Krispy Kreme goes egg-free to cash in on India’s fast-food boom

Get ’em while they’re hot.
Get ’em while they’re hot.
Image: Reuters/David Bebber
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Over the weekend, the American donut chain Krispy Kreme opened its first store in Delhi, selling its traditional offerings of coffee and glazed donuts. There’s one big difference though: the sticky, doughy “Original Glazed” donuts have been revamped with an eggless recipe in an effort to cater to India’s many vegetarian diners.

Krispy Kreme isn’t the first to customize their fare for Indian palettes—a sign of how important the Indian market has become to international fast food companies. McDonald’s doesn’t sell beef or pork at its restaurants in India, and also offers eggless mayonnaise. Pizza Hut offers plenty of veggie offerings on its pizza.

Krispy Kreme’s store in Delhi is its first venture in northern India, under a partnership with Bedrock Food Company, which also operates the US sandwich chain Subway there. Under another franchise deal, Krispy Kreme opened its donut shops in Bangalore earlier this year.

India’s fast food market, as we’ve noted before, is expected to reach 70 billion rupees ($1.1 billion), or double its current size, over the next three years. Because most international chains are already competing in China’s fast-food scene and developed markets are fairly saturated, India’s may be the last frontier for greasy burgers and donuts.

There may be room for growth especially when it comes to coffee and donuts in India. Coffee consumption in India is an average of about 100 grams per person a year (paywall), compared with 4.5 kilograms among Americans. Other pastry and coffee operations like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have started expanding in the country last year. McDonald’s plans to open 150 of its coffee outfits, McCafes, in the country over the next three to five years. The only problem is that it will be hard to make the pastries a go-to staple in people’s fast-food diets. “Doughnuts remain a once-in-a-while category in India,” Harminder Sahni of retail consultancy Wazir Advisors told India’s Economic Times.