11 Mouthwatering Facts About Krispy Kreme

Whether you sold Krispy Kremes as a kid to raise peewee team funds, waited (sort of) patiently for years until the chain hit your town, or have a habit of looking for the Hot Now sign to light up (now, there's an app for that!), there are still probably a few things about the almost 80-year-old company and its famous glazed doughnuts that you don’t know.

1. THE RECIPE FOR PERFECT KRISPY KREMES IS A FIERCELY GUARDED SECRET...

Though their baking methods are fair game, the top-secret recipe for Krispy Kreme doughnuts is kept in a vault in the company’s Winston-Salem, N.C. plant, which also manufactures "the same dry mix used in the 190 Krispy Kreme stores around the country," The Chicago Tribune reported in 2001.

Once a store has its stock of the special mix, doughnuts are prepared on-site using purified water and special yeast that’s from North Carolina, too. Then, "an air-pressurized extruder produces the perfect doughnut shape and gives the pastries a head start on puffiness," the doughnuts rise for half an hour, and finally they’re "fried in vegetable shortening on both sides before being covered in a warm sugar glaze."

Krispy Kreme takes this process quite seriously. In 2010, the company waged battle with the owners of a New York franchise location, charging them with baking treats from their own recipe and ingredients after Krispy Kreme had stopped its supplies, and with supplying the unofficial doughnuts to an "alleged 'rogue' operation" across the river in New Jersey.

2. ... AND WE MAY HAVE AN OHIO RIVER BARGE COOK TO THANK FOR IT.

According to the Duke Chronicle, Krispy Kreme founder Vernon Rudolph most likely got his prized recipe from Joseph G. LeBoeuf of Louisville, an Ohio River barge cook who "was famous for three things: his flapjacks, his coconut cakes, and his light and fluffy doughnuts." After Rudolph had joined his uncle Ishmael Armstrong in Paducah,, Kentucky and before Rudolph set up his first doughnut shop, the two "probably admired the recipe [...] and LeBoeuf would have been flattered to share it—no secret transactions involved."

As far as the Krispy Kreme family and historians can work out, the original recipe likely "consisted of a cream (the eponymous ‘Kreme’) of fluffed egg whites, mashed potatoes, sugar, shortening and skim milk that was chilled and mixed with flour and then fried and covered in glaze."

3. TODAY, YOU CAN BUY ONE IN QATAR (OR 1002 OTHER LOCATIONS).

Founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Krispy Kreme now has 1003 locations (including franchisee-owned ones) and operates in such countries as Bahrain, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, and the United Arab Emirates—24 countries in total.

4. A NEW STORE’S OPENING CAN CAUSE A HUGE GLAZE RUSH.

If your town’s had Krispy Kreme stores around for a while, you might have forgotten what life was like without them, or just how crazy fans of the doughnuts can go when they finally arrive. When the first Las Vegas location opened in 1998, it sold 72,000 doughnuts the first day and 360,000 by the end of its first week, leading to some serious fan traffic. In the following years, many more lucky U.S. cities made the list of Krispy Kreme locations, and the title for “highest first-day sales” was passed around.

However, the people of Perth, Australia most recently took the honor for themselves, raising the first-day bar right over 73,000. On November 26, 2014, the Krispy Kreme fans of Perth "won the illustrious world record for most doughnuts purchased on the first day of Krispy Kreme trade, replacing the city’s unofficial world record for most Krispy Kremes smuggled on to a Jetstar flight," Australia’s The Sunday Times wrote. Between its 9:30 a.m. opening time and midnight closing, the store moved a full 73,200 doughnuts.

5. CELEBRITIES GO CRAZY FOR THEM, TOO (INCLUDING PRESIDENT OBAMA).

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In 2012, President Barack Obama and his crew were spotted casually visiting a Krispy Kreme location in Tampa, Florida. The president strolled in, picked up three dozen doughnuts to share with a nearby firehouse team, chatted with workers and customers, and bought a little boy some powdered doughnuts.

And President Obama is just one high-profile fan of the chain; lots of other famous faces, including Elvis Presley, have been caught tucking into their doughnuts over the years.

