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Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme: Comparison of Two Brands

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According to Wiersbitzky, “Fresh popcorn is near impossible to resist, second only to fresh doughnuts”. There is no doubt that the doughnut industry has made outstanding progress to an extent where doughnuts have become an eminent food around the world most commonly among the younger generation. The emergence of the name of this sweet delicacy is still speculative, but there has been a proposition made by a few researchers where it resembles the method of placing a nut inside the ball of dough for an uncooked center. The other intriguing idea was that the shape of the doughnut in the earlier days, called “dough knots” had been taken into consideration. This sweet treat’s original name which was called “olykoeks” is far less tempting than the current version.

In the United States, the doughnut franchises have flourished incredibly where the rate of doughnut production made each year has reached over ten billion whereas, in Canada, a country with a smaller population in comparison to the United States, produces only one billion doughnuts per year but yet has a substantial number of doughnut shops in the world. The pastry and dessert that was once proclaimed as the “hit food of the century”, are distinctly known as small spherical-shaped fried cakes with either a hole in the middle or filled with a toothsome filling. There is a vast array of doughnut flavors ranging from sweet to savory; however, the unremarkable glazed doughnut still remnants as one of the customers’ first choices. Nevertheless, mouth-watering flavors like the Chocolate-Frosted Doughnut or the traditional Jelly Doughnut have also been the ultimate pick of the customers as well.

Considering doughnuts differ in consistency, quality, and relish, millions of customers always return to their favorable doughnut shop to devour in this gratifying pastry. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme are two nationally known outlets that have a comprehensive range of doughnut flavors. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme are able to province individuals scrutinizing for a little something for their sweet tooth or maybe caffeine for their addiction to coffee. Both of these franchises have made over billions of doughnuts and have marketed it to millions of gaga doughnut customers each year. So, when a customer is craving a doughnut there is definitely no hesitation to choose the perfect shop to enjoy one’s temptation. Hence, we will be discussing Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme, identifying the similarities and comparing both of the brands as well as deducing which brand is more preferable for the type of consumer.



It all started in 1948, when a caterer named William Rosenberg, who was also known as Bill Rosenberg, decided to open a restaurant at a city in Massachusetts called Quincy. The restaurant was named “Open Kettle”. Rosenberg managed to start his business by cashing in $1,500 in war bonds after the second World War and borrowing $1,000. The restaurant originally served pastries, sandwiches as well as coffee to factory workers. One day, Rosenberg realized that 40 percent of the profits came from just two products, coffee, and doughnuts. Afterward, he put his executives in a room to brainstorm as he thought that the restaurant needed a better name. It is said that his architect came up with the name of “Dunkin’ Donuts”, which is now a well-known name. It was officially renamed “Dunkin’ Donuts” in the year 1950. Rosenberg’s goal was to “make and serve the freshest, most delicious coffee and doughnuts quickly and courteously in modern, well-merchandised stores”. The first Dunkin’ Donuts franchise was opened five years later in Worcester, England. The brand has more than 12,400 restaurants in at least 46 countries.

The same year Dunkin’ Donuts’ first franchise opened, Harry Winokur, William Rosenberg’s brother-in-law, and former business partner broke their partnership and went to open his own doughnut company named “Mister Donut”. The company did well abroad as well as domestically. It is the largest doughnut chain in Japan. Dunkin’ Donuts was bought by Allied Lyons, a British food and spirits conglomerate in the year 1990. The company took possession of both Dunkin’ Donuts and Mister Donuts. So, the majority of Mister Donut companies converted into Dunkin’ Donuts. Allied Lyons then merged into Allied Domecq. In 2005, a French-based company called Pernod Ricard took over Allied Domecq and concurred to sell Dunkin’ Brands to an association of three American private justice firms. Since 2012, Dunkin’ Brands have been independent of the three owners. However, Mister Donut can still be found in Japan as in 1983, a Japanese company was sold the rights to all the stores based in Asia. Mister Donut is only available at one location in America which is at Godfrey, Illinois.

