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Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s in Advanced Discussions on Expanded Partnership

Krispy Kreme is looking to expand its partnership with McDonald’s.

“While nothing has been finalized, we are in advanced discussions about expanding the partnership and are making investments in the U.S. that reflect our confidence in further scaling our Delivered Fresh Daily network,” Krispy Kreme CEO Mike Tattersfield said in a Thursday (Nov. 9) earnings release.

The existing partnership with McDonald’s has already validated the attractiveness of the quick-service restaurant channel for selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Tattersfield said in the release.

McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme teamed up in October 2022 to explore selling the latter’s doughnuts at the QSR’s restaurants, starting with nine locations in the Louisville, Kentucky, area.

The partnership aims to allow each company to benefit from the other’s loyal fans and widespread name recognition, and enable McDonald’s to create additional occasions to draw consumers to its doors, PYMNTS reported at the time.

“McDonald’s is always looking for ways to give our fans more of what they crave, and we often conduct tests to inform future menu decisions,” the QSR brand said when announcing the launch of the collaboration. “This small-scale test will help us understand how offering new bakery items like Krispy Kreme could impact operations in our restaurants.”

By the end of March, the two companies kicked off an expanded test that included 160 McDonald’s restaurants in Kentucky.

Krispy Kreme’s Delivered Fresh Daily network had also begun serving other new partners in new sales channels, such as Walgreens drugstores in the United States and Costco clubs in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

In the case of the McDonald’s partnership, the QSR has been using coffee as a way to encourage more frequent visits by customers but had cut back on its own bakery items, CNBC reported Thursday.

At the same time, Krispy Kreme has seen such demand from customers looking for affordable treats that it has been able to raise prices on its fresh doughnuts without hurting its sales, according to the report.

In their discussions about expanding the partnership, McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme have discussed the latter’s ability to deliver doughnuts fresh and on time and to scale beyond Kentucky, the report said.