The Japanese arm of Krispy Kreme has found an exciting way to manage donut scrapes. With the help of a famous ethical recycled distillery, Ethical Spirits, the popular donut chain reinvented the wheel by turning leftover doughnuts into gin!
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Introduction – Krispy Kreme
Founded almost 85 years ago, Krispy Kreme is known for its glazed donuts freshly made on location. It was widely popular in the 2000s but suffered from over expansion when consumer tastes changed. After going private for more than 5 years, the company reverted back to being a publicly traded in NASDAQ back in 2021.
The Food Network has a special on how the history of Krispy Kreme and how the doughnuts are made.
While Krispy Kreme largely operates its 1,400+ stores in the United States and Canada, it also has a worldwide presence in Africa (Egypt, South Africa, Lebanon, Nigeria, Colombia, and Ethiopia), Europe (United Kingdom, Turkey, Iceland, Ireland, and Russia), the Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait), Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), Americas (Mexico, Panama, Colombia, and Chile, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Jamaica), and Asia (India, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Cambodia).
From Donut Scrapes To Krispy Kreme Gin
In a limited run with Japanese company Ethical Spirits, the Krispy Kreme Gin named “Little Joy Spirits” will be made out of original glazed doughnut leftovers. Here is how it’s done:
1. Unsold glazed doughnuts are baked into biscuits to draw out the sweetness and aroma of the dough. The baked glaze will be caramelized during this process.
2. The biscuits will then be distilled with “shikwasa (citrus depressa), Valencia oranges, juniper berries, angelica root, coriander seed and cardamom powder, to create a refreshing taste with the “faint and gentle sweetness” of original glazed doughnuts.”
Each bottle of Kripy Kreme Gin will have 375ml and contain 45% alcohol. The gin retails for 3,300 yen (US$23.67) per bottle. and are sold in two locations – Ethical Spirits’ e-commerce and Tokyo Riverside Distillery in Kuramae, Tokyo.
Krispy Kreme Gin / Little Joy Spirits – ethical gin made out of original glazed donut leftovers (Source: Ethical Spirit)
From Gin To Donghnuts
To improve waste management further, herbs and spices such as juniper berries, pink pepper, lavender and cardamom used in producing Ethical Spirit’s flagship gin “Last Elegan” were repurposed into the a dough to create a new doughnut called the “Craft Gin Upcycle Old Fashioned”. This doughnut has a floral scent and the added spices balance out the sweet glazed.
Craft Gin Upcycle Old Fashioned donut made out of herbs and spices from another Ethical Spirit gin product (Source: Ethical Spirit)
Additionally, for customers who like gin but don’t like the alcohol content, Ethical Spirit created a mocktail called an “Elegant” Herb Milk specifically for Krispy Kreme. This mocktail includes non-alcoholic gin based on flavours from the Last Elegant and features hints of ginger and passionfruit.
Both doughnuts and milk will be available at the Tokyo International Forum branch of Krispy Kreme every Friday and Saturday throughout June 2023 from 5-9p.m. The mocktail is priced at 756 yen (US$5.42) for takeout or 770 yen (US$5.52) dine-in. and the Craft Gin Upcycle Old Fashioned is 291 yen (US$2.08) or 297 yen (US2.13) for dine-in.
June is designated as Environment Month in Japan. Many companies take the opportunities to showcase and contribute sustainability innovation and ideas. The production of “upcycled gin” is Krispy Kreme’s ongoing efforts to improve the environment. Previously, the doughnut chain successfully researched and produced fertiilizer out of leftover dough and glaze which saved the company money from buying the material.
For Generation Z and others who care about the environment and sustainability, Krispy Kreme’s continued efforts to imagine new ways to reuse, recycle, and upcycle wastes will resonate which could build loyalty and contribute to additional sales for the chain.
Given Krispy Kreme Japan’s successful efforts in turning leftover doughnuts into raw material and other consumer products, executives at headquarters located in the United States might want to consider implementing some of these ideas around the world.
As a worldwide marketing effort, the chain can work with other alcohol makers in turning donuts into other types of alcohol. Wouldn’t it be exciting to explore how donuts add to soju, sake, vodka, ice wine, and even whiskey?
As part of its on going efforts to environment causes, Krispy Kreme locations worldwide can work with leading universities and research institutes to come up with more ways to reduce, reuse, recycle, or upcycle materials from food processing beginning with the oil used to fry the doughnuts.
Customer engagement plays a part in building a successful customer experience process. The doughnut chain should continually showcase its environmental efforts more broadly with unique content from around the world. Not only will the chain engages its core customers on its efforts, the content could reach a new audience looking for food options that are sustainably sourced and produced.
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