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What is Krispy Kreme®?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Krispy Kreme® is a company known through much of the United States and other parts of the world for their donuts. Frequent customers especially know that visiting a Krispy Kreme® franchise when the red “hot donuts” light is on, guarantees warm, fresh donuts, just prepared from the fantastic machines located in each store that create these delicacies. Of course, it’s possible to find the donuts outside of stores of too, and they’re frequently sold at grocery stores and gas stations.

Vernon Rudolph, who initially simply sold donuts out of a truck, founded the company in North Carolina in the 1930s. Later, he opened his own storefront, and his product proved popular. In the 1940s and 1950s, numerous other stores were opened each with their own franchise owner. However, quality and taste weren’t always uniform, and Rudolph sought to change this. In the 1950s, he developed a donut mix that would be used by all stores, and he automated much of the donut making process.

Today, there is little done by hand in Krispy Kreme® stores. Donuts are uniformly added to oil, fried, flipped, and given their traditional glaze by machine. This has kept quality and uniformity of the product fairly equal in all franchises. Though Beatrice Foods briefly owned the company after Rudolph’s death, a number of the franchise owners bought back Krispy Kreme® so the product would remain the same.

Though these donut franchises were first most popular in the south, franchises now exist in many parts of the US, with the first Krispy Kreme® stores opening in the competitive markets of California and New York in the 1990s. Additionally, there are some franchises existing in Canada and in other countries.

Arguably the most popular donut sold at any of these stores is the simple glazed variety. This is a basic raised donut, which receives a double-glazing of a vanilla flavored semi-clear glaze. When hot, these donuts veritably melt in the mouth, and though caloric, one donut is not a terrible treat choice. A single basic glazed donut contains 200 calories and .5 grams of trans fat. The company advertises that their donuts have 0 zero grams of trans fat because of a loophole in labeling that allows manufacturers to claim zero if the amount of trans fat is .5 or lower.

The trouble, as most fans of these donuts will attest, is only eating one. Half a dozen Krispy Kreme® donuts will certainly set people back nutritionally, and even more than one or two begins to add perhaps inches to the waistline. Those with self-control though, may enjoy the occasional donut without much risk to health, especially at stores that make them onsite. Store design is also predictable from store to store, allowing customers to observe the manufacturing process from start to finish, which can be entertaining for adults and children alike.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By BrickBack — On Apr 02, 2011

@Bhutan - I always get the glazed doughnuts. I have to agree that the coffee is not that goodm but I actually think that coffee is more of a treat than a doughnut so that is why I usually don’t go there too often.

We have a location that has been in the same place for about thirty years. They also are open to fund raisers as well so you can use the doughnuts in order to raise money for a nonprofit organization. I know that schools sometimes do that.

By Bhutan — On Apr 01, 2011

I love Krispy Kreme's doughnuts but I have to say that their coffee isn’t so great. There used to be a location by my kids school but it closed down. It was relatively new too. I heard in one of the financial cable shows that they were having financial problems. I hope that isn’t true.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia...
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