Krispy Kreme takes another shot at Canadian market

What could go wrong? A carbohydrate backlash, basically. The company fell beneath the weight of a growing distaste for starch and sugar. Canadian operations slimmed down by the end of 2004, and several locations were closed in the wake of bankruptcy.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com
November 18, 2010

Krispy Kreme takes another shot at Canadian market
Marc Weisblott

This weekend, Krispy Kreme will officially open its first location in downtown Toronto.

The first dozen people in line Saturday morning will receive a dozen donuts a month for a year, and 100 more will receive a free coffee mug.

But their efforts to bake a glazed frenzy might seem familiar.

Krispy Kreme, founded in Wilson-Salem, N.C. in 1937, announced its expansion to Canada in 2000. Saturday Night, the magazine focused on Canadian culture, ran a cover story about its faithful worshippers across America.

"Like the Christian Crusaders of the twelfth century," wrote journalist Don Gillmor, "it will encounter and try to vanquish the infidels: Tim Hortons, Robin's, Baker's Dozen, Dunkin' Donuts, and others. The suburbs will be littered with crumbs; coffee will be spilled."

Compared to its would-be rivals, Krispy Kreme was unapologetic about selling only one sugary shape of baked goods.

Could the company conquer Canada on coffee and donuts alone? Sending free samples to all media within striking distance of each new store never failed as a strategy. Back then, the company didn't believe in paying for advertisements.

Nor did they need to.

When the first location opened in Mississauga in December 2001, reporters were on hand to relay details of the six people who camped out overnight, waiting cars that were backed up for a kilometre, and the hour-long wait that resulted in more than 25,000 donuts sold by 10 a.m. at $5.99 a dozen.

By spring 2003, two more locations opened in the Toronto area, and new stores in Windsor and Montreal earned similar press attention. Krispy Kreme was planning 50 additional stores across the country. What could go wrong?

A carbohydrate backlash, basically.

The company fell beneath the weight of a growing distaste for starch and sugar. Canadian operations slimmed down by the end of 2004, and several locations were closed in the wake of bankruptcy.

However, the original factory cafe in Mississauga remained, along with similar facilities in Delta, B.C., Longueuil, Que., and Quebec City, primarily to produce boxes of Krispy Kreme for sale in retail stores.

So, the donuts were never deported, even though relatively few Canadians were ever exposed to the trademark red light, switched on when the merchandise was at its freshest.

This year, a seasonal Krispy Kreme opened for tourists at Wasaga Beach, Ont., decked out with all the retro aesthetics associated with its American heritage.

Meanwhile, the downtown Toronto location at 215 Harbord St., the vicinity of a couple of high schools and the University of Toronto, will attempt to put Krispy Kreme on the culinary map with pizza, sushi and other cheap student eats.

For all the hoopla of a decade ago, however, the operation is decidedly smaller. The company is no longer strategizing from North Carolina, having placed these plans in the hands of two Canadian franchisees, who hope to refresh Krispy Kreme's fortune.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/yahoocanada/101118/canada/krispy_kreme_takes_another_shot_at_canadian_market


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