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20 Things You Didn't Know about Krispy Kreme

If you have had a Krispy Kreme donut you appreciate its uniqueness. If you have not, you don’t know what you are missing. Some people say it is only a donut, and this is not the place to debate taste. What we can say is that the company has a mighty fine reputation across the globe, so let the evidence speak for itself. As for the company, it has its roots in America and has found fans of people who actually may oppose the combination of fat, sugar, and flour. Read on to find out more about the donut, the company, and a bit of trivia along the way.

1. The Krispy Kreme logo has the same colors as 7-11.

Another thing you may not have noticed is that the Krispy Kreme logo is in the shape of a bow tie. It was designed, created, and trademarked in 1955 and has been the brand designation of the company since then. What makes the logo work is that it is hardly noticeable, but when you want to make sure you are getting the real deal, the logo is unmistakable.

2. It will be only another 18 years until the company celebrates its 100th anniversary.

The origins of the company rest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Founded by Vernon Rudolph in 1937, the story is he bought the donut recipe from a French chef in New Orleans, and from there the rest is history. At first, Rudolph made them in a rented building and sold them directly to grocery stores. The taste is obviously not Cajun but the chef very well could have been Cajun.

3. Their first customer delivery portal was literally a hole in the wall.

As Rudolph was making his donuts for sale to grocery stores, passers-by couldn’t help but notice the enticing aroma coming from the makeshift bakery. Admit it, you would have stopped to and find out where that aroma was coming from. So the passers-by wanted to buy some of the hot pastries themselves, and Rudolph’s solution was to cut a hole in the wall of the building as a way of a direct-to-market strategy. It was obviously good for advertising as well.

4. There are the required nutritional facts that have to be presented.

Whether Krispy Kremes actually have any nutritional value is debatable, but it seems most people aren’t all that concerned with the data. Nevertheless, as an act of public awareness, the original glazed donut:

  • Weighs 1.7 ounces
  • Has 11 grams of fat
  • 5 of those grams are saturated fat
  • Each has 22 grams of carbs
  • 10 grams of sugar
  • and a total of 190 calories each.

For those on a weight watching regimen, you will need to at least walk for one hour for each Krispy Kreme eaten. For some people, that will mean walking 12 hours a day.

5. Each donut was made by hand for almost 36 years.

Of course, the reason for this was not only the absence of automation but also the price of automation. In 1963 the company revamped its production to full automation, where it has stayed ever since. If you know someone who had a pre-1963 Krispy Kreme, be sure to ask them if there is any major difference between the two. It might make for an interesting story.

6. The company uses a fast food technique in their outlet stores.

The idea of a hot/warm Krispy Kreme donut is something the business has thrived on since its inception. As time moved on, making this a reality for every customer proved more and more challenging. In 1992 the company globally installed its hot light system with the “Hot Doughnuts Now” slogan attached to it. It continues to use the system to this day.

7. Oh, Canada was able to snag the first international location for a Krispy Kreme store.

If it seems strange that a business that wants to sell hot donuts opens their first international store in Canada, you are not alone. For the record, the year was 2001 and the official location was in Mississauga, Ontario, about a one hour drive from the Niagara Falls location on the American side of the border. The Krispy Kreme may be largely responsible for the city’s size of more than 700,000 residents.

8. In a possible conspiracy, Mexico was the country to open the 500th international Krispy Kreme store.

This actually is a more sensible option as keeping the donuts warm is much easier south of the border. Number 500 was opened in 2012 in the city of Aguascalientes, Mexico. Aguascalientes is a mere 10 hour drive from Brownsville, Texas, the southernmost point of the United States we could find. A search indicates there is only one Krispy Kreme store in Brownsville.

9. Krispy Kreme gave up on a fantastic idea in year 75.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012, the company decided to launch a fleet of trucks to tour the United States (not Canada or Mexico) and bring the product directly to the customer. This was the mobile edition of cutting a hole in the wall, so why did they abandon it after only one year? Their fleet of trucks was a small one, but would you buy Krispy Kremes from a truck rather than from a box in a grocery store? At plants and factories around the country - heck, even in Canada and Mexico, - they could park not too near the roach coaches and run out of donuts in no time.

10. Of more recent vintage, former NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal bought a store in Atlanta, Georgia.

That was only two years ago, and to the best of our knowledge the store is doing just fine. Shaq has been known to be a Krispy Kreme lover for at least a decade, and with his retirement he doesn’t have to worry too much about being in shape. Two things are currently unknown: whether he eats all of the profits and whether the sales figures of the store are skewed because he is the store’s biggest consumer.