In 1972, Dunkin’ Donuts started selling their doughnut holes. They were introduced as “Munchkins”, named after the characters from the film, Wizard of Oz. It instantly became a big hit. While adults went for the whole doughnuts, the doughnut holes or, Munchkins rather, were marketed to children. Over the years, Dunkin’ Donuts has expanded its menu and are constantly innovating to provide a wide variety of food as well as beverage options for their customers to choose from.


A New Orleans French chef sold a secret yeast-raised doughnut recipe to a young man named Vernon Rudolph. After selling the doughnuts in Nashville, Tennessee with his uncle, Rudolph rented a building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and started selling doughnuts to local grocery stores by the dozen. That’s how Krispy Kreme officially started business on July 13, 1937. The scrumptious scent of the doughnuts wafted into the streets of what is now historic Old Salem and passersby stopped by to ask whether they could buy hot doughnuts. Rudolph had an epiphany to make a hole in the wall so he could sell his famous Original Glazed doughnuts directly to people on the sidewalk.

By the 1940s and 1950s, there were a group of stores that were mostly family-owned. The doughnuts were made from scratch in each store, using the Krispy Kreme recipe. The results were always good, but not consistent enough for Rudolph. The company built a mixing plant and came up with a distribution system that will deliver the perfect dry doughnut mix to each Krispy Kreme store. Afterward, Rudolph together with his equipment engineers invented and built Krispy Kreme’s own doughnut-making appliance. From that point on, they focused to improve and automate the doughnut-making process.

Krispy Kreme experienced steady growth throughout the southeast of the United States during the 1960s. Thus, the brand started developing outside of its traditional roots. The theme of hallmark green tile roofs and heritage road signs became consistent in all Krispy Kreme stores. Although, the growth of sales slowed down in 1976 as the company was reorganized for sale to Beatrice Foods Company. Six years later, a small group of franchisees bought Krispy Kreme back from Beatrice Foods. The refreshed focus on the ‘hot doughnut experience’ became a priority for the company. They began to expand the franchise outside of the southeast of the country. Then in 1996, they opened their first store in New York City and another in California three years later. In 2001, Krispy Kreme officially went international after opening a store in Canada. With their continuous international expansion and growth, the company is constantly innovating on new as well as tasty treats for the future.


These franchises which serve astonishingly yummy doughnuts have a vast array of similarities.


It is perspicuously known that both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme originated from the United States. The very first Dunkin Donuts franchise was opened outside Boston in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1948 by William Rosenberg, called Open Kettle. Rosenberg was inspired by the experience obtained as a food seller at a construction site to start of the Dunkin’ Donuts empire which sold delicious doughnuts and top-notch coffee where both were absolute top sellers. As a matter of fact, it took around five years for Dunkin’ Donuts to achieve its huge success and have attracted many interested franchisers to help expand the brand not only in the States but around the world. Currently, there are nearly 11,000 locations open worldwide so that is the main reason why Dunkin’ Donuts is very ubiquitous nowadays. Meanwhile, the humble beginnings of Krispy Kreme started off with a man named Rudolph who decided to sell hot doughnuts to customers on the street thus making it the first branch of Krispy Kreme in New Orleans. The company became popular in the States by the year 2000 and expanded internationally a year later with a store in Canada. Krispy Kreme now has over 500 stores worldwide owned by local franchisees. 


One of the most apparent similarities is that both of these brands make and sell doughnuts. There are over 70 varieties of doughnuts that are sold in the Dunkin’ Donuts store worldwide. Flavors such as the Blueberry Cobbler, Strawberry Frosted, and French Cruller are one of the many famous doughnuts sold in Dunkin’ Donuts. The most enthralling fact is that Dunkin’ Donuts sells about 2.9 million doughnuts per year. Krispy Kreme, on the other hand, makes one of the best-glazed doughnuts which have become such a craze among the nation. According to Flager, there are other popular flavors among the consumers like Dulce de Leche, Glazed Chocolate Cake, and New York Cheesecake.


