A SWEET FIX

Krispy Kreme's plump, sugar-sweet doughnuts were hotter than frying oil just a few years ago. Ga-ga celebrities lined up to invest in Krispy Kreme franchises and the media gushed that these sweet-treat purveyors were foodie angels. Ah, but that was then, and this is now – and Krispy Kreme's little dough blobs have suddenly turned satanically stale as a food phenomenon.

Krispy Kreme’s plump, sugar-sweet doughnuts were hotter than frying oil just a few years ago. Ga-ga celebrities lined up to invest in Krispy Kreme franchises and the media gushed that these sweet-treat purveyors were foodie angels. Ah, but that was then, and this is now – and Krispy Kreme’s little dough blobs have suddenly turned satanically stale as a food phenomenon.

The corporation has seen its stock price sink from $50 a share to under $9 as its sales have sagged and health officials in both Chicago and New York have sought to ban the artificial trans-fatty acids used to make the product.

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So, has the corporation responded by eliminating its unhealthy ingredients? Of course not. Instead, Krispy Kreme Inc. has taken the old path of denial and dissembling that was blazed years ago by the tobacco giants. Not only is the doughnut chain going down tobacco road, it has even brought two former tobacco executives into its top management ranks! They are there to help direct its damage-control campaign, and both are expected to bring to doughnuts the same aggressive strategies that were used to glaze over the problems of cigarettes.

Wall Street analysts, who had cheered on the disgusting marketing tactics of the tobacco executives, are now applying their same skewed ethical compass to Krispy Kreme’s troubles. Applauding the company’s hiring of skilled image fixers, one analyst declared that such a move is essential when health groups are trying “to ban the main product you sell.”

There they go again. Health advocates are not trying to ban the doughnuts – just the unhealthy trans-fatty acids that Krispy Kreme uses. They could switch to a heart-healthy oil, as other food companies are doing.

This is Jim Hightower saying… Hey, Krispy Kreme – instead of dumping money into image fixers from Tobacco World and trying to dupe customers, just fix your product and be honest with customers.

Sources:
“Krispy Kreme hires ex-tobacco executives,” Austin American-Statesman, October 15, 2006.

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