McDonald’s to sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts in latest menu experiment

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McDonald’s will sell Krispy Kreme donuts in select restaurants later this month for the first time.

Starting Oct. 26, the fast-food giant will sell Krispy Kreme donuts at nine locations in the Louisville, Ky., area as part of a trial. McDonald’s said the test would help it learn more about how the association with Krispy Kreme would affect its operations.

McDonald’s customers will be able to order the original glazed donuts, chocolate glazed with sprinkles and raspberry filling, either individually or in packs of six. Participating McDonald’s locations will sell the donuts throughout the day, but the treats will not be available for delivery.

Krispy Kreme will deliver fresh donuts to McDonald’s restaurants daily, according to McDonald’s. The donut chain 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.

The test comes as consumers have cut back on restaurant visits as soaring inflation puts pressure on budgets. To bring customers back to restaurants, chains have been experimenting with new menu items and promotions.

In the first half of the year, McDonald’s said lower-income US consumers were spending less at its restaurants. Krispy Kreme CEO Mike Tattersfield, meanwhile, said his chain has strong pricing power as customers are willing to splurge on affordable treats like fresh donuts.

In the second quarter, Krispy Kreme reported revenue growth of 7.5% for its US and Canadian division. But it cut its profit and revenue forecast for the full year, citing a stronger dollar and weaker performance from US production centers that don’t ship to other locations.

This isn’t the first time fast food chains have relied on donuts to attract customers. In 2020, KFC launched a “Fried Chicken and Donut” sandwich nationwide after testing the item drew attention on social media.

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