Krispy Kreme enters Yangon, heating up competition

For generations, Krispy Kreme has been serving doughnuts and coffee in America. Now the chain has decided to enter Myanmar, setting up its first store in Yangon on September 16. The North Carolina-headquartered firm with roots in the United States has been in operation since 1937.

U Thu Rein Lin, Krispy Kreme Myanmar CEO, highlighted that the population in Yangon are keen to adopt changes and eager to have international brands coming in, giving the chain “exceptional opportunities.” There are plans to open more outlets in Yangon and also in other states and regions.

“Our plan is first to establish ourselves in Yangon before we move to other cities. Our target is to open around ten outlets in Yangon over the next 2-3 years,” he explained.

As for now, Krispy Kreme will import most of its products from the United States, but in the future, the company has plans to source locally or within the ASEAN sector. Regarding human resources, the company intends to provide them with in-house training at least facilitating a career within the group.

Asked about the rental costs compared to neighbouring countries, U Thu Rein Lin said that “Any business will always have cost issues when one establishes in a new market.” and that they have a “strategic methodology” to use concerning negotiating of rentals. If the landlords fail to comply, they will cease negotiations. However, he observed that “landlords are getting better at listening to tenants” which is an improvement “unlike 2-3 years ago.”.

The supply’s chain management is being handled by a logistics and supply chain company in Yangon, U Thu Rein Lin stated without disclosing the name, together with Krispy Kreme’s team “to ensure our ingredients and packaging are available at all times.”

Krispy Kreme is not alone in the market. J Donuts, the biggest competitor, is an established local brand that benefits from a large group of loyal customers. Besides, there are many local bakery shops scattered around Yangon. U Thu Rein Lin believed that “Yangon has enough population to sustain new brands” and the company will be “focused on the shared experience which is the global theme of Krispy Kreme.”.

Price information will be made public on September 16.


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