Coming Soon to a McDonald's Near You: Krispy Kreme Donuts

There’s something very American about being able to buy cheap, fattening burgers and cheap, fattening donuts in the same place. Later this year, you’ll be able to do just that, as, thanks to the wonders of corporate cooperation and joint marketing schemes, you will be able to get Krispy Kreme donuts at your local McDonald’s. As of this writing, there is no word as to whether Krispy Kreme stores will start selling Big Macs. 

This will, of course, vastly increase the number of places you can get Krispy Kreme donuts.

Three types of Krispy Kreme doughnuts — original glazed, chocolate iced with sprinkles and chocolate iced “kreme” filled — will go on sale at McDonald’s restaurants starting later this year, the companies told CNN on Monday.

Krispy Kreme shares jumped more than 39% on Tuesday. McDonald’s shares were flat.

So, Krispy Kreme shares were up, but McDonald’s, not so much? I’m not sure what that says about either Krispy Kreme or McDonald’s, other than if you quadruple the number of places you can buy Krispy Kreme donuts, you’re going to sell a lot more donuts.

It’s not the first time two competitors have teamed up. For example, Wendy’s brought in Cinnabon to its breakfast lineup earlier this year. Some research suggests brand partnerships open possibilities for new customers, brand expansions and innovation. But some retail experts suggest partnerships can also be a risky move, and one that can weaken the respective brand names.

Truist analysts said the Krispy Kreme doughnut delivery model will have to figure out a way to successfully service rural McDonald’s locations more than 20 miles outside of an urban center.    

Because, of course, if you have to drive more than 20 miles to get your crappy fast food and your heart-attack-inducing donuts, there’s no reason to expect you’d have to go to two different places.

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Speaking as someone who lives more than 20 miles from, well, anywhere, just in the interest of bringing you the full story, I went to Google Maps to learn where the nearest McDonald’s was, also the nearest Krispy Kreme, and how far apart they were:

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So, after driving, well, over 20 miles to Wasilla, I can pick up the offerings of these two businesses by traveling the intervening 1.4 miles, which Google Maps estimates, given normal Wasilla traffic, will take four minutes. (Of course, in Wasilla, Alaska, it’s impossible for anything to be all that far from anything else.) That just doesn’t seem like all that much trouble.

Then again, this isn’t something I’ll normally encounter. To put it bluntly: I’ve never set foot in either establishment, nor am I likely to. I’m frankly a burger snob. I love a good burger, but that’s key: I love a good burger. I’ve never eaten anything from McDonald’s that qualified. I measure all burgers against my wife’s hand-pressed moose burgers, and that’s a tough act to follow. As for Krispy Kreme donuts, well, with my 60-something metabolism, I may just as well roll out the dough myself and staple it to my midsection.

But, as my grandfather was fond of saying, every cat its own rat. 

For folks who favor cheap fast food, this may well be a welcome move. And speaking as a guy who loves capitalism and free markets, I wish both McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme every success in this venture. If Krispy Kreme sees an explosion in donut sales because of their sudden and dramatic increase in market penetration, good for them. 

I’m sure they will forgive me if I forgo partaking.

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