the penny: “I’d like to buy 2 separately together.”
It’s not just a Krispy Kreme thing. “I [used] to work for an amusement park food stand that had combos. The price for the combos was everything added up together. No discounts,” one person wrote. “McDonald’s cookies at my location are 49¢ each or 3 for $1.99,” another added. (Do the math.)
And one comment read, “1.69 is already way too much for a puff of breath fried and 6 m&ms.”
If you can believe it, this isn’t the first doughnut-related price kerfuffle on TikTok recently. Viewers defended Dunkin’ after a customer didn’t fully read the menu and thought a dozen cost more than 12 individually priced doughnuts.
Update 11:05am CT, Aug. 8: Morrow told the Daily Dot in a TikTok direct message, “I originally thought [Krispy Kreme] did it unintentionally but after the comments I think they are pulling an ‘Office Space’ and getting lots of pennies.”
And for the curious: Morrow said he was going to buy two doughnuts, but he only bought one out of principle. “They missed out on a sale from this detail-oriented consumer,” he said.
The Daily Dot reached out to Krispy Kreme via email.