What's Caribou Coffee's owner doing buying Krispy Kreme?


The group that owns Caribou Coffee is adding a common coffee partner to its roster: doughnuts.

Krispy Kreme is being purchased by JAB Holding Company – a group that owns a bunch of different smaller companies, including Caribou Coffee.

The purchase price for Krispy Kreme: $1.35 billion, according to a news release announcing the deal.

The Krispy Kreme CEO said in the release it puts them in a position to keep growing for the future, while a JAB spokesperson called it another "extraordinary brand" to add to the portfolio.

So what does this mean for Caribou?

We don't really know yet.

JAB, as the New York Times put it, “is on a caffeine-fueled binge to roll up the global coffee industry.” It also has controlling stakes in Peet’s Coffee, Espresso House, Baresso Coffee and the group behind Einstein’s Bagels.

Quartz last year said JAB is “on a mission to control your breakfast.” And one analyst told Bloomberg the firm is trying to become “the Budweiser of coffee.” Late last year, JAB made another big purchase – buying Keurig in a deal worth $13.9 billion.

Doughnuts certainly fit into the breakfast model.

Quartz notes Krispy Kreme (which is, and will continue to be, based in North Carolina) tried shifting more toward coffee itself, referring to staff as "baristas." But it didn't grow the way the company had hoped.

Update: A spokesperson for JAB told BringMeTheNews they can't comment on future strategy, but did reiterate that companies such as Caribou, Peet's and Keurig have continued to operate independently since being acquired by JAB.

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