Krispy Kreme test is expanded by McDonald’s to additional Kentucky locations

Starting next month, for a limited time, McDonald’s will sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts at approximately 160 Kentucky locations.

The fast-food giant’s initial experiment with sweet treats has been expanded upon. In Louisville, nine McDonald’s restaurants began selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts in October. The purpose of the larger test is to assess customer demand and comprehend how restaurant operations would be affected by a larger-scale launch.

Krispy Kreme’s glazed, chocolate iced with sprinkles doughnuts and chocolate cream-filled doughnuts will be available to McDonald’s customers from March 21 at a few Louisville and Lexington locations. The treats can be ordered in the drive-thru lane, in the restaurant, through the McDonald’s app, or for delivery throughout the day.

From the previous test, McDonald’s has already made a few small adjustments, such as removing the option for customers to order doughnuts for delivery and substituting raspberry-filled doughnuts for chocolate cream-filled ones. However, the expansion suggests that, despite macroeconomic difficulties, the initial experiment was at least partially successful in driving traffic.

Restaurant spending has been decreasing as a result of budget pressures brought on by inflation. However, McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme have both reported robust sales in recent quarters.

Due to its low prices, McDonald’s defied the industry trend and saw an increase in U.S. traffic in the second half of the year. To encourage diners to return more frequently, the burger chain has also been experimenting with coffee, a common accompaniment to doughnuts. Additionally, customers are willing to spend a lot of money on inexpensive treats like freshly baked doughnuts, so Krispy Kreme has been able to raise prices without affecting sales.

Krispy Kreme is able to efficiently produce and distribute its treats thanks to its “hub and spoke” model. Doughnut factories or stores serve as production hubs, and each day, they deliver freshly baked doughnuts to retail establishments like gas stations and grocery stores.

Josh Charlesworth, CEO of Krispy Kreme, stated in January at the ICR Conference that the McDonald’s test demonstrated the doughnut chain’s ability to carry out its daily fresh deliveries to restaurant locations. However, executives at the company have declined to provide any additional information regarding the test’s progress.