6. THE KRISPY KREME BUSINESS BOOK READS … WELL, A LOT LIKE FAN FIC.

The book Making Dough: The 12 Secret Ingredients of Krispy Kreme’s Sweet Success gives some insight, perhaps, as to why some fans of the chain are so very passionate about its doughnuts.

Despite all of the other sensory pleasures, the climax of the Krispy Kreme experience doesn’t come until you get that hot doughnut in your mouth. … Is a Krispy Kreme like sugar-encrusted air? … Fifty-nine cents of pure pleasure? … Unbridled ecstasy? … Some people devour the hot treat and moan as the last bite slips down the throat. … Some let the powerfully tasty doughnut possess them; their heads loll and their eyes roll at the taste. Others have even cried in joy at the taste, tearing up like a happy bride and groom on their wedding day.

Of course, there’s actual fan fic about Krispy Kreme, too. Those who’d rather eat the treats than read or write about them can become "Friends of Krispy Kreme" in the UK (and get a free doughnut for it), and there’s a U.S. fan club that sends out promos.

7. A "DOUBLE HUNDRED DOZEN" BOX MIGHT MAKE YOU POPULAR AT THE OFFICE ...

Bring in Krispy Kreme's "Double Hundred Dozen" box to your morning meeting and you’ll wind up with 2400 Original Glazed and, most likely, some very happy coworkers (though they might need naps later in the day).

8. ... BUT IT WON’T BREAK THE WORLD RECORD OF 2700 IN ONE BOX.

The standing Guinness World Record for largest box of doughnuts is the Krispy Kreme box created by The Kuwait Food Co. Americana in 2009. The enormous cardboard box, an exact replica of a normal-sized one (including specially made labels), was around 19’ x 13’ x 3’, weighed almost 300 pounds, and contained 2700 Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

9. KRISPY KREME WEDDING CAKES HAVE BEEN ALL THE RAGE FOR AT LEAST A DECADE.

If nothing will do on your special day but a tower of doughnuts, you’re in luck: various locations, including those managed by Krispy Kreme UK, offer customized corporate spreads and ones designed for weddings, too, including cake-like doughnut towers and individual boxes bearing the happy couple’s names.

In 2004, one Washington couple tried to set the world record for tallest doughnut cake at their wedding, and reportedly submitted the 5'3" results to Guinness (no word on whether or not Guinness decided to create the category, or if a doughnut-based bribe was involved).

10. THERE WERE ALMOST DOUGHNUT SMOOTHIES AND MILKSHAKES.

In 2004, Krispy Kreme briefly offered a doughnut smoothie, which one journalist described as offering an experience "similar to that of an 8-year-old who’s found the box of C&H brown sugar while his parents were gone," or to squeezing a tube of frozen cake frosting "directly down your throat." In 2011, deathandtaxes reported that the company tested out doughnut shakes in Original Glazed, Chocolate Cake and Raspberry Filled flavors in five North Carolina stores. Unfortunately, it looks like neither idea caught on nationally.

11. THE COMPANY HAS PAID TRIBUTE TO PIRATES AND THE ORIGINAL GHOSTBUSTERS.

To celebrate Ghostbusters's 30th anniversary, stores sold marshmallow Kreme-filled doughnuts sporting the film’s "splat" logo and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man’s mug. And on September 19, a.k.a. Talk Like a Pirate Day, spouting some pirate-isms to a Krispy Kreme employee will earn booty in the form of one free doughnut.

A version of this story ran in 2015.

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iStock
The Popcorn Company That's Creating Jobs for Adults With Autism
iStock
iStock

A New Jersey-based gourmet popcorn company is dedicating its profits to creating new employment “popportunities” for adults on the autism spectrum, A Plus reports.

Popcorn for the People, founded by Rutgers University professor Dr. Barbie Zimmerman-Bier and her husband, radiologist Dr. Steven Bier, is a nonprofit subsidiary of the couple's charitable organization Let’s Work For Good, which focuses on "creating meaningful and lasting employment for adults with autism and developmental disabilities." Recognizing the lack of skilled employment options for adults with developmental disabilities, the Biers decided to create jobs themselves through this popcorn venture, with all of the profits going to their charitable organization. According to the site, every tin of popcorn purchased "provides at least an hour of meaningful employment" to adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, who perform jobs like making popcorn, labeling products, and marketing.

