Krispy Kreme is changing its doughnuts only menu for the first time in almost 80 years. The company celebrates its 77th birthday today. The new Krispy Kreme CEO believes the brand has a huge gap to fill and intends on doing just that in the coming year. Tony Thompson took the helm at the popular doughnut shop chain in June.
During an interview with USA Today, the Krispy Kreme CEO and executive chairman James Morgan said the company plans to “leverage cravings” by using its taste bud-tingling doughnuts as a springboard to other items such as lunch sandwiches served on a sweet bedding, ice cream, and maybe even cereal and candles.
Krispy Kreme CEO Tony Thompson had this to say about the future of the 77-year-old doughnut chain:
“You have a big advantage when you have an iconic, craveable brand. Krispy Kreme can leverage this in ways other brands can’t.”
Before taking charge of the doughnut chain, Thompson, 47, was the chief operating officer at Papa John’s Pizza. Krispy Kreme’s public image and stock prices have reportedly been on a roller coaster ride for several decades. Earlier this week the company’s stock prices his a nearly 52-week low of $15.42 per share.
The doughnut giant appears to be taking a page out of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts playbook. The coffee shop also serves luncheon items such as salads, and the sweets competitor has received customer praise for its bacon ranch chicken sandwiches.
Sampling of Thompson’s future plans for Krispy Kreme:
- Attracting more millennials as customers via social media interaction. Limited time offers for brownie batter doughnuts and birthday cake batter doughnuts did very well when promoted on social media outlets. “The connection to these on social media can be very emotional,” Thompson said.
- Utilizing produce licensing on sweets products like ice cream, cereal, candy, and candles may also be forthcoming.
- Krispy Kreme sells bagged coffee at some of its locations but recently inked a deal with Green Mountain to create Krispy Kreme coffee in K-cup packs for Keurig brewers by the end of the year.
- Research into ongoing “savory lunchtime offerings” is ongoing. Some sports venues and fairs sell hamburgers between two doughnuts, but plans for such a menu item is not currently on contention at Krispy Kreme. Thompson said the chain may add sandwiches, but is not yet able or willing to discuss specifics. Snack items to fill the void during slow hours from 11 am to 4 pm are also being considered.
- A line of “Chiller” drinks and healthy baked items are also being considered. The whole wheat doughnuts which flopped in 2007 will not be coming back.
- Krispy Kreme also plans to open up 80 more stores, about 15 will be in the United States. Currently there are about 860 locations in operation, about 600 of the doughnut shops are outside of the United States.
What would you like to see Krispy Kreme add to their new menu?