The Krispy Kreme Kraze

You know they’re just fried dough, right? With a sugary glaze?

Far be it from Kohspot to disparage anyone for enjoying a sweet. And Krispy Kreme does make a delicious donut if you get them when they come out of the oven warm.

But the company must be slipping crack in the glaze to make Thais react this way. Krispy Kreme opened in Bangkok in late September with people waiting outside Siam Paragon reportedly up to 27 hours to get at the hot and gooey. Even Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn received several boxes, although Kohspot doesn’t expect she waited with the masses.

Now Thais are scalping Krispy Kremes across the road in Siam Square for a 1 to 2 baht markup (when they aren’t being shooed away by Chulalongkorn University employees trying to drive out the street vendors). No one has ever questioned the entrepreneurial spirit of Thais, but why are people still queuing up for hours, sometimes even outside the air-conditioned comfort of one of their cherished shopping meccas, all for a silly donut? Bangkok has no shortage of donut shops: Mister Donut and Dunkin’ Donuts are fixtures at every mall of notice, and gourmet, higher-end options such as Daddy Dough are growing while there are scores of pastry shops about, particularly a rash of Japanese bakeries such as Beard Papa’s. You can stroll into any of these establishments and purchase a donut within seconds.

Marketing has played a role, as the first customer on opening day at Siam Paragon received a year’s supply of donuts free, the second received a six-month supply, the third a three-month supply, and on and on. And novelty is always a factor as well. But the store has been around for almost three months now and you can’t walk onto the BTS or into an office break room without seeing a Krispy Kreme box. When Homer Simpson visits Bangkok next month he will be punching people in the face left and right with donut envy.

Of course there’s no accounting for taste, and as mentioned they are pretty damn tasty. But Kohspot would remind readers of the legend of Rotiboy, the Malaysian bread chain that opened in Siam Square four years ago to identical acclaim and long, snaking lines. It was widely hailed as a business model that needed to be followed in Thailand. Yet today only one franchise remains of the erstwhile people’s choice, out in the nether regions of Chatuchak.

Beware Krispy Kreme.
Location: Siam Paragon Ground Floor, close to the Rama I exit.
BTS: Siam
Hours: 10 am-10 pm daily

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