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Bloomberg Business Week has an interesting piece about Krispy Kreme, suggesting that "after falling victim to headlong expansion and America’s obsession with low-carb diets, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. has revived itself by moving beyond its sugary signature product and adding fruit juice, oatmeal, smoothies and coffee to the menu. Quarterly sales have risen for more than two years, and fiscal 2013 sales are forecast to match pre-recession levels."

As the story notes, in the late nineties "the doughnut seller’s pell-mell expansion caught up with it ... and by 2005 the company’s board had ousted its CEO and several executives amid an accounting scandal. The stock plummeted, the company was forced to close half its stores and 14 quarters of losses ensued."

In addition to broadening its menu, Bloomberg Business Week writes that "Krispy Kreme also added a digital flourish to its retro 'Hot Now' signs: a 'Hot Light' app for smartphones that alerts customers when the sign is lit at the closest local store. The app has been downloaded 250,000 times since its debut in December 2011, according to the company."
KC's View:
Krispy Kreme remains a classic example of a company that took its eye off the ball, thinking more about short term profits than about the enduring value of its brand equity. Nice to hear that it is coming back, and that sometimes there can be second acts in American lives. But its history remains a cautionary tale.