Krispy Kreme Wants Automation To Play A Greater Role In Making Donuts

Since lines of hungry people and donut enthusiasts peaked around Krispy Kreme stores in the early 2000s, the company has made targeted efforts to maintain profits through calculated and strategic business moves, notes Nation's Restaurant News. The company has since adopted a "hub and spoke" distribution model, and Krispy Kreme's famous donuts can now also be found inside grocery stores and McDonald's restaurants, notes Baking Business.

"Since 2022, we're selling more donuts around the country than ever before," boasts COO and interim CFO of Krispy Kreme Josh Charlesworth (per Nation's Restaurant News). That translates into over $165 million in annual sales of the sweet treats, but Charlesworth admits the company is faced with challenges — including how to get enough fresh doughnuts delivered each day for consumers to purchase and enjoy. The company has researched and looked into adopting more automated solutions in order to tackle some of the logistical challenges of supplying baked goods to more than 5,700 doughnut-serving sites.

Automated doughnut production lines

Charlesworth explained to the Winston-Salem Journal that the process of mixing the dough to make the donuts, filling various donuts with creams and icings, and packaging the finished baked treats can take over 30 minutes; that's over $100 million dollars spent on labor for production each year. One of the company's answers to this problem includes incorporating more automated processes throughout the production and distribution lines, reports Nation's Restaurant News, from filling donuts to placing dozens of donuts in boxes ready to be transported. These efforts could potentially save the company $2 million dollars annually, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

"So probably within the next 18 months, you'll see some automation starting to go into the frosting, the filling, the sprinkles, and even the packaging," Tattersfield told Yahoo! Finance. Whether or not customers will notice or taste any differences between the donuts made by hand and those made by machine remains to be seen.