Tray’s Anatomy: The Donut Battle Between J.Co and Krispy Kreme

July 8, 2013
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In the Philippines, Krispy Kreme has been sitting comfortably atop the (Iron) Donut Throne for years. People would willingly wait in long queues just to get their order. They’d hover uncomfortably over other (eating) diners in their desperation to get a table. Once, I waited in line just to purchase a forty-peso Hershey’s Cookies and Kreme donut. I felt so guilty and ashamed at first but was immediately exonerated as soon as I bit into the sweet pastry. For sweet tooths like me, Krispy Kreme was donut heaven. Was.

Fast-forward to today, more people now carry big yellow boxes of donuts home instead of the iconic white and green polka-dotted boxes of before. Gone are the long lines and creepy table hoverers at Krispy Kreme. Meanwhile, J.Co branches often look like J.Lo autograph-signings, ones where she’s giving each fan a strand of her post-performance armpit hair. It’s the only explanation for the amount of people in line.

While more people now seem to prefer J.Co over Krispy Kreme, we can’t discount the possibility that this J.Co craze might just be another temporary food fad. Remember when you had to get in line behind ten other people just to get a pearl milk tea? Me neither. At most, there would only be seven of them.

The two brands clearly offer very different donut promises. So in this month’s Tray’s Anatomy, Krispy Kreme and J.Co are squaring off for the ultimate taste-periment to determine which brand deserves to be number one. Let the Donut Wars begin.

Price

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Both Krispy Kreme and J.Co donuts sell at PHP 42 a piece. However, a box of 12 assorted flavors costs PHP 365 at Krispy Kreme but only PHP 350 at J.Co. With its PHP 15 discount, J.Co wins the first round.

The Originals

Let’s start the taste test by comparing both brands’ most basic offering: the glazed donut.

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Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed Donut and J.Co’s Glazzy look almost identical. When it comes to the weight, however, Krispy Kreme clobbers J.Co by weighing more than two of the latter’s donuts combined. This should tell you which brand you’d want to pick when looking to fill an empty tummy.

When it comes to flavor, we still give this round to Krispy Kreme. Its glaze is just a perfect crust of sugar over fluffy dough. After that first bite, you can’t help but crave for more.

In contrast, the J.Co Glazzy is far from magical. It’s not impressive at all. Perhaps this is why no one really orders more than one Glazzy from J.Co at a time (if people order it at all), while the patrons of Krispy Kreme are more than happy with an all-Original Glazed Dozen.

Score: Krispy Kreme – 1, J.Co – 1

The Dough

Before donuts could spread their wings and fly—or in this case, get drizzled with rainbow sprinkles or slathered with something sweet and decadent—they all start as humble and innocent plain round buns