Want the coffee flavor in your doughnuts without dunking them and getting them all soggy? Krispy Kreme is thinking of you.
The Salem, N.C.-based doughnut chain recently announced two new doughnut flavors that will simultaneously cure a sweet tooth and a coffee fix: Mocha Kreme and Caramel Coffee Kreme, part of the doughnut-maker's new "Lotta Latte" line of doughnuts.
The treats will be available through March 20, 2014 at participating Krispy Kreme locations in the US and Canada.
The Krispy Kreme press announcement describes the Mocha Kreme as a "moist yeast doughnut filled with a tasty blend of chocolate and coffee flavors, topped with mocha icing, a milk chocolate swirl and decorated with milk chocolate icing." The Caramel Coffee Kreme, meanwhile, is "a decadent glazed treat topped with smooth caramel and coffee flavored icing, a mocha drizzle and dollop of coffee Kreme."
The company also introduced a new coffee beverage, the Cinnamon Dolce latte.
That Krispy Kreme chose coffee for its new doughnut flavors is an appropriate cap to a decade of resurgence for the doughnut chain. Coffee, after all, played a part in nearly killing Krispy Kreme in the early aughts.
The chain launched its IPO in 2000, and its stock prices, locations, and cultural clout ballooned. In 2003, Krispy Kreme made the cover of Fortune magazine, which anointed the company "The World's Hottest Brand." But the Atkins diet craze and widespread public aversion to carbohydrates soon took hold, and while rival Dunkin' Doughnuts managed to adjust by re-branding itself as a coffee destination, Krispy Kreme didn't have the same luck. Plummeting stock prices, a major accounting scandal, and rumors of bankruptcy followed, and the company's stock price bottomed out in 2009 at $1.08 per share, according to Bloomberg.
Things are better now. Krispy Kreme shares are currently trading at $18.23 each, and the company returned to profitability last year after 14 straight quarters of financial losses. The chain has found success expanding into Asia and the Middle East, and it's upped efforts in the ever-important coffee market, reformulating its in-store coffee and expanding brand availability in supermarkets, even venturing into Keurig cups. Coffee now accounts for about 12 percent of Krispy Kreme's in-store sales (for Dunkin' Donuts, it's about 60 percent).
Krispy Kreme is still a much smaller company than its chief rivals, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. But it's much more stable than it was a decade ago, and while it may not ever have the coffee clout of those other two chains, it can use coffee to help re-assert its (arguable) superiority in the doughnut realm.