The couple developed the idea for the business and the nonprofit in 2015 when their son, Sam, grew tired of his job at a grocery store. Sam, 27, is on the autism spectrum, and after six years of working as a “cart guy,” he decided he was ready to try something new. Employment opportunities were scarce, though. Jobs that provided enough resources for someone on the spectrum tended to consist of menial work, and more skilled positions involved a tough interview process.

“Some companies mean well, but they are limited in what they can offer,” Steven Bier told TAP Into East Brunswick in 2015.

Unemployment rates are especially high among adults with autism. Last year, Drexel University reported that only 14 percent of autistic adults who use state-funded disability services are employed in paid work positions. And while high-functioning autistic adults are often perfectly capable of working in technical careers, the actual process of getting hired can be challenging. People with autism tend to struggle with understanding nuance and social conventions, which makes the interviewing process particularly difficult.

Enter the Biers' popcorn business. What began in 2015 as the Pop-In Cafe (which still sells popcorn and deli items at its New Jersey location) now distributes flavored popcorn all over the world. In three years, the organization has gone from a staff of four, with one employee on the autism spectrum, to a staff of 50, nearly half of whom are on the spectrum. In July, the organization plans to expand to a larger production facility in order to keep up with demand.

The company provides an environment for employees to learn both hard skills, like food preparation and money management, and what the company describes as “watercooler life skills.”

"There just aren't many programs that teach these sorts of things in a real-world environment, with all that entails," Bier told My Central Jersey. "These are skills that the kids can use here, and elsewhere."

According to A Plus, you can now buy Popcorn for the People in person at locations like the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey and the Lyric Theatre in Times Square. The organization sells 12 flavors of popcorn (including cookies and cream, Buffalo wing, and French toast), all created by Agnes Cushing-Ruby, a chef who donates 40 hours a week to the company.

“I never thought that the little pop-up shop would grow into this,” Sam told A Plus. “It makes me so happy to see we have helped so many people.”

[h/t A Plus]

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IHOb Restaurants
10 Strange Publicity Stunts by Major Food Brands
IHOb Restaurants
IHOb Restaurants

Celebrities have always loved doing crazy things for press—but these days, even corporations will go to extreme lengths to get the word out about their products. Case in point: IHOP's recent attempt to create a little mystery, and sell some burgers, as IHOb. Below you’ll find 10 of the weirdest stunts done to promote mass-produced food items.

1. COLONEL SANDERS RAPPELS DOWN A HIGH-RISE

It’s hard to imagine KFC’s elderly Colonel Sanders doing much outside of eating and talking about his “finger lickin’ good” fried chicken. But in 2011, a man dressed as the Colonel strapped on a harness and rappelled down Chicago’s River Bend building. The Colonel didn't stop at rappelling down the 40-story building; he also handed out $5 everyday meals to window washers. What was KFC’s concept behind this dangerous promotion? They wanted to show the world they were taking lunch to “new heights.”

2. THE WORLD'S LARGEST POPSICLE

Sometimes being the biggest doesn’t mean you’re the best. In 2005, Snapple wanted to make the world’s largest Popsicle to promote their new line of frozen treats. Their plan was to display a 25-foot-tall, 17.5-ton treat of frozen Snapple juice in New York City’s Union Square. However, their plan ended in a sticky disaster. The day Snapple tried to present the Popsicle, New York was experiencing warmer than expected temperatures. The pop melted so quickly that a river of sticky sludge took over several streets. In a city already congested by traffic and tourists, this made Snapple enemy No. 1 that day to the people of New York City.

3. COFFEE CUPS ON CAR ROOFS = FREE COUPONS

A cup of Starbucks coffee
Wikimedia Commons

Starbucks believes in rewarding those who embrace the holiday spirit. In 2005, the Seattle-based coffee giant developed a campaign by which brand ambassadors drove around with replicas of Vente Starbucks cups affixed to their car roofs. If anyone stopped the ambassador to warn them about the coffee cup on their roof, that person received a $5 gift card to Starbucks. Starbucks wanted the world to know being a good samaritan really can pay!

4. MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Imagine walking the beach and finding a sealed bottle of Guinness. But instead of finding beer inside, you find a note from King Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. In 1959, that happened to people along North America’s Atlantic coast. Guinness wanted to build brand awareness in the area, so they dropped 150,000 sealed Guinness bottles into the ocean. The bottle contained Neptune’s scroll announcing the House of Guinness’s Bi-Centenary as well as a document instructing the reader on how to make a Guinness bottle into a table lamp. While no one got a free beer (boo!), they did walk away with an arts and crafts project.

5. EAU DE FLAME-BROILED

Who can resist the smell of flame-broiled burgers? The answer is most people—at least when it comes in the form of a body spray. Burger King’s 2008 campaign promoting the “scent of seduction” may be one of the weirdest ideas on this list. The fast-food company thought they could capture the world’s attention by creating and advertising a meat-scented cologne called FLAME by BK. Though select New York City stores actually sold the scent, all of this was a tongue-in-cheek campaign to make the 18- to 35-year-old male demographic laugh.

6. HERE COMES THE SUN

London commuters experienced an unexpectedly bright morning during January 2012. Tropicana worked with the art collective Greyworld to create a fake sun promoting their “Brighter Morning” campaign. The "sun," made up of more than 60,000 light bulbs, rose over Trafalgar Square at 6:51 a.m. on a particularly chilly morning. The sun set at 7:33 p.m. Tropicana continued to promote their sun day, fun day by having Londoners sit under the sun with branded sunglasses, deck chairs, and blankets. 

7. AIRPORT STEAK DELIVERY

Some of the craziest publicity stunts can’t be planned. We live in a world of 24/7 social media, and when the Twitterverse gave Morton’s Steakhouse an opportunity, they seized upon it. Before flying from Tampa to Newark, Peter Shankman, an entrepreneur and author, jokingly tweeted at Morton's Steakhouse that he wanted a porterhouse steak to be waiting for him when he landed. As Shankman was a frequent diner and social media influencer, Morton's Steakhouse saw the opportunity to start a conversation—and they went for it: When Shankman touched down in Newark, he was greeted by his car service driver and a Morton’s deliveryman. If only all travelers could experience that happiness in an airport.

8. BUYING THE LIBERTY BELL

April Fools Day gags can be great for brands … or an embarrassment. In 1996, Taco Bell took out an ad in The New York Times saying they bought Philadelphia's Liberty Bell. The ad also informed people of the bell’s new name: "Taco Liberty Bell." Back in the mid-1990s, people couldn’t go on Twitter or Facebook to find out the truth. Instead, they wrote the publication voicing their outrage. The hoax may have worked in getting press coverage (650 print publications and 400 broadcast media outlets publicized the joke), but what does that say about your brand when people actually believe you would rename a historic monument for your own gain?

9. CREATING THE LARGEST MAN-MADE FIRE


Wikimedia Commons

In 2011, the Costa-Mesa based chain El Pollo Loco sent out press releases saying they planned to create the world’s largest man-made fire. Why would they create a fire? El Pollo Loco needed to get the word out about their new flame-grilled chicken. Spectators attending the event were shocked to see that this stunt was actually a commercial shoot for the brand. The chain says they really did attempt to break the record. But many publications have stated the whole promotion was a fraud. Note to brands: When trying to pull off a publicity stunt and a commercial simultaneously, tell everyone your plan in advance.

10. KFC IN SPACE

KFC may just be the king of wild publicity stunts. In 2006, the company created an 87,500-square-foot logo at Area 51 in Rachel, Nevada. The company wanted to be the first brand visible from space. And it was no coincidence they picked a spot near “The World’s Only Extraterrestrial Highway.”

“If there are extraterrestrials in outer space, KFC wants to become their restaurant of choice,” said Gregg Dedrick, former president of KFC Corp. The world is not enough for KFC. They need the entire universe hooked on their Original Recipe.

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