Over the past decade, brands have tried to reinvent doughnuts again and again. There’s the cronut, McDonald’s shareable pull apart doughnut, and Disneyland’s glazed doughnut grilled cheese sandwich. According to Trendhunter, the internet is full of doughnut hybrids, crossing the pastry with waffles, cannolis, and even spicy ramen.
We’ve come to roll our eyes at whatever new doughnut announcement comes across our inbox trying to spark another “moment,” but the latest innovation made us pay attention, not just because it actually sounds delicious but because this particular item comes from a brand that really knows its stuff: Krispy Kreme.
This week Krispy Kreme is adding Original Glazed Soft Serve Ice Cream to select menus across the country, available as soft serve in a waffle cone or cup, or in a shake available in six different flavors: Original Glazed, Strawberry Iced Sprinkled, Chocolate Iced, Lemon Filled, Cookies & KREME, Birthday Batter, and Coffee & KREME. For those who want double the glazed doughnut, you can add glazed doughnut pieces to your soft serve in any form.
For now, the ice cream is only being rolled out in ten cities:
- Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem in North Carolina, Krispy Kreme’s home state
- Greenville, South Carolina
- Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia
- Charleston, West Virginia
- Nashville and the Tri-Cities area in Tennessee
- San Antonio, Texas
According to a press release, cities in Alabama, Kansas, Missouri, and Florida will be next to try the new menu item. After that, keep an eye on your local Krispy Kreme since you never know where it might pop up.
Since the first Krispy Kreme doughnut was sold in 1937, the company has stayed rooted in its mission to simply sell really delicious doughnuts. While they’ve certainly expanded and made innovations since, the highlights of those changes are based around doughnut production and experimenting with new flavors. While brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Tim Hortons have grown to include breakfast sandwiches, lunch offerings, and other menu items beyond their flagship products, Krispy Kreme’s menu to this day remains simple, concise, and doughnut-focused.
If this ice cream experiment works out and Krispy Kreme makes it a permanent fixture to the menu, it’ll be one of the only non-doughnut menu items to grace the menu in 75 years in business. And if all goes well, the Original Glazed Soft Serve Ice Cream could be the gateway to this chain adding even more to its menu.
There’s a good reason the chain may be taking this chance now—according to Krispy Kreme investor reports, revenue is up nearly 40% over the last two years. That’s a nice little cushion for trying something new. But will ice cream keep that growth going or disappoint the hardcore glazed donut fans? Only time will tell.