Cheat Sheet: What’s the big deal with Krispy Kreme?

Welcome to the Cheat Sheet, a clickable, shareable, bite-sized FAQ on the news of the moment. Today, Jihee Junn finds out what all the fuss is about with global doughnut brand Krispy Kreme, which launched in New Zealand this week.

Doughnuts!

Delicious!

What’s your favourite?

Can’t go wrong with a good ol’ glazed. There are few better joys in the world than taking a deft bite into that sugary veneer.

I hear Krispy Kreme’s big on the glazed doughnuts. Speaking of, what’s Krispy Kreme anyway?

Krispy Kreme’s an American doughnut company and coffee chain which was founded in 1937 in North Carolina. It rapidly expanded in the 1990s when it started opening stores outside the southeastern United States, and in 2001 it opened its first international branch in Ontario, Canada. There are now more than 800 stores worldwide and the company also sells its doughnuts in convenience stores like 7-Eleven.

Krispy Kreme’s first NZ store in the south Auckland suburb of Manukau (supplied)

But we’ve had Dunkin Donuts in New Zealand for years. Why are people so excited about another American doughnut company entering the market?

Because people like new things? Sure, Dunkin Donuts is a huge name in the world of sweet ring-shaped bread, but so is Krispy Kreme. Its arrival has been a long time coming, so the hype and anticipation’s been building for quite some time.

One of the most exciting things about the new store for a lot of people is the 24-hour drive-thru, meaning people can get their 3:00 am doughnut fix without even having to get off their bums. Then there’s the impressive production facility working behind the scenes which, at full capacity, can whip out over 4,300 doughnuts every hour.

Also, in today’s social media age, having Instagram-worthy food porn like rainbow sprinkled doughnuts and caramel drizzled shakes generally helps to get the excitement levels up.

Fair enough. So, what was opening day like on Wednesday?

As a somewhat functioning adult with a full-time job, I wasn’t quite afforded the luxury of lining up to attend the store’s 8:00 am (!) startBut according to Krispy Kreme’s own PR crew, dozens of dedicated fans did make the trek to Manukau in the wee hours of the morning to queue up before doors opened. First in line was South Auckland resident Shannice Godkin, 18, who camped outside the store from Monday evening onwards with her best friend and cousin.

For her unlikely heroics, she was awarded a year’s supply of doughnuts as “New Zealand’s number one fan” while her best friend received six months and her cousin received one month. Meanwhile, the first 100 people in line all received a free box of doughnuts as well as some Krispy Kreme branded merch.

Donut doubt her dedication: Shannice Godkin loves doughnuts so much she spent two days camped outside Krispy Kreme’s first store. (supplied)

Gosh, that’s a bit OTT don’t you think?

Well, people camp out for two weeks straight for iPhones and Yeezys. Whatcha gonna do?

It should also be noted that despite being an otherwise festive day, reports have come out that a woman from the Phillippines was turned away from lining up when security guards found out she wasn’t a New Zealand citizen. Krispy Kreme has since apologised, but not before the Phillippine ambassador took to Facebook to call the store KKK, or Krispy Kreme for Kiwis

We’re still left with the most important question though, which is: do Krispy Kreme doughnuts actually taste any good?

I’m no doughnut connoisseur, but they taste pretty good to me. Sure, they’re nothing to write home about, but I wouldn’t say no if someone offered me one. Are they any better or worse than what its main competitor, Dunkin Donuts, has on offer? That’s a matter of personal preference. But they seem pretty on par to me.

I’m sold. Can’t wait to stuff my face full of them!

Not so fast there! In case you need reminding that doughnuts are a treat food, the Choc Iced doughnut contains 17.9g of sugar per serving. And according to the World Health Organisation, that’s two-thirds of an average adult’s recommended daily sugar intake.

Krispy Kreme’s production line can make over 4,300 doughnuts an hour when running at full capacity (supplied)

In fact, the poor nutritional value of Krispy Kreme’s doughnuts has attracted the ire of some New Zealand anti-obesity advocates. They’ve accused the company of deliberately exploiting some of the country’s most vulnerable people by opening its first store in the south Auckland suburb of Manukau, which has one of the highest obesity rates in New Zealand. In 2013, the Counties Manukau health district obesity rate rose to 38%, while the national rate rose to ‘only’ 29%, according to Ministry of Health data. 

Krispy Kreme defended the location of its store, arguing that it was “driven by finding the most suitable site to build a manufacturing and retail space”. They also said that its arrival in NZ has allowed it to employ over 150 people of which 80% are from South Auckland

Treat food. Got it. But just one last question: is it ‘donuts’ or ‘doughnuts’?

According to the fountain of knowledge that is the internet, the dictionary-approved spelling of the ring-shaped cake is ‘doughnut’. ‘Donut’ is the shortened version that’s been around since the late 1800s. But it wasn’t until the 20th century that it became popularised thanks to Dunkin Donuts. So +1 to Krispy Kreme for its technical accuracy regarding the word ‘doughnut’. But -1 for spelling everything else in its name wrong.


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