Krispy Kreme to address health concerns, push coffee

News

WINSTON-SALEM N.C. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will try to allay health concerns about its signature product by publicizing the calorie content of its best-selling doughnut, adding a reduced-calorie whole-wheat version and eliminating trans-fat from all varieties, the 395-unit chain’s franchisor reportedly told shareholders at its annual meeting here on Wednesday.

Officials of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. also said the chain will try to boost its coffee sales by bundling the beverage with doughnuts in reduced-price combos, according to reporters who attended. They cited indications from chief executive Daryl Brewster that coffee currently generates only 15 percent of a typical unit’s sales, far below the average for other baked-goods specialists.

Executives explained to the 300 or so shareholders in attendance that consumers have some misconceptions about the brand and its menu. For instance, they reportedly said, the concept’s Original Glazed contains only 200 calories, or far fewer than fans might think. They indicated that the chain will tout that fact moving forward.

Brewster also disclosed the chain’s plans to add a 180-calorie whole-wheat doughnut. Krispy asserted some time ago that it was hurt by the low-carbohydrate diets that were prevalent then. Most of those eating plans permit whole-wheat pasta and breads. Whole-grain baked goods have also been touted by health authorities as being preferable to conventional items.

Brewster, who took the helm of the company in March, said Krispy has made progress in righting the after-effects of an accounting scandal and a sales free-fall that resulted in combined losses of $350 million for the concern’s last three fiscal years. But it has already shifted from “survival mode to stability," he was quoted as saying in The News & Observer, the daily newspaper of Charlotte, N.C.  The company is still being investigated by the Securities & Exchange Comission.