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Move over, Dunkin Donuts. The South’s favorite donut shop is lining up to make its move into the coffee industry. In the June shareholders meeting, top Krispy Kreme exec Jim Morgan told investors that the donut company will be introducing three signature coffee blends in September. The three blends will be a house blend, a decaf blend and a dark roast coffee. An announcement that Robert Stiller, founder and chairman of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. has just become Krispy Kreme’s largest shareholder fueled speculation that the Vermont coffee giant might be in line for providing the coffees.
For Krispy Creme Doughnut lovers, this is better than welcome news. Just a year ago, most of the world had written off the franchise after a dismal few years. In February 2009, Krispy Kreme stock was selling for a low of $1.18 a share. Just last month, the company had pulled one of the most spectacular turnarounds in recent history, with stocks selling at an all-time high of $9.15 per share. The turnaround coincided with the June shareholder meeting at which Krispy Kreme formally announced its expansion plans, which include the addition of 25 new doughnut and coffee shops as well as the introduction of the Krispy Kreme signature coffee blend. The doughnut franchise’s plans are proceeding ahead of schedule and at a slightly grander scale. Perhaps responding to the positive news about Krispy Kreme’s coffee offerings, they’ve introduced not three, but four new Krispy Kreme coffee blends, which are now available to order online and in a smattering of Krispy Kreme Doughnut shops across the region.
The four new Krispy Kreme coffee blends are designed to appeal to the full range of coffee lovers, with a signature blend for each demographic. The blends are packaged in a bold graphic style that’s very reminiscent of the packaging graphics used by Keurig for its coffee K-cups — not making any insinuations, here, just noting the resemblance. There’s nothing fancy about the naming, either. They include:
Krispy Kreme Smooth Coffee Billed as smooth and sweet, with a delicate flavor from start to finish, Krispy Kreme Smooth Coffee is a blend of coffees from four distinct regions.
Krispy Kreme Rich Coffee Balanced is the word Krispy Kreme uses to describe its signature Krispy Kreme Rich Coffee. Refined, aromatic, complex and robust, according to the doughnut house, the balanced flavor has a simple name but a complex and robust flavor.
Krispy Kreme Bold Coffee For dark roast lovers, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts offers Krispy Kreme Bold Coffee. Intense, dark and full-bodied, but without the bitterness often associated with dark roast coffees, says Krispy Kreme.
Krispy Kreme Robust Decaf Coffee Last but not least, Krispy Kreme also offers a decaf signature blend, the Krispy Kreme Robust Decaf Coffee. Robust Decaf falls between Krispy Kreme Rich and Krispy Kreme Bold on the roast scale, and offers full-bodied flavor for coffee lovers who are trying to cut back on caffeine consumption.
All four Krispy Kreme coffee blends are available on the Krispy Kreme website, either ground or whole bean, for $6.99 per 12 ounce bag. There’s a minimum order of two bags.
According to Morgan, Krispy Kreme won’t be serving up cups of Green Mountain coffee blends. The company considered partnering with a major national coffee brand, he told stockholders, but decided that it made more sense to parlay the pull of its Krispy Kreme name by introducing signature Krispy Kreme coffees. That would put it in line with moves made by Dunkin Donuts and Tim Horton’s, both of which shifted focus from donuts to coffee to increase their mass appeal. Morgan’s announcement doesn’t necessarily rule out a business relationship between Krispy Kreme and the coffee roasting company, but if Green Mountain Coffee Roasters — which develops specialty blends for many entities — is behind the new Krispy Kreme coffee, everyone is keeping mum about it.