Time to Make the Donuts

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Adults who earn $50,000 a year or higher are more likely to eat at Krispy Kreme.

To the Editors of American Demographics:

As fellow New Yorkers, I'm sure you're aware of Northeasterners' unwavering love for Dunkin' Donuts. They've even gone so far as to profess that the pastry maker's coffee is the best in the world. But I've also noticed that the bright lights of the “Hot Doughnuts Now� sign in the window of a Krispy Kreme draw more New Yorkers than Times Square draws tourists. What's the deal? Do the same people just love the little round morsels so much that they frequent both establishments? Or could it be that each chain attracts a different breed of doughnut die-hards? My glaze-gobbling friends and I are dying to know.

Kerry Hillard

Time, Inc.

New York City

Dear Kerry:

Of course both establishments have their loyal fans, but according to information provided by Simmons Market Research Bureau, Dunkin' Donuts has more of them. An estimated 30.6 million adult Americans (15.5 percent of the entire adult population) have eaten at Dunkin' Donuts in the past 30 days compared with 7.6 million (3.9 percent) who have eaten at Krispy Kreme (1.3 percent have eaten at both). Females show a slight penchant for Krispy Kreme over Dunkin' Donuts, an imbalance offset by men's preference for the latter.

Individuals with higher incomes are more likely than the average American to take a break at Krispy Kreme. In fact, adults earning $50,000 a year or more are 34 percent more likely than average to eat at Krispy Kreme. Adults who earn $20,000 a year are 5 percent less likely than average to eat there. The opposite holds true for patrons of Dunkin' Donuts. Adults earning less than $20,000 annually are 21 percent more likely than the average American to eat at Dunkin' Donuts, while those who earn $50,000 or more are 8 percent less likely than average to stop by for a bite.

Adults under the age of 45 are more likely than the average American to eat at each doughnut shop, while adults age 55 and older are less likely to eat at either. For those in the middle — in the 45 to 54 age range — the taste for Dunkin' Donuts has faded (this group is 13 percent less likely to eat there), but they still lust for “Hot Doughnuts Now� (they are 5 percent more likely to patronize Krispy Kreme).

If all this talk about fried dough makes you forget your diet, you're not alone. Twenty-seven percent of adults nationwide report that they are “controlling their diet,� but 29 percent of Krispy Kreme's monthly visitors say they're trying to do so — that's 2 percent higher than the national average. Patrons of Dunkin' Donuts are slightly less health conscious: 25 percent of adults who've eaten there in the past month admit to watching what they eat. At least there are no calories in the hole!

John Fetto

Research Editor

Where do you get your doughnuts?

The organization or club consumers belong to may determine which brand of doughnuts they'll be eating at their meetings.

Church Board School or College Board Veterans Club
Art Association Human Rights Organization Environmentalist Organization
Civic Club Union Regional Development Committee
1 Members index high for eating at Krispy Kreme and low for Dunkin' Donuts .
2 Members index high for eating at Dunkin' Donuts and low for Krispy Kreme .
3 Members index low for eating at Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme .
Source: Simmons Market Research Bureau
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