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McDonald’s is selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts in one test market. I tried them — and they’re not as good as the freshly made ones

KKTT Promo imageI tried a Krispy Kreme doughnut from a McDonald’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ben Tobin

  • McDonald’s is selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts at 160 locations in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky.
  • I decided to try doughnuts from both the Krispy Kreme shop and McDonald’s to see how they compared.
  • McDonald’s doughnut service had its perks, but it can’t touch the original item from Krispy Kreme.

I was pretty disappointed in myself at the end of last year for not taking advantage of a rare restaurant partnership. But Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s gave me a second chance.

The fast-food powerhouse and doughnut legend partnered in October to offer a small selection of doughnuts at nine Golden Arches locations in Louisville, Kentucky. As a Louisvillian myself for almost four years, that news excited me as I pondered the question: Would a Krispy Kreme doughnut at McDonald’s taste as good as one from a Krispy Kreme shop itself?

Unfortunately, I didn’t get my act together in time, and when I tried to get a Krispy Kreme doughnut from McDonald’s in December 2022, they were out.

However, the two companies gave my dream a new lease on life as they expanded the partnership this week to 160 locations in Louisville as well as Lexington, Kentucky, and surrounding areas.

McDonald’s has been making a strong push to increase its breakfast market share, experimenting with new items like the doughnuts and a cheese danish for a limited time last fall. McDonald’s said that its McCafé Bakery items, which are sold at other stores and include the apple fritter, blueberry muffin and cinnamon roll, will not be available at the Kentucky stores that are part of the doughnut test.  

McDonald’s told my colleague Nancy Luna that this test will run through 2023 and that customers in Louisville and Lexington “have a strong affinity for bakery items, making it a great market for this test.”

I indeed have a strong affinity for bakery items. Here’s what I found testing Krispy Kreme doughnuts, as sold by McDonald’s, versus one from a nearby Krispy Kreme shop.

Pro: The doughnut was available quickly at McDonald’s

McDonald's donutsI received my Krispy Kreme doughnut upon purchasing in less than a minute.

Ben Tobin

I entered McDonald’s at 8:38 a.m. ET on a Wednesday and left with my original glazed doughnut in hand at 8:40 a.m. ET.

That service is simply unbeatable.

Through reliance on touch-screen kiosks, McDonald’s is able to churn out in-store orders quickly. Meanwhile, Krispy Kreme is still more old-school with its approach, having customers place orders at the cashier — I spent six minutes inside Krispy Kreme getting my doughnut earlier that Wednesday morning.

Con: The McDonald’s doughnut cost more than the one sold directly by Krispy Kreme 

KK priceThe Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut cost 53 cents less than the same item from McDonald’s.

Ben Tobin

If you’re looking to save some money on your doughnut, don’t go to McDonald’s.

While an original glazed doughnut at Krispy Kreme cost me $1.69 (the item included no sales tax), the same item from McDonald’s cost me $2.22 — $2.09 for the doughnut itself and 13 cents in sales tax.   

That’s a more than 31% higher cost for the McDonald’s doughnut, which can really add up if you plan to go often.

Pro: McDelivery brought a doughnut to my door

McDeliveryI ordered a chocolate iced doughnut with kreme filling with McDelivery.

Ben Tobin

One more quick pro of McDonald’s doughnut: It was very easy to order delivery through their app.

It only took me 15 minutes between submitting and receiving my delivery order, a chocolate iced doughnut with kreme filling. Absolutely incredible work, McDelivery.

The only downside of this: It cost me $9.85, as I had to pay delivery, service, and small-order fees.

Con: The Krispy Kreme doughnuts from McDonald’s weren’t warm like those from the doughnut shop, and they didn’t seem as fresh.KKTT34The Krispy Kreme doughnut from the original shop (left) was far superior to the McDonald’s kind (right).

Ben Tobin

The biggest hole in the doughnut sold at McDonald’s is simple: It is not nearly as fresh or warm as the doughnuts you get directly from Krispy Kreme.

I tried both in the same morning to make sure I had an accurate comparison, and it wasn’t even close. Krispy Kreme gave me a doughnut that was seemingly just prepared. McDonald’s gave me doughnuts that were seemingly sitting on a shelf. 

Overall, if you have a Krispy Kreme shop near you, my fellow Kentuckians, its doughnuts will leave you more satisfied and with a few extra coins in your pocket than those from the Golden Arches.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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