McDonald’s to serve up Krispy Kreme delights nationwide by 2026

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In a sweet twist, McDonald’s is set to offer Krispy Kreme doughnuts at its restaurants across the United States by the end of 2026. The fast-food giant and the doughnut chain announced the partnership on Tuesday, sparking a nearly 20% jump in Krispy Kreme’s stock during premarket trading.

The rollout will begin in the second half of this year, with Krispy Kreme expanding its distribution to meet the demand. Under the agreement, McDonald’s will be the exclusive fast-food partner for Krispy Kreme in the U.S.

Krispy Kreme’s “hub and spoke” model, which efficiently produces and distributes its treats, will support this expansion. The chain’s production hubs, either stores or doughnut factories, send out freshly made doughnuts daily to retail locations such as grocery stores and gas stations.

CEO Josh Charlesworth sees the partnership as a significant opportunity for Krispy Kreme to broaden its reach. While Krispy Kreme currently delivers its doughnuts to 6,800 third-party stores, McDonald’s has about 13,500 restaurants in the U.S. and plans to open 900 new locations by 2027.

To reach the approximately 7,500 McDonald’s restaurants that it currently can’t serve, Krispy Kreme has been expanding its capacity. This expansion will also benefit the chain’s distribution to grocery and convenience stores that prefer national suppliers.

The partnership is expected to increase Krispy Kreme’s overall efficiency and productivity. The chain’s doughnut shops often make more doughnuts than they can sell, and the extra demand from McDonald’s means higher production volumes with minimal additional costs.

The relationship between the two companies began about a year and a half ago when McDonald’s started selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts at nine restaurants as a test. Demand during the tests exceeded expectations, leading to a wider rollout.

For McDonald’s, adding Krispy Kreme doughnuts to its menu enhances its bakery and breakfast offerings. The chain has been focusing on coffee, a popular pairing with doughnuts, while streamlining other bakery items from its menu.

McDonald’s customers will soon be able to enjoy original glazed, chocolate iced with sprinkles, and chocolate iced cream-filled doughnuts, either individually or in packs of six, sold all day.

Looking ahead, Krispy Kreme anticipates reaching more than 100,000 points of access for its doughnuts globally, up from its previous outlook of 75,000 locations. Currently, the chain’s doughnuts are available in over 14,100 stores across 39 countries.

(Source: New York Post | WSJ)

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