Minneapolis declares war on Krispy Kreme.
May 2, 2002 10:33 PM   Subscribe

Minneapolis declares war on Krispy Kreme. Maybe it's about time something like this happened. After all, considering how ever-growing food conglomerates like Starbucks and McDonald's always seem to be getting attacked from all sides, it's sort of surprising Krispy Kreme has had so little trouble expanding.
posted by mrbula (33 comments total)
Actually, I'm not a big Krispy Kreme fan- but I'll head to Earl's in Chatsworth a little past midnight just for a chocolate glazed fresh from the oven...

...and cake donuts are evil.
posted by dogwelder at 10:57 PM on May 2, 2002

Is Krispy Kreme evil just because it's large? I don't get it. They make doughnuts; people like the doughnuts, so people buy the doughnuts. Alternatives exist if people want them. It's not like Krispy Kreme is dissing the locals, serving up roaches, or killing children. Right?

I haven't had a KK doughnut since I was a little kid (and lived in Florida). I'll be going to the Maple Grove store tomorrow, even though I'm not a big doughnut-eater nowadays.
posted by gleemax at 10:59 PM on May 2, 2002

Pity the poor rubes who wait in line for over an hour at the new KK. There's never a wait at Mel-O-Glaze, and their doughnuts kick ass on Krispy Kreme's.
posted by dack at 11:03 PM on May 2, 2002

I've never had Krispy Kreme (Boston is some sort of Dunkin D stronghold, and Minneapolis was not yet under siege when I lived there), but World's Best Doughnuts in Grand Marais has got to be pretty tough to top.
posted by tingley at 11:04 PM on May 2, 2002

I live in Minneapolis and had my first Krispy Kreme last week. Interestingly enough (only to tingley), I am moving to Boston in 4 weeks which Dunkin Donuts seems to have somekind of mafia like ownership of so I am getting my KK's in now.
posted by McBain at 11:09 PM on May 2, 2002

Is Krispy Kreme evil just because it's large? I don't get it.

I guess you don't. The point is that there are viable local bakeries in most every market KK moves in on. Krispy Kreme apparently has quite the behemoth marketing department (i.e. Though I've never seen a commercial or ad for them, I've lived in two cities where upon opening of a Krispy Kreme the morning news broadcasts live on site). Talk about free advertising! What kind of kick back are the local media outlets getting for doing such a disservice to their very own local alternatives?

The point, I suppose, is that the money being spent on a newcomer to the local doughnut arena is able to garner local money that would normally stay within that community, tax dollars and all. Also, how many more doughnuts on average, per capita, are consumed once the cheese-dick local media starts oohing and ahhing with doughnuts stuffed in their faces live on camera? More than would normally be sold on an average Krispy Kreme-less day. Quite the bounty for junk food eh?
posted by crasspastor at 11:09 PM on May 2, 2002

Our mayor rules. Sorry, that's all I have to say.
posted by emoeby at 11:16 PM on May 2, 2002

just because it's local, doesn't mean it's good. i've never had a good donut in dallas, that is, until krispy kreme. those suckers are good! i can't explain it. they're like crack. they're perfect. heh. i guess it's kind of like barbeque. there are chains here in texas, but everyone has their favorite mom and pop shop. i think people just buy what tastes good whether it's a chain or independent. we have a starbucks almost literally on every corner, but we order our coffee from a small place in austin. it just comes down to what you like. who does the best job. capitalism, competition, free enterprise. kk has a good donut formula.
posted by centrs at 11:18 PM on May 2, 2002

You know what? " ...there are [almost always] viable local [similar stores] in most every market [a big chain] moves in on."
posted by CrayDrygu at 11:19 PM on May 2, 2002

Crasspastor, do you think people might buy Krispy Kreme because they like the doughnuts? Is that a possibility? I'm sure there's no doubt in your mind: The local media is obviously a bunch of greedy bastards bribed to cover KK's opening. To me, it's just baseless speculation.

KK's opening was covered because there aren't any KKs here. It's news. It's not important news, but most of the news isn't important.

I wonder if my parents were bribed too. That's where I heard the news from. They seemed genuinely excited, too. My parents are such great actors.

(And yes, our Mayor does rule.)
posted by gleemax at 11:40 PM on May 2, 2002

I don't get it either crasspastor. Capitalism, you in or out? Krispy Kreme doughnuts are way better than most local donut shops. Could that possibly be the reason they've expanded?
posted by eyeballkid at 12:00 AM on May 3, 2002

one other thing, from my experience in texas, kk got press coverage because of the extreme popularity and crowds that came out on opening day. in austin, they needed police to direct traffic. in a city already prone to traffic problems, that would be newsworthy.

those crowds came out due to word of mouth on how good the donuts are. not because of any marketing on the part of kk.

i'd rather have a fresh, hot donut when i want it, say in the afternoon, than have to make it to a local bakery before 11:00 am to get a cold, inferior donut. kk is open all day.

also, to the best of my knowledge, kk's are owned locally. my friend's dad looked into buying a franchise. i don't think any are corporate owned. and i think you do have to have the franchise in the area you live in. i think the only thing kk does is control how many franchises are in an area. supply and demand.
posted by centrs at 12:17 AM on May 3, 2002

KK's opening was covered because there aren't any KKs here.

