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Krispy Kreme considers buying out rival Dunkin’ Donuts

Which kind of Krispy Kreme doughnut would you be?

If you could be any kind of Krispy Kreme doughnut, which kind would you be? If calories didn't count, how many Krispy Kreme doughnuts would you eat in a day?
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If you could be any kind of Krispy Kreme doughnut, which kind would you be? If calories didn't count, how many Krispy Kreme doughnuts would you eat in a day?

Are you Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts? And what if they were ... the same?

Bloomberg reports that it may be “time to sell the donuts,” as Krispy Kreme’s parent company might be looking to buy the Dunkin’ Donuts chain.

JAB Holding Co. owns Krispy Kreme, Peet’s Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain, Caribou Coffee and Panera Bread, and speculation rose up this week that the Luxembourg-based company may be eyeing the Dunkin’ chain, estimated at a possible $8.2 billion — far more than the relatively low-priced Krispy Kreme at $1.3 billion.

Dunkin’ Donuts issued a statement that it would not comment on rumors or speculation, according to ABC news. JAB Holding is a privately-held group comprised of reclusive German billionaire siblings, according to news reports.

The battle between fans of Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts has verged on the level of a religious war over the years. TheDailyMeal.com analyzed the offerings of each chain — 128 varieties at Dunkin’ vs. 55 at Krispy Kreme — and compared Dunkin’s trucked-in doughnuts to Krispy Kreme’s famous “hot now” doughnuts factory-made before your eyes ... but not in all locations, as more and more Krispy locations are trucking in their doughnuts.

Various sites have done polls, taste challenges and debates that tend to vary back and forth depending on whether the Krispy Kreme is hot, ranging from Food and Wine Magazine to Forbes to Business Insider. The Southern Illinoisan conducted its own poll in 2015, which came back solidly for Krispy Kreme at 65 percent.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ revenue growth is estimated to fall below 3 percent for the second time since 2009, and its ice cream partner chain Baskin-Robbins has had five straight quarters of negative same-store sales in the U.S. The news that JAB may be considering a buyout rose Dunkin’s stock price 8 percent, according to Bloomberg.

However, Dunkin’ recently announced plans for a $100 million two-year renovation and redesign, and floated thoughts of dropping the notoriously misspelled “Donuts” from its name - but not from the menu. Two stores have recently opened as “Dunkin’” but the majority of the 1,000 locations continue to use the full Dunkin’ Donuts name.

If the Dunkin’ deal goes through, it would create the nation’s second-largest coffee chain with 11,300 stores, after Starbucks’ 11,913 locations.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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