AAFES brings Krispy Kreme to Europe troops
November 9, 2015
LANDSTUHL, Germany — The quest to find a sugary sweet confection in the land of rhubarb tortes and apple strudels is about to get easier for American troops and their families.
Starting Tuesday, Krispy Kreme doughnuts will be sold in more than a dozen Army and Air Force Exchange Service express stores in Germany, mostly in the Kaiserslautern and Wiesbaden areas. And the irresistible sugar-coated, fried dough rings will soon be tempting consumers at military exchange and express stores throughout Europe in the coming days and months.
AAFES has inked a deal with the American doughnut giant to produce and sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Europe.
The doughnuts will be baked by the thousands five days a week at the Exchange Bakery Europe in Gruenstadt, with actual Krispy Kreme equipment and ingredients that specially trained AAFES bakers will use to follow the original Krispy Kreme recipes to a T. Initially, about 13 flavors will be available, from the Original Glazed and Chocolate Iced Custard Filled to Glazed Raspberry Filled and Sour Crème Cake doughnuts. More flavors will follow in 2016, AAFES officials said.
The doughnuts will be sold at express stores at other bases in Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom starting Nov. 24. In December, the roll-out will be expanded to more far-flung U.S. installations in Turkey, Italy, Portugal, and Cairo. The doughnuts will begin appearing at base commissaries early next year, AAFES officials said.
Troops were clamoring for Krispy Kreme, said Army Sgt. Maj. Keith Craig, the senior enlisted adviser to the Exchange in Europe and Southwest Asia, and that’s why AAFES sought to bring the products to Europe.
“I hope they’re like ‘Wow, this reminds me of when I was growing up,’ ” he said. “It’s home away from home.”
After the first Krispy Kreme doughnuts were baked Monday morning, Craig delivered about 50 boxes of doughnuts to military members and their families at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, making stops at the Landstuhl Fisher Houses, the USO Warrior Center and a patient ward inside the hospital.
Few, if any, turned down the free treats.
“It will be a little taste of home,” said Army Spc. Nathan Mathieu, 25, a satellite communications technician assigned to Grafenwoehr. “We’ve been trying to hunt down a Dunkin’ Donuts since we’ve been here.”
Mathieu, 25, and his family have lived in Germany for nearly three years. Despite having roots in the northeastern United States, where Dunkin’ Donuts is big, Mathieu said he prefers Krispy Kreme.
“This is a step up,” he said, while sharing a box of Krispy Kreme blueberry cake doughnuts with his wife and three kids at the Fisher House.
At the USO Warrior Center, deployed Army Staff Sgt. Terry Kemp gave the thumbs up after tasting a glazed cake doughnut. His favorite flavor is the Original Glazed, but “only if the sign is on,” he said, referring to the neon red sign that lights up when glazed doughnuts are fresh from the oven.
A Krispy Kreme bakery is “right down the street” from Kemp’s home in Georgia, where he’s stationed at Fort Stewart.
Eating a Krispy Kreme doughnut ranks up there with enjoying a pizza or a steak after a deployment, he said.
With one Original Glazed packing about 200 calories and about five grams of saturated fat, Krispy Kreme doughnuts are potential waist-tape measurement busters, the nightmare of every military physical training leader.
Not to worry, Kemp said. “Moderation.”