Krispy Kreme Donoughts are proving to be a big hit in Bangkok, Michael Taylor discovered during a recent trip to the Big Mango.
The US based donut chain opened with big fanfare a couple of years back in Hong Kong, where Michael lives.
But the two outlets closed several months later, failing to find favour with Hong Kong foodies, who are not known for having much of a sweet tooth.
But Bangkokians are proving to be big fans of the yummy treats, lining up hours before the city’s only outlet opens – and then reselling them to impatient types craving a sugar fix.
Sweet Tooth, with Thai Characteristics
As the sun is rising over Bangkok, Thailand, the lines are already starting to form on the sidewalk outside Siam Paragon, one of the Big Mango’s swankiest shopping malls.
But the mall doesn’t even open its doors until 10 am. And, no, it’s not bargains these early risers are waiting for. It’s donuts!
US donut chain Krispy Kreme Doughnuts opened its first outlet in Bangkok at Siam Paragon on 28 September 2010.
It’s not surprising that Bangkokians, who are known for craving sweets, liking anything American, and wanting to try new things, wanted to give them a try. Other newly launched outlets selling fast foods or sweets have occasionally received a similar reception.
But what is surprising is that three months later, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts – which are neither crispy nor creamy – are continuing to find such enthusiastic favour. And there are no signs that the donut chain’s popularity is about to wane.
Double the Money, Double the Fun!
They are scalpers, who purchase two boxes – one of original glazed donuts at B249 and one of assorted donuts at B315.
The only reason they don’t buy more is that customers at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are not allowed to buy more than two boxes of donuts at a time.
After making their purchases, the scalpers then prowl nearby sidewalks, reselling the donuts at B400 for the original variety and B500 for the assorted variety.
And people are actually buying them from the scalpers rather than waiting in line.
Which isn’t really all that amazing when you think about it. I walked past the outlet several time during my recent visit to the Thai capital, and the lines really were very long, and they really did move very slowly.
How Is Dunkin’ Donuts Doin’?
Within steps, I stumbled across Dunkin’ Donuts, which has been part of the Bangkok landscape for years. And there wasn’t a single customer in sight!
(And, if truth be told, the staff didn’t seem to be the least bit stressed out. They were all standing about, chatting merrily, happy as clams. Was this a paid vacation?)
But I can’t help but wonder what the lines will be like outside the Cardiac Arrest Units of Bangkok’s much celebrated hospitals if this fad doesn’t end soon.
As much as I wanted to try them, this American – who had just had a physical at Bangkok Hospital and was advised to lower his sugar intake – decided to give Krispy Kreme Donoughts a pass …
Copyright: Michael Taylor
Writes J. in Truckee, California:
They pretty much did that here when they opened up in the Bay Area. Lines almost a mile long for the drive-through. Stores were open about 5 years and then they all closed up!
14 December 2010 (via Facebook)
Writes Suellen Zima of Laguna Woods, California, and editor of Follow the Senior Hummingbird:
How utterly discouraging it is to eat right today. I assume sugar is NOT good for us, but we grew up on it and cutting it out completely is too depressing. The chemical sugars (like Equal, aspertame) were, as I thought and never used them, definitely BAD for us. The natural sugars vary. I don’t like the taste of Stevia, but I do like the organic blue agave sweetener which is now sold rather widely. I know diabetics are told to use Splenda.
14 December 2010 (via email)
Accidental Travel Writer Responds
To J. in Truckee, California: I can’t help but wonder if their customers all succumbed. . . to Suellen in Laguna Wood, California: As kids our mothers used to serve us KoolAid and buy us Popsicles. They also cooked with lard. Simpler (if unhealthier) times . . .
14 December 2010