When you visit the Krispy Kreme website, you're confronted with three central options. From left to right, you see first "Iced Drinks," then "Coffee" and only then, third, "Doughnuts." This order is in spite of the fact that the chain's official name is "Krispy Kreme Doughnuts" -- not to mention the fact that only 12% of its revenue comes from beverages, with 4% coming from coffee.
But if the rank does not yet reflect Krispy Kreme's hierarchy of profit-drivers, it may signal a shift in the company's priorities. According to Nation's Restaurant News, Krispy Kreme is set to release three new signature coffee flavors this Friday, and plans to advertise them with the slogan "Worthy Of Our Doughnuts." The three flavors, which are made from 100% Arabica beans, are House, Dark Roast and House Decaf.
The 660-outpost-strong chain's representatives have said that they hope the coffee offerings will entice customers to visit the store more often. American coffee drinkers gulp an average of 3.1 cups of Joe per day, so it seems like a strong bet. Moreover, the company can look to its largest shareholder, Robert Stiller, for advice if it gets confused by the competitive coffee market: he made his considerable fortune as the founder of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.
If Krispy Kreme's signature coffee gambit pays off, it could be the boost the chain needs to regain market share it's lost since its peak in 2006. Since then, revenues have tumbled by a third, from $543 million to $362 million -- though that latter figure is itself a significant increase from 2010's nadir of $347 million. Krispy Kreme's main competitor, Dunkin Donuts, gets the majority -- 60% -- of its revenue from beverage sales.