Ultimately, the first meal of the day is also served in both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. Many consumers think these franchises only sold doughnuts, but that is absolutely wrong since the breakfast sold in both brands is incredibly gratifying. At Dunkin’ Donuts the customers are given an option to customize their very own breakfast according to their likes and dislikes, which has been proven to be very efficient. According to Wala (n.d.), Dunkin’ Donuts’ “Wake-Up Wrap” and “Sausage, Egg and Ham Sandwich” are one of many breakfasts being sold and have been quite the hype. In addition to that, Dunkin’ Donuts provides satisfaction to coffee addicts since coffee is now available for breakfast and has become a huge deal where now in just seconds; 30 cups of coffee would have been sold. Whereas at Krispy Kreme, they do have a variation of breakfast selections but there is not as much compared at Dunkin’ Donuts. However, at times customers do visit Krispy Kreme for a quick-serve breakfast. More recently, coffee has become a priority in the franchise as well.



Despite Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts both being two American doughnut shops, they also have their vast differences. For starters, these different companies sell different quantities of doughnuts. Dunkin’ Donuts sells approximately 128 different types of doughnuts that range from Vanilla Berry Shortcakes to an Oreo Cheesecake square doughnut. Krispy Kreme, on the other hand, sells approximately of 55 flavors of doughnuts which include their specials. These doughnuts include, Famous Amos Double Chocolate Holiday doughnuts to Powdered Strawberry Filled Doughnuts. This is only half of the options an individual will have in Dunkin’ Donuts.


Besides that, another difference is how the doughnuts are made or transported. According to Myers, for Dunkin’ Donuts, all the doughnuts arrive at the stores in the morning via a truck, and doughnuts that are in high demand, are replenished through a second shipment in the afternoon. Krispy Kreme however, makes their doughnuts in-stores. Staff is properly trained to prepare batches of dough in the stores which are then cut into circular rings, proofed, fired, and glazed.


Furthermore, Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme have different specializations. Dunkin’ Donuts focuses on coffee while Krispy Kreme focuses on doughnuts. This means that Dunkin Donuts uses coffee to attract customers but also ends up selling doughnuts while Krispy Kreme uses doughnuts to attract customers but also ends up selling coffee to the customers too.


Lastly, other variations that these two brands have are their availabilities and prices. Dunkin’ Donuts has 11,000 stores in 33 different countries whereas Krispy Kreme has 884 doughnut shops in 39 states in 23 unique nations. Dunkin Donuts is a lot more commonly found and has a bigger chain compared to Krispy Kreme. This makes Dunkin Donuts easily accessible. In terms of prices, a dozen doughnuts in Dunkin’ Donuts costs up to $10 whereas Krispy Kreme only charges $8.99. This has an approximate difference of 1 dollar. However, Krispy Kreme charges $0.10 less for their iced coffees and gives out free doughnuts if you dress up like certain characters from movies upon their release dates.


In summary, both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme have their advantages and disadvantages. This essay has compared the two brands in terms of the history of the brands the similarities, the differences, and the preferable brand for different types of users. However, this essay was unable to discuss the future predictions of both brands. It did not predict which brand would most likely outdo the other in the Food and Beverage Business. All in all, these two brands are the ultimate go-to for a cup of coffee and a doughnut. Based on this research, consumers prefer the doughnuts served at Krispy Kreme and the coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. Hopefully, in the near future, both brands would offer more vegan-friendly and gluten-free options so everyone would be able to indulge in their scrumptious delicacies.


The similarities and differences in both brands make it easier for them to appeal to different types of customers, the ones that prefer more variations of coffee and the ones that favor different variations of doughnuts. Nevertheless, both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme are two similar brands with different goals. Dunkin’ Donuts focuses more on their coffee selection while Krispy Kreme pays more attention in serving high-quality doughnuts.

When buying Krispy Kreme doughnuts, it means that customers can get them hot right off the glazing assembly line in any Krispy Kreme store. However, Dunkin’ Donuts has more options. These options include Munchkins, which are tiny bite-size doughnuts filled with jelly. Hence, people have the option of buying between regular-sized doughnuts and mini doughnuts. Depending on your priority when doughnut hunting, if you prefer doughnuts with a pillow-like texture that melts in your mouth, Krispy Kreme would be the best choice. If you pay more attention to flavor variations, then Dunkin’ Donuts is the place to go. Although, based on this research, consumers are more likely to purchase doughnuts from Krispy Kreme instead of Dunkin’ Donuts.  

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Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme: Comparison of Two Brands. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from
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