- Krispy Kreme is offering free doughnuts to customers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Anyone who shows a valid vaccination card will receive a glazed doughnut for no extra cost through the remainder of 2021, per an announcement.
- Customers can redeem the offer every day at the bakery chain, which has 1,400 stores worldwide. Krispy Kreme also will deliver free doughnuts to select vaccination centers throughout the country to help support healthcare workers and volunteers in the next few weeks.
- To urge people to share with each other, Krispy Kreme will run a promotion called "Be Sweet Weekends" that lets customers who pay for a dozen doughnuts to add another "Be Sweet Dozen" to their order for $1 every weekend from March 27 to May 23. Customers also can get a free glazed doughnut and medium coffee every Monday from March 29 to May 24, per the announcement.
Krispy Kreme's offer of free doughnuts for those who can prove they have received the coronavirus vaccine adds a sweet incentive to encourage people to get inoculated as soon as they're eligible. About a fifth (19%) of U.S. adults said they've received at least one dose of the vaccine, while another 50% said they definitely or probably will get vaccinated, Pew Research Center found in a survey. The combined total of 69% marks an improvement since last September when many people were skeptical of the vaccine, and only 51% of respondents said they would probably or definitely get vaccinated. Krispy Kreme seeks to do its part in promoting vaccinations with its offer of free treats. In kind, the chain is also offering staff members up to four hours of paid time off so they can get vaccinated.
"We all want to get COVID-19 behind us as fast as possible and we want to support everyone doing their part to make the country safe by getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them," CMO Dave Skena said in the press release.
The doughnut chain is among the companies that have offered to pitch in with the mass vaccination effort, which many people see as necessary to helping the economy recover, as Pew found in its survey. Starbucks in January started reassigning workers from its operations and analytics teams to help design vaccination sites. As part of that effort among companies based in Washington state to help with vaccinations, Microsoft opened its mostly empty office park as a vaccination center. The same month, Amazon sent a letter to President Joe Biden offering to assist with the effort to distributed the vaccine, supporting the goal to inoculate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his administration, Reuters reported.
In addition, Krispy Kreme is looking to help consumers who are still feeling the negative effects of the pandemic with other free doughnut deals. Along with the "Be Sweet Weekends" offer, it is giving away doughnuts and coffee on Mondays to "help Americans get their week off to a good start in these tough times" — a return to the kind of language brands used around the offset of the pandemic over a year ago.
Krispy Kreme's promotions follow other efforts to expand distribution with delivery service and retail sales. The company last year introduced two new products, Doughnut Bites and Mini Crullers, exclusively at Walmart stores nationwide and on the discount chain's website. The rollout of the products occurred as e-commerce sales surged from about 2% of its total to 20% as many homebound consumers ordered groceries for delivery instead of visiting stores.