Quick Take on Krispy Kreme Reese’s Peanut Butter donut.

Krispy Kreme

KK location in Metairie, LA (YatCuisine photo)

Krispy Kreme specialty donuts

Krispy Kreme regularly creates specialty donuts designed to lure in customers. While their go-to, classic glaze donuts appeal to lovers of sugar, not everyone feels the craving regularly. So, the company promotes unique/special donuts, often by partnering up with another company.

KK relies on local word-of-mouth advertising. Rather than buying ads in local publications, the company develops relationships with schools, churches, and other neighborhood institutions. KK sets up promotions with, say, the neighborhood elementary school. Buy a dozen, get a dozen glaze for a dollar. The shop tracks who comes in for the promotion and makes a donation back to the school/church. The community support grows, and those institutions turn to KK for their donuts after Sunday church, or for the faculty in-service workshop.

The specialty donuts get Krispy Kreme free media. For example, the current promotion with Reese’s spread wildly across local and national media. Local TV/radio stations blogged about the donuts. They featured them on their news programs. Magazines like Bon Appetit wrote about them.

And so are we!

KK in New Orleans

Krispy Kreme

The donut machine at the Krispy Kreme in Metairie.

KK came to New Orleans in 2005. They opened their first shop in the metro area on Clearview Parkway and W. Metairie Avenue. They soon expanded, opening a shop in the French Quarter. That shop took the coffee-and-beignets place in Jax Brewery. While the Quarter location was an interesting novelty, it only lasted eighteen months. The biggest problem lie in the company’s business model.

The Company relies heavily on bringing the donuts to other locations, like gas stations. In Itasca, IL, for example, the location has two warehouse-style truck bays in the back of the building. The front offers customers the regular donut-shop walk-in experience. In the back, employees load trucks with rack upon rack of donuts, to bring to local gas stations and convenience stores. Fill up, grab a coffee and a donut. The company opened a second suburban location, across the river in Marrero. The neighborhood support didn’t develop. Therefore, the store closed in 2012.

krispy kreme

Krispy Kreme 3-pack, including the Reese’s donut at top.

A donut shop in the French Quarter presented problems for this model. While the location looked good, there was no place to park the trucks! So, the location’s walk-in traffic was all there was. When you’re half a block from Cafe’ du Monde, across from Jackson Square, that’s a huge hurdle.

The Peanut Butter Donut

krispy kreme

KK Reese’s Peanut Butter Donut

Krispy Kreme produces two styles of “filled” donut. One is the classic style, a donut without a hole. They pump in jelly or creme fillings inside the solid donut. Some are glazed, some chocolate covered, some both. The second type of donut is a classic with a hole. So, they pump the filling into the interior of the traditional shape.

The Reese’s specialty donuts are the latter style, a filled donut with a hole.

The Metairie KK offered both of the Reese’s variants. So, we got the one with the fillings and the peanut butter icing. So, in terms expectations, this was a mistake. A Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is more about the chocolate than the peanut butter. At every size, from the miniatures we devour at home to the traditional size, it’s a chocolate candy with a smaller amount of peanut butter filling. Therefore, this is the expectation.

The donut stood this concept on its head. Half of the donut’s interior is peanut butter, half is a chocolate. The icing is either peanut butter or chocolate. Even with the chocolate icing, the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate is wrong for invoking the sensation of the candy.

So, does that make it a bad donut? Not if you like gooey, peanut-buttery donuts.

The Bottom Line

The Reese’s donut doesn’t live up to the hype. I’ve had better specialty donuts from KK. So, this was peanut butter overload. It wasn’t what I was looking for. No doubt it’ll be a winner, though, for a company that loves free publicity.

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