According to Matías Rosenthal, CEO of Grupo Premier Chile, the company behind bringing the Krispy Kreme brand to Chile, there are plans for new stores to open.
The newly opened Krispy Kreme store in Santiago’s Kennedy street is attracting a crowd. At 9:30am on a Thursday, April 20, around 80 customers are lining up to enjoy the freshly-baked donuts and coffee. The store has only been open for a week.
A few days ago, this same location was surrounded by media and people camping out, curious about the arrival of this popular US donut brand in Chile. Grupo Premier Chile, a subsidiary of the Mexican company of the same name, is responsible for bringing Krispy Kreme to the country. They also operate the Little Caesars pizza chain.
While discussing the phenomenon, Matías Rosenthal, the 41-year-old CEO, receives a hot glazed donut. Impressed, he comments, “Do you realize that it’s another sensation? There’s a before and after; it’s like a mix between a fresh churro, but it’s not heavy.” He takes a bite himself.
The Krispy Kreme Journey
Krispy Kreme’s story goes back a long way. The company was established as a wholesale business in North Carolina in 1930. In the 1940s, its founder, Vernon Rudolph, invented the automatic doughnut cutter still used today. In the 1990s, they introduced the iconic hot light sign signaling the availability of freshly made doughnuts. They opened their first international location in Ontario, Canada, in the early 2000s.
However, the following years were tough. In 2005, Krispy Kreme filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was eventually acquired by the English fund JAB for approximately US$1.35 billion. After a period of closure and restructuring, the company went public again and currently has a market capitalization of US$2.5 billion.
Beginning of the Journey in Chile
Rosenthal recalls the first contact with Krispy Kreme in 2019. Seeking something complementary to their successful pizza business, Grupo Premier was attracted to the idea of coffee, breakfast, and tea time options. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, negotiations continued. In early 2022, Rosenthal and his team went to Las Vegas, where they experienced the Krispy Kreme stores firsthand. It was during this trip that Rosenthal tried the frosted donuts for the first time and was blown away. They visited the factories, learned about the machines and the recipe, and received training on how to make the perfect donuts.
Rosenthal believes that Krispy Kreme chose Grupo Premier Chile because of their success in operating Little Caesars and their ambition to be the best restaurant operators in the world. The marketing campaign for the opening of Krispy Kreme in Chile began in late 2022, building hype on social media and creating a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). In March of this year, they even distributed free donuts from carts around the city, attracting thousands of people.
The team has undergone a month of training, and Rosenthal personally immersed himself in the business by spending three weeks in Los Angeles, learning the intricacies of Krispy Kreme’s operations. He emphasizes his hands-on approach and willingness to learn and find answers to any questions that arise.
The opening of the first Krispy Kreme store in Chile on April 13 was eagerly anticipated. News spread through their Instagram account, and a Krispy Camp was set up, allowing the first 30 people to stay overnight.
Grupo Premier Chile
Grupo Premier in Mexico is owned by the Gaxiola Coppel family. They initially ventured into the automotive industry in Mexico over two decades ago. Today, they own various retail businesses with more than 50 brands, involved in real estate, mass consumption, and other sectors. In 2006, they entered the food industry with Carl’s Jr. and later acquired Little Caesars.
The decision to expand outside Mexico led them to choose Chile, and with the guidance of Ronald Santolaya, an expert in quick-service restaurants (QSR) with over 40 years of experience, they entered the Chilean market.
To learn more about investment opportunities in the food industry in Chile, read the following article.
Source: Diario Financiero