What other coverage was waysided? What about the dismal mainstream media coverage of the Venezuelan coup? What about any of your normal bleeding heart rants? What about those issues?

There was plenty of news 'that day', that could have doubtless been covered. Rather, a corporate chain hell bent on profit, share prices through the roof, gets top billing for a day and 'news coverage' bookending throughout the week just by opening a doughnut shop.

I wonder if my parents were bribed too.

If your parents are like mine, then local media news outlets are where they get the lion's share of their news. Therefore the phrase "That's where I heard the news from" is a case in point of the point, in my first post, I was trying to make. That's why they are propositioning (I'm assuming) the news outlets in some way, to cover the opening of a doughnut shop. It's simple, fun, what-a-way-to-start-a-day advertising, masquerading as news coverage.

I'm trying to find a link of a rather well reported study that holds that most local television news outlets, especially in the morning and noon hours become de facto blowhorns for producing product awareness, in the form of press releases as news. Anybody have one?

Well, for the naysayers I see upon preview, here's a rather compelling story about Wal-Mart for starters.

That Wal-Mart story having even a thread of truth to it:

Capitalism, you in or out?

I'd have to be out in cases of product, brand, franchise saturation.
posted by crasspastor at 12:18 AM on May 3, 2002

Chatsworth and Grand Marais -- a long way to get a donut.

I'll have to try Mel-O-Glaze, though I usually try to avoid ALL donuts for health reasons/on principle.

The strib (and, hell, local media in general) is so ultra-corporate that it's not really a surprise they're covering this as opposed to more important world issues.

It's not really the most substantive thing for a mayor to spend his time on, either, especially considering how low-profile his transition has been (other than the Olson blow-up and subsequent make-up).

It is somewhat nice that Rybak is countering the KK hype with some publicity for local donut shops, but it's not as if he condemned KK. In fact, he's effectively adding to the current local donut obsession -- which, of course, will pass, but not soon enough to avoid being mildly annoying.

[It's so late. I can't believe I'm writing about donuts. I think my sense of perspective is pretty good for 4 am, though.]
posted by gohlkus at 1:56 AM on May 3, 2002

...and cake donuts are evil.

Anyway, just as you can buy a hamburger without it coming from McD's or any of the other franchises, there'll always be people buying their donuts from the local bakeries. More power to them, and to the Krispy Kreme fanatics too.

What about the dismal mainstream media coverage of the Venezuelan coup?
And if you expect to hear about Venezuelan coups from local news, then you have seriously unrealistic expectations of local news. That's what the national news outfits are for; do you really think the Des Moines (to pull a city from my ass) local stations have the resources for international reporting?
posted by darukaru at 3:49 AM on May 3, 2002

People who think Krispy Kreme doughnuts suck because they come from a chain are in some sort of warped knee-jerk mode. I can remember practically drooling over them on trips to the Gulf Coast in the late '70s and early '80s. They were delicacies. I know a doughtnut shops that do some individual doughnuts and breakfast thingies such as apple fritters better, but KK's consistently good. They're too rich for me to eat very often, though.
posted by raysmj at 5:04 AM on May 3, 2002

Also, since when have their not been doughtnut chains? I remember a heavy push of Dunkin' at one point. Dunkin' has more variety, but doesn't come at all close to quality of Krispy Kreme. I think the hostility sounds more tied to its becoming huge so fast, and maybe an upscale image (which strikes me as hysterically funny, given its roots). But the chain had been around for eons in the Deep South. It didn't arise fully formed in the late '90s. It's not the Enron of doughnuts, already, or even a Starbucks.
posted by raysmj at 5:15 AM on May 3, 2002

No, but it might be the Pets.com of doughnuts (I will not spell it "donuts," I will not). ---Note that this article has the wrong symbol, it's KKD, not KREM.

Business considerations aside: Krispy Kreme doughnuts are, indeed, hot greasy sugar crack. I used to live about 4 blocks from the Ponce de Leon Ave KK in Atlanta, and I lived for days of southerly winds. It's what heaven smells like, I'm certain.

Further, those of you in places where you can only get *cold* KK doughnuts aren't qualified to judge on the topic of KK quality---again, it's all about the hot greasy sugar crack.
posted by Sapphireblue at 5:55 AM on May 3, 2002

tingley & McBain -- Dunkin Donuts was founded in Boston (Quincy, actually), hence the "stronghold" they have here.

The Boston Globe ran a story not too long ago about how DD isn't too worried about the impending arrival of KK in Boston because they actually see the coffee sales as the prime focus of their business, not the doughnuts. They had been more concerned about the proliferation of Starbucks at first, although ultimately the competition wasn't as bad as they feared.
posted by briank at 6:07 AM on May 3, 2002

I've never heard of Krispy Kreme before today, but does anyone else think it's a terrible name for a doughnut shop?
posted by Summer at 6:11 AM on May 3, 2002

I've never heard of Krispy Kreme before today, but does anyone else think it's a terrible name for a doughnut shop?

