McDonald’s Partners with Krispy Kreme for Nationwide Doughnut Rollout

McDonald’s Partners with Krispy Kreme for Nationwide Doughnut Rollout

In an unexpected move, McDonald’s has announced plans to sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts at its restaurants nationwide by the end of 2026. This partnership is expected to revolutionize the fast-food industry, with the rollout set to begin in the second half of this year. However, it will take roughly two and a half years for Krispy Kreme to more than double its distribution to meet the demands of this massive collaboration.

Under the terms of the agreement, McDonald’s will be the exclusive fast-food partner for Krispy Kreme in the U.S. The doughnut chain operates on a “hub and spoke” model that allows for efficient production and distribution of its treats. With production hubs sending freshly made doughnuts to retail locations daily, Krispy Kreme has been able to expand its reach to 6,800 third-party stores as of Dec. 31.

The partnership with McDonald’s presents a major opportunity for Krispy Kreme to reach more consumers. With McDonald’s 13,500 restaurants in the U.S. and plans to open 900 new locations by 2027, the potential for growth is immense. Krispy Kreme CEO Josh Charlesworth expressed optimism about servicing about 6,000 McDonald’s restaurants with the existing infrastructure. Furthermore, the doughnut chain has been expanding its capacity to deliver fresh doughnuts to the roughly 7,500 McDonald’s restaurants it can’t currently reach.

Charlesworth stated that the partnership with McDonald’s will not only help expand Krispy Kreme’s distribution but also improve the overall efficiency and productivity of its distribution network. By leveraging the excess capacity of doughnut shops and tapping into grocery and convenience stores that prefer national suppliers, the chain aims to enhance its production lines and increase profitability.

McDonald’s collaboration with Krispy Kreme began about a year and a half ago, with a test run of doughnuts at nine restaurants. The successful pilot project led to the expansion of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to roughly 160 restaurants across Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky. Following the positive reception from customers during the tests, both companies decided to move forward with the national rollout.

For McDonald’s, the addition of Krispy Kreme doughnuts helps strengthen its bakery and breakfast offerings. With a focus on coffee and doughnuts, McDonald’s customers will now have access to a variety of Krispy Kreme treats, including the original glazed, chocolate iced with sprinkles, and chocolate iced cream-filled doughnuts. The availability of these doughnuts all day aims to cater to different consumer preferences and boost sales.

Looking ahead, Krispy Kreme anticipates reaching more than 100,000 points of access for its doughnuts globally, which is a significant increase from its previous goal of 75,000 locations. Despite some concerns from investors about competition from weight loss drugs affecting sales, both Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s are optimistic about the future prospects of their collaboration. Krispy Kreme’s presence in more than 14,100 stores across 39 countries reflects its strong global reach and continued expansion efforts.

McDonald’s partnership with Krispy Kreme represents a strategic move that aims to capitalize on the strengths of both companies. By joining forces, these two giants in the fast-food industry are set to revolutionize the market and offer customers a wide range of delicious treats to enjoy. The nationwide rollout of Krispy Kreme doughnuts at McDonald’s restaurants signals a new era of collaboration and innovation in the fast-food sector.


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