France Has Fallen In Love With Krispy Kreme

People are waiting in long lines in Paris to get a taste of American doughnuts.

When I think of France, I think of a country full of culinary delicacies: escargot, bouillabaisse, and foie gras, as well as classy modern fare. But as much as Parisians value their own nation's cuisine, there's an unexpectedly basic American treat that they can't get enough of: Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

The New York Times reports that since the opening of Krispy Kreme's first Paris location this month, the French have excitedly embraced the American chain. The store opening brought in a line of 500 people on its first day in business—who knew that this sweet glazed treat would cause such a sensational response from the people known for their own gourmet food and desserts?

The French are going wild over doughnuts

I guess everyone loves glazed fried dough, because Krispy Kreme is the latest sensation that France has welcomed to its fast food scene. The NYT reports that opening day saw people camping out in line overnight (and what could be more American than doing that?).

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France's contribution to the global pastry pantheon is a point of national pride, so its enthusiasm for our doughnuts might come as a surprise. But compared to baguettes, tarts, pain au chocolat, and eclairs, doughnuts are just not as commonplace in France, making Krispy Kreme's menu more of a novelty.

And since American television is widely available in Europe, the younger French generation has been exposed to the idea of doughnuts being part of our lives stateside. Doughnuts represent American life in a way, a fact that Alexandre Maizoué, director general of Krispy Kreme France, is well aware of.

"This is all about American pop culture," he said, noting that the brand "appeals to Generation Netflix. They've seen all the American series. They like U.S. culture and the American art de vivre."

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Krispy Kreme doughnuts will be available in France via the same combination of channels we have in the U.S., that is, in both supermarkets and brick-and-mortar shops. The company plans on opening a dozen locations in France in the next three months.

Though some fast food chains have had some issues adapting to French tastes and culture, like McDonald's, American chains make up 30% of all fast food sales in France, which means plenty of people enjoy it. But if Krispy Kreme takes off overseas, imagine what else might be Europe's next big thing. Culver's? Long John Silver's? I bet there are a few ambitious fast food brands willing to find out.

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