Yeah, I thought that too. That deliberate mis-spelling/alliteration thing is very 'US marketing' though innit? Off the top of my head, 'Krispy Kreme'... 'Lay-zee-boy'... there's more I'm sure, but having quit my job recently my brain is taking a sabbatical.

Mind you, we've got Kwik Save and Kwik Cricket (Krikit?) in the UK, so I guess that's my theory buggered...
posted by bifter at 6:19 AM on May 3, 2002

Deliberate mis-spellings were a lot more popular in 1937 when Krispy Kreme was founded (and named). Of course, deliberately misspelled words are also more easily-defended when used as trademarks. Might have something to do with it.

As I said in the last thread: Sheesh. Krispy Kreme is the new Starbucks.
posted by dhartung at 6:53 AM on May 3, 2002

How about we just run a find-and-replace on handy Starbucks threads?
posted by NortonDC at 7:09 AM on May 3, 2002

::: joins the pile-on on crasspastor and waves his flag in support of capitalism, free markets, and fat-laden doughnuts :::
posted by rushmc at 7:34 AM on May 3, 2002

Note that this article has the wrong symbol, it's KKD, not KREM.

I still think it should be "O."
posted by markpasc at 8:20 AM on May 3, 2002

::: joins the pile-on on crasspastor
Ho-lee crap. People express their opinions, and their opinions differ from crasspastor's. STOP THE PRESSES.

fat-laden doughnuts
Yeah, how dare anybody ever enjoy themselves. Non-self-denying jerks. Page me when someone suggests making Krispy Kreme a part of every meal, then we'll talk about health.
posted by darukaru at 9:45 AM on May 3, 2002

Wow, try reading my post backwards, darukaru...or perhaps you did. My opinion differs from crasspastor's and I was seriously adding my voice to those who disagreed with them, not mocking the dissenters. And I like Krispy Kreme doughnuts (in moderation), so while they DO happen to be fat laden, I was not condemning the doughnuts, either. Sheesh.
posted by rushmc at 10:06 AM on May 3, 2002

Oh, please. The reporters who go do a Krispy Kreme story are NOT the same folks who are covering international issues. Most local papers get their international coverage from the wires anyway. So a Minneapolis features reporter at a Krispy Kreme opening is hardly taking away from coverage of Afghanistan.
posted by GaelFC at 12:19 PM on May 3, 2002

Krispy Kreme glazed donuts are pretty swell. But it mystifies me that such a giant chain can't do better with all their other varieties of donuts, which are uniformly disgusting. This is one regard in which venerable Dunkin' Donuts products are much better--DD chocolate honey-glazeds compare favorably to most anyone else's chocolate-dough donuts.

There's no KK near where I live, and my favorite from the mom & pop's (old-fashioned glazed) is better anyway. But getting one hot out of the fryer is a rarity, and KK's niche of "HOT DONUTS NOW!" is quite justified.

For a HUGE nouveau gourmet donut, it's hard to beat that place next door to Kossar's bialys in the Lower East Side of NYC (ginger, Valrhona chocolate, etc.). Whaddya know, they have a website.
posted by Zurishaddai at 4:30 PM on May 3, 2002

I think a single donut shop doing opening-week sales of $480,693 qualifies as big local news. Certainly the fact that people who don't normally even buy donuts are standing in line for hours to get their hot glazed fix qualifies as local interest news. Heck, at that point it should probably be getting coverage on the traffic report. In my opinion, somebody ought to be doing some investigative journalism about a mayor so clearly in the pocket of Mel-O-Glaze.

When KK came to my town, their chief competitor was Winchells. My decision was never "do I want a donut from the local donut-chinese food-pastrami place, or do I want krispy kreme" - my decision is/was/will be "Do I want krispy kreme or do I want to skip the extra zillion grams of fat and sugar?" Of course, KK usually wins.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 5:05 PM on May 3, 2002

I practically never eat doughnuts and have no emotional attachment to any of the local doughnut shops Krispy Kreme is doubtless displacing, but I am opposed to their success on principle. Mass-marketed national/global chains act to homogenize the nation/planet, and thus make life less interesting: if I fly to - let's pick a random city - Omaha, and all I see is a generic sprawling American city built from standard subdivisions full of brand-named chain shops, then I might as well have never left home. This is boring, and I am opposed to anything that makes the world a less interesting place to live.

Furthermore, there's the standard Walmart-argument: Walmarts tend to drive out independent shops, even when the target market generally prefers what they already have, because they can drain away just enough business to flatten their competitors' profits. I'm sure Krispy Kreme has enough money in the bank to use the same strategy, so in the end it doesn't really matter whether people like their products or not: they will take over anyway.

posted by Mars Saxman at 5:56 PM on May 3, 2002

Mass-marketed national/global chains act to homogenize the nation/planet, and thus make life less interesting.

Yeah, but at least you'd know where you could get a decent doughnut.
posted by kindall at 7:46 PM on May 3, 2002

From now on, I'll buy everything I need from Wal-Mart and Krispy Kreme. How do you like them apples doughnuts?
posted by gleemax at 8:01 PM on May 3, 2002

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