Popular doughnut brand Krispy Kreme is preparing to open its doors to hungry New Zealanders in less than a month. We talked to Australian CEO Andrew McGuigan on what to expect for its opening days.
“We’ve got a really good team on the ground,” says McGuigan. “We’re lucky to be working with a team of young passionate people.”
“We really wanted to make sure we had the right team and the right capabilities to build the brand into another country, for us timing was as much an external factor as it was an internal factor.”
McGuigan says the store was almost ready to open in November of 2017, but gave the team extended buffer time in the original plan in order to perfect the opening, which is due February 28.
“We’ve had a very positive response so far… We’ve had our teams handing our Krispy Kreme samples of glazed doughnuts. We’ve had a very big response on Facebook as well from people who are very excited.”
Krispy Kreme announced its opening in the middle of 2016, but only announced the launch date in December 2017. The store launch is expected to draw in the crowds - the first Krispy Kreme fan through the door on the 28th will be rewarded with a year’s supply of doughnuts.
McGuigan, who has been back and forth between Australian and New Zealand while the finer details are sorted, says the brand isn’t overly concerned with competitors in the same space.
“We have a similar approach to the competition as we would overseas. And although it’s a similar space to, say, bakeries, as a category it is quite broad. Like Australians, New Zealanders see [doughnuts] as a sweet treat, not an everyday breakfast food.”
“The market here in New Zealand is large enough for us to all coexist. We’re a strong brand with a good reputation, and doing things right is really important to us. It’s a unique one of a kind brand, we make them fresh on site. I think from a product perspective it’s in a league of its own, but from a brand perspective, it’s built on community, fun and having a good time,” says McGuigan.
The Krispy Kreme Manukau differs from its smaller counterparts. Sitting on a 2.6-hectare site that's owned by the Wiri Licensing Trust, it is a retail area and a manufacturing site where doughnuts are made fresh. Accompanying that, the plant has two lines of production, meaning the processing plant can average about 2,400 doughnuts every hour.
The large site was completely designed by brand designers of the company, with the brand influence being apparent yet still unique to New Zealand.
McGuigan says fresh doughnuts are part of the Krispy Kreme experience. And as more stores are rolled out across the country, Manukau will remain the point of production.
“The site we were on was too big for just one production line, and New Zealand is not a country where you need multiple points of production… Having production onsite increases that connectivity we try to keep as a brand.”
The Manukau site has many exciting features, include a production viewing window and a drive-through, which according to McGuigan is a big part of Krispy Kreme's identity as a destination.
“We’re a bit of a late-night hang-out spot. We do a lot of our trading into the evening. And that convenience of purchase is growing more and more important to customers, and that for us is a really big draw card with the drive through.”
A large event is planned for the opening, completely run by the company. Those in on opening day will receive a free doughnut and get to join in with the day's celebrations and the chance to participate in in-store activities, giveaways and a live DJ until late.
“For us it’s about not taking life too seriously, things should still be fun.”