Thursday, October 31, 2013

Will Miss #38 - free Krispy Kreme donuts in line (reflection)

While waiting in long lines at Krispy Kreme in Japan, someone would often come out and hand a free fresh donut to folks in line. I thought that was pretty cool in Japan because it was not common to receive things for free. I didn't know that, in America, getting things for free is far more common and that what you can get is much, much bigger.

Since coming back, I've discovered that you can get a ton of things for free from full-size products to magazine subscriptions. It goes without saying that free samples are extremely easy to come by. It's also the case that a plethora of freebies can be had at fast food places, coffee shops, and, yes, good old Krispy Kreme. Several times a year, you can score a donut or a dozen from them during the holidays or just plain because they seem to feel like it.

Given how much more freely American companies offer freebies, the free donut in line at Krispy Kreme Japan takes on a quaint nature as a rare example of corporate largesse, but it does pale in comparison to the freebies you can get in America. It turns out that I actually don't miss this point, because it's only a rare thing within the context of Japanese culture.


  1. When my wife's relatives have come to visit us here in the USA, they are always amazed at the portion sizes one can get here. We tell them that these are 'normal' here. They shake their heads in disbelief.

    It is relevant to note that research has shown that these larger portion sizes have contributed greatly to 'the epidemic of obesity' which we have here in the USA. How many overweight, let alone obese, people does one see in Japan?!? A much lower percentage of the overall population to be sure! I suspect this is because of the smaller portions of food. Of secondary importance is the fact that most Japanese walk to/from public transportation more than most Americans do.

    Krispy Kreme, by the way, has not done so well here in Calif. After an initial burst of interest and business when they first came out a few years ago, the stores have struggled to stay open in most of the State.

    1. If you're also reading my snack reviews blog, you'll know that I'm all on board with the portion issue and how it relates to weight issues (there's also a post in this blog somewhere about "healthy portion sizes" which relates directly to this point). Ample research has shown that the more you put in front of people, the more they will eat. This makes sense from an evolutionary viewpoint, but doesn't work well for us in the modern world. I also believe that the plethora of shelf-stable and read-to-eat food is a part of the problem. Our grandparents had to make food to have it on hand. We just have to grab a bag.

      I can tell that Krispy Kreme isn't doing well in CA by the relative scarcity of outlets. I think that, at least where I'm living, there are tons of little donut shops making unique and fresh ones so the chains don't do especially well. That being said, KK remains the only place on the West Coast that offers a donut with whipped cream of some sort (or a mutant relative). I have one of those about 4 times a year, but it pales in comparison to the angel cream I could get at Mister Donut in Japan (which is what I'd really like to have).

      Thanks for your comment!

    2. Oh yeah, the angel cream and other fillings/toppings one can get in Japan are simply 'to die for.' They make marvelous strawberry shortcakes and other pastries, etc as well. We used to stop and get something on the way home from work. That was when we were young and could, fortunately, eat almost anything without much concern about the calories, etc. Ah, life in those days had some wonderful moments!

  2. They quit giving out free donuts some time ago.


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