11. The recipe is partly known, partly unknown.

Like Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken who keep their secret recipes locked in a vault, the recipe for the original Krispy Kreme donut is locked away somewhere in its plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Some ingredients are believed to be known, which are not very different from many other brand donuts: fluffied egg whites, sugar, shortening, and flour. One not-so-secret ingredient is mashed potatoes, which makes the donut both heavy and light at the same time. It’s reasonable to think that someone tried to duplicate the mashed potato thing, but thus far no one comes close.

12. The business was much like your run of the mill donut shop for many years.

What we mean by this is that many donut shops will be preparing for the morning rush of coffee and donut commuters by 4 a.m. In the early years of the business, if you wanted your donuts hot/warm you would have to stop by between midnight and 4 a.m. It’s just the way it was for a long time until the company decided to make a concerted effort and began making them hot from the fryer all during the day. Desperate people can always look to see if there any left at the grocery store if you live in Brownsville, Texas.

13. The company is an active daily advocate of supporting the fight against anti-Semitism.

Some things happen by design while others happen by accident. In this case, it turns out this is a fact of the latter, as all of the ingredients in a Krispy Kreme donut are Kosher, suitable for consumption by Jewish people. No business wants to dive into the political chaos all too familiar in modern day America, but facts are facts. Maybe if we could get opposing parties to sit down at a table filled with Krispy Kremes …

14. There was a time the donuts were indulged in a bit of pampering.

Realizing that donuts are inanimate and very edible objects, it is possible to pamper the process and end up with a higher quality product. The amazing glazing you see on every original Krispy Kreme is the result of it being passed under a gentle torrent of warm sugar glaze. But that didn’t happen until the 1960’s. Prior to that they were dipped in a wash tub (the galvanized type) to get their final coat of sugary delight. Those who have made donuts can appreciate the appeal of this bit of donut pampering.

15. The company caters to weddings by creating wedding cakes made of Krispy Kremes.

This is somewhat unique, and there is not a lot that can be said about it. The “cakes” are built as towers of a variety of Krispy Kreme donuts, and the company will prepare special boxes for the bridesmaids and guests upon request. There has yet to be any attempt to freeze one and eat it for a 50th wedding anniversary, but the search continues.

16. Speaking of special occasions, a business in the country of Kuwait made a special box that would hold a world record number of Krispy Kreme donuts.

The Kuwait Food Co. Americana in Kuwait created a cardboard box with the dimensions: 19 x 13 x 3 feet. But this was no ordinary cardboard box. It was an exact replica of the regular Krispy Kreme box created to hold 2,700 donuts neatly aligned just as you would find at a Krispy Kreme store. It weighed nearly 300 pounds, and though the contents were eaten, the exact number of people is unknown.

17. Leave it to the Brits – part one.

Apparently, not to be outdone, an insanely extravagant Krispy Kreme donut was displayed in the window of a London department store that had a value of almost $1700. How do you make a $1700 donut? For starters, you use Dom Perignon vintage 2002 Champagne jelly as a palate pleaser. Then you include raspberry and Chateau d’Yquem crème adorned with edible diamonds (seriously) and a Belgian white chocolate lotus flower with a dusting of 23 karat gold. No evidence that someone has been daring enough to eat gold has been provided, but anything is possible.

18. Leave it to the Brits – part deux.

As if the over the top bejeweled Krispy Kreme was not enough, the U.K. Krispy Kreme Team announced it was rebranding all of its Krispy Kreme stores to Krispy Cream, maintaining that the “Kreme” part of the brand was too difficult to pronounce properly. It was announced on social media as well as a select number of news organizations. Word spread, with more than a few people passing it along as fact. But the whole story was staged for April Fool’s Day.

19. The brand has taken the next logical step by introducing coffee as a companion product.

Yes, there is now Krispy Kreme Coffee, currently available in the United States and Canada. It began back in 2011 and includes iced coffee for those hot summer mornings. It is a natural extension of the brand, and imitates the Dunkin Donut approach. There is a store version of the coffee, and they have prepared a brewing version of it for your Keurig K-cup machine.

20. They are not all about sugar and fat and caffeine.

In the company’s home state of North Carolina, once a year they have the Krispy Kreme Challenge. Runners and non-runners alike compete in a 5 mile run through the state capital of Raleigh while eating their allotment of 12 Krispy Kremes. The catch is you have to eat the donuts in only one hour, then race to the end. All proceeds from the race are donated to the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

It seems obvious that a lot of people who work at the local stores are having a lot of fun, not only serving up the tasty circles of limited nutrition, but also promoting the brand in unique ways. It makes buying and eating a dozen donuts more of an experience than an event. The brand is both respected and loved by millions of people around the world, and given the competitive nature of the simple donut, Krispy Kreme has carved out a very successful niche in the world of what is often seen as just another donut.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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