Stephen Jardine: More doughnuts a fat lot of good to us
Dateline: London. This city has long been the focus of things that are bad for me and never more so than today. On the plate in front of me is a Krispy Kreme doughnut.
On the basis of knowing the enemy, I pick it up and bite through the glaze into the soft interior. It dissolves in my mouth, sickly sweet and a little greasy but not enough to stop me wanting more.
For Scots, the Krispy Kreme has long been forbidden “fruit” and a fix required a trip south of the Border. That is about to change. This week, the American firm announced plans for its first Scottish outlet.
That’s big news for Krispy fans and there seem to be many of them. When the firm opened in Wales last year, a thousand people queued through the night including a man from London who said his hobby is attending Krispy Kreme store openings.
North of the Border, the excitement seems to be building. The Bring Krispy Kreme to Scotland Facebook page has more than 1,300 likes, but look a little closer. What appears to be a grassroots campaign by Krispy Kreme devotees is actually a slick page, set up and maintained by the company.
Krispy Kreme has always been good at marketing. Down the years it has spent very little on advertising, preferring to concentrate on word of mouth and playing hard to get. Compared to Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme is the closest you get to cool in the world of deep-fried dough.
One of its smartest ploys is a fundraising initiative which allows Scouts, Guides and others to buy a box at cost price and then sell at a profit for charity. It also introduces a new generation to the sweet treat under the guise of philanthropy.
So what’s wrong with that?
For the answer, look on the back of the packet. The classic Krispy Kreme contains 217 calories while the Cookies and Kreme option delivers 380 calories and 17 grammes of fat. That’s about a fifth of the recommended daily calorie intake for women in a single doughnut. They also include half a gram of trans fats, which have been linked to increased risk of heart disease.
Krispy Kreme responds to criticism by saying its product is “an occasional treat”. The psychology here is that life is full of boring healthy things and then along come the doughnuts to deliver some fun. All because we’re worth it.
We’re also a nation where one in four adults are obese and children are heading in the same direction. So what is Krispy Kreme bringing to Scotland? A “drive-thru”. That suggests customers are either very busy, or people who prefer calories to exercise and would rather not be scrutinised when they indulge. Which do you think?
A little of what you fancy does you good but in a country battling a fat crisis, the arrival of the notorious Krispy Kreme is the last thing we really need.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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