McDonald’s Krispy Kreme testing has been expanded to extra areas in Kentucky

Pictured in this photo illustration is a Krispy Kreme glazed donut on May 12, 2022 in Daly City, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

MC Donalds will sell Krispy Kreme Donuts at 150+ Kentucky locations starting next month for a limited time.

It’s an extension of the fast-food giant’s first test of the sweet treats. In October, nine McDonald’s restaurants in Louisville began selling Krispy Kreme donuts. The larger test is designed to assess customer demand and understand how a larger-scale rollout would impact restaurant operations.

Beginning March 21, McDonald’s customers at select locations in the Louisville and Lexington areas can purchase Krispy Kreme’s glazed donuts with chocolate frosting and chocolate cream. The treats are available throughout the day and can be ordered in the drive-thru lane, in the restaurant, through the McDonald’s app, and for delivery.

McDonald’s has already made small changes from the earlier test, where customers couldn’t order the donuts for delivery, and included raspberry-filled donuts instead of the chocolate cream-filled ones. However, the expansion suggests that the first experiment was at least somewhat successful in boosting traffic, despite macroeconomic challenges.

Consumers have cut back on restaurant spending as inflation puts pressure on their budgets. But both Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s have reported strong sales in recent quarters.

McDonald’s saw US traffic pick up in the second half of the year, bucking the industry trend thanks to its cheap offerings. The burger chain has also focused on coffee — a common pairing with donuts — to encourage patrons to visit more often. And Krispy Kreme has been able to raise prices without hurting its sales because consumers are willing to splurge on affordable treats like fresh donuts.

Krispy Kreme uses a “hub and spoke” model that allows it to efficiently craft and distribute its treats. Manufacturing centers, which are either stores or donut factories, ship freshly made donuts to retail locations such as grocery stores and gas stations every day.

Josh Charlesworth, Krispy Kreme’s chief operating officer, said at the ICR conference in January that the McDonald’s test showed the donut chain could run its daily fresh deliveries to restaurants. Beyond that, however, company executives have declined to share further details on the progress of the test.

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