McDonald's(l), Man talking(c), Krispy Kreme(r)

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‘They’re trying to steal Dunkin’ Donuts consumers’: What’s behind the plan to sell Krispy Kreme donuts in McDonald’s stores?

'Uh oh… QP with cheese on a donut incoming. Calling it now.'


Parks Kugle


Posted on Mar 28, 2024   Updated on Mar 27, 2024, 12:47 pm CDT

Recently, McDonald’s announced a partnership with Krispy Kreme that will bring three of its classic donuts to every location by the end of 2026.

Since 1971’s introduction of the Egg McMuffin, McDonald’s breakfast has been a staple in the American diet. Throughout the years, the fast food behemoth has continually tinkered with its menu, adding fan favorites like breakfast burritos in 1991 and McGriddles in 2003. However, not all items have been a success. McCafe Bakery, which served the Blueberry Muffin, Apple Fritter, and Cinnamon Roll, was introduced in 2020 but quickly discontinued in 2023.

This newest announcement will pair McDonald’s favorites with freshly made donuts delivered daily. According to a news release from Krispy Kreme, the nationwide rollout was first tested in 160 McDonald’s restaurants in Kentucky, where sheer demand guaranteed that three donuts—Original Glazed, Chocolate Iced with Sprinkles, and Chocolate Iced Kreme Filled—would be rolled out to locations nationwide.

Continuing his viral video series on everything Golden Arch related, former McDonald’s corporate Chef Mike Haracz (@chefmikeharacz) weighed in with his opinion on why McDonald’s chose to partner with an outside company instead of honing its recently discontinued bakery. The video has been viewed over 9,000 times as of publication.

“Well, they recently announced a partnership with Krispy Kreme where they are gonna bring donuts across the United States in the next year or two, which very much lines up with this operation-focused McDonald’s of late,” Haracz begins.

Continuing his analysis, Haracz says that “R&D at McDonald’s has tried to develop multiple dessert items over the years” but that “apparently, they have not sold well,” so the partnership is a “not very innovative” way to fill the gap where the company’s own products have failed.

Haracz says another major draw is that “nobody has to make anything at McDonald’s.” He says this allows for an easier nationwide transition where customers are simply “going to buy [the donuts], and they are just handed over the counter.”

But why donuts? According to Haracz, the partnership isn’t just about offering a pastry option to its breakfast menu but also about undercutting one of its major competitors—Dunkin’.

“Who’s their big competition that loads up the breakfast market with donuts, and also steals some of that coffee business? Dunkin’. They’re trying to steal Dunkin’ Donuts’ consumers and go to McDonald’s instead,” he argues.

CNBC reports that after the announcement, shares of Krispy Kreme jumped up 39%. Currently, Krispy Kreme delivers to 6,800 third-party stores. The donuts can also be found in 14,100 stores in 39 countries. With 13,500 McDonald’s locations already open in America and an additional 900 openings planned by 2027, fulfilling the orders will require a massive expansion. Once they’ve expanded, Krispy Kreme is estimated to be able to reach more than 100,000 points of access for its donuts.

Haracz worries that this expansion may be more than the donut company can swallow. “If they start not selling well, McDonald’s could just say, ‘OK, we’re not doing donuts anymore,’ and now Krispy Kreme, who just invested all this money on infrastructure, is going to be in a world of hurt,” he says.

However, according to CNBC, Krispy Kreme shops already produce more donuts than they can sell, so increasing production will incur fewer additional costs. The chain is also using this opportunity to expand into grocery stores and convenience stores.

In an email to the Daily Dot, Haracz said the most important phase for this new partnership is the rollout.

“I would say the most important part is having a successful launch,” he wrote. “If there are supply issues, it may end up being a colossal failure.”

@chefmikeharacz Former #McDonalds corporate chef talks about them selling donuts nationwide. #McdonaldsLife #McDonaldsTikTok #mcdonaldssecrets #McDonaldsSecret #fastfood #FastFoodSecrets #FastFoodTikTok #FastFoodLife #fyp #donut #donuts #donutshop #donuts🍩 ♬ original sound – Chef Mike Haracz

Some commenters weren’t thrilled by the announcement.

“Those donuts are gonna be stale af. I’ll just go to Krispy Kreme,” one wrote.

Another added, “I feel bad for KK. Seems desperate and I don’t feel it will work. In am if you’re going to MCD, you want more substantial food.”

“McDonald’s haven’t had a successful launch in a looong time. There really isn’t any patience or prices are jacked up artificially to cover other costs,” a third replied.

Others were curious and hoped the partnership would lead to new menu items.

“Can I just get a chicken filet at McDonald’s and smash it between 2 doughnuts? Sounds good to me,” a viewer joked.

“Uh oh… QP with cheese on a donut incoming. Calling it now,” another agreed.

The Daily Dot reached out to McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme via email for comment.

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*First Published: Mar 28, 2024, 6:00 am CDT