US doughnut major forays into India

Bangalore, Jan 16 (IANS) US doughnut major Krispy Kreme has forayed into India with its first retail outlet here.

Krispy Kreme will sell its doughnuts through franchisee Citymax Hotels India Ltd. of the Dubai-based retail giant Landmark Group. The 76-year-old multinational will cater to a young generation growing on noodles, pastas, pizzas, burgers, rolls, French fries and the like.

"India presents a great opportunity for brands like ours, as the country is at the cusp of consumer growth, driven by demographics, higher disposable incomes, an aspiring generation and increasing urbansiation," Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation president (international) Jeffrey B. Welch told IANS Wednesday.

Krispy Kreme has franchisees in South East Asia and China. It has come to India to cash in on the growing consumerism in the food and beverage segment and the popularity of other food retail chains such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, McDonalds and Subway, to name a few.

At an investment of Rs.8 crore (Rs.80 million), Citymax is opening the first outlet on upscale Church Street Jan 19 with a doughnut theatre that will showcase hundreds of hot doughnuts rolling out on a conveyer belt.

"For the first time in the country, customers will have a unique opportunity to watch the entire doughnut-making process from a glass-viewing area in the theatre, as crispy doughnuts move along the conveyer belt from one stage to the next, finally flipping over and passing through a waterfall of glaze," Citymax president Vishal Sawhney told IANS.

The imported doughnut-making machine has a capacity to roll out 210 dozens (2,520) of doughnuts per hour.

Citymax plans to set up six more retails outlets in suburbs across the city this year in malls, market complexes, near metro rail stations, inter-state bus terminals and at main railway stations.

"We plan to invest Rs.85 crore over the next five years to set up about 80 outlets across southern and western cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kochi for which we have the franchise from Krispy Kreme," Sawhney said.

"Initially we will have most of the ingredients and recipes shipped from the US. Then we plan to source them locally to suit the Indian palate," Krispy vice-president for international development Peter King pointed said.

With each doughnut weighing about 40-50gm, a box of dozen doughnuts will be priced between Rs.450-Rs.550 for takeaways and a pair of doughnuts at the outlet will be sold at Rs.44-52 depending on the flavour and ingredients.

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