The Successful Innovative Company of the week: Krispy Kreme.
Disclaimer: I do not want to be the leader for the obese America movement but I like doughnuts and Krispy Kreme is king. I also exercise about 14 hours a week.
What they do right: The make the best tasting mass produced doughnuts. The first time I had Krispy Kreme was in the summer of 2002 in Sedona, Arizona at my grandparents timeshare. My uncle went out and bought two dozen for everyone and I had one. The taste was light and fluffy, not heavy or too sugary, with just a hint of strawberry. It was so good I followed it up with two or three more that morning and the next time he went to go buy some doughnuts I went along with a few others in my family. We had all liked the doughnuts and apparently it was an up and coming company so we all wanted to see it first hand. The store there did not have the conveyer belt, but it still emitted that high class, oil paintings for sale on the walls, free wi-fi, yes life is amazing vibe.
When I went to a Krispy Kreme with the machine that makes doughnuts I was astounded. Then they gave me a free hot glazed doughnut just for standing there! Watching the machine pop out perfect circles and then so evenly cook them and frost them I was just amazed. It was so simple but yet so different. Most bakeries have some sort of magic that goes on in the back and you have no idea how it all works or if they just use a microwave or something but here you could see everything. Krispy Kreme still keeps the exact dough recipe secret but they show so much more of the cooking process so I'll let them keep the recipe.
Krispy Kreme has also expanded to have doughnuts available in grocery stores and for fund raisers. Selling plain glazed doughnuts as a fund raiser. Aside from selling eggs (another good story) that is the most basic thing I have ever heard of. Yet it works. Thousands of doughnuts are sold every year though fundraising. In total they sell 11,000 doughnuts every hour of every day on average.
What they could improve: More locations so that people like me who live more than a half an hour away from the nearest location can have them more often. Also, I think that industries in the business of less than ideal food (fast food, doughnuts, candy, soda, you get the idea) would be doing their customers a service by making an effort to both educate their customers and provide more nutritious options. People aren't getting any skinnier in the world. In the future I see food shortages due to population explosions and running out of arable land if we continue to pursue the life of excess that we live in now. The blame is spread on all of us but it would just be nice to see a company like Krispy Kreme take more initiative in the battle for sustainability and health.