Adventures with Krispy Kreme – and Cheerwine
I’m guilty of the Pavlovian response to the Hot Doughnuts Now sign at Krispy Kreme.
But when Krispy Kreme announced they’d be offering Cheerwine Kreme Filled Doughnuts, well my response even surprised me. In the last 24 hours, I have visited six locations (Krispy Kreme stores, grocery stores and convenience stores) trying to locate what the doughnut maker refers to as “A Match Made in the Carolinas.”
Cheerwine Krispy Kremes
I like Cheerwine. Especially when you can reach down into a tub full of ice water at many rural c-stores and grab an ice-cold glass bottle (not can, not plastic) of the red soda. So maybe it’s the juxtaposition of the ice cold Cheerwine and the hot melty Krispy Kreme doughnut that intrigued me. Or maybe it’s nostalgia for a brand I used to work on (we painted a zebra once with red stripes) and a brand that for so long was so successful as the anti-advertising brand.
I sampled the doughnut this morning with my M colleagues after finally finding them at the Thruway Harris Teeter. I got the last box of six. A “delivered fresh” sticker was conveniently placed in the upper right hand corner of the box (no match to the Hot Doughnuts Now claim, but nevertheless reassuring). Through the cellophane window I could see the glazed rounds with chocolate icing and red and white sprinkles. Hints of pink “kreme” oozing from the donut belly button on some. Festive. Sweet. Ok, sickeningly sweet.
As a fan of both Cheerwine and Krispy Kreme, I give the Cheerwine Kreme Filled Doughnut a 3.5 out of five stars. The doughnut actually tastes better than it looks. The pink “kreme” true to the flavor of Cheerwine and surprisingly light and fluffy. Demerits for cluttered and tacky packaging and nutrition facts that are downright scary.
In the end, I think it was the “match made in the Carolinas” that rang most true for me. These two brands did seem to go together. And while I doubt I would have had the same reaction to a Texas Pete kreme filled doughnut (gross), to me this is another good lesson in the power of brands to generate excitement and buzz, the value of a good collaboration, and the eternal quest by consumers for small indulgences.
And so as I debate the financial implications of the 4G iPhone, I can drop $4.07 for now on a six-pack of Cheerwine Kreme Filled Doughnuts and delight in a momentary early adopter experience that is inexpensive, fun, and oh so sweet.
Mary Jamis is the director of business development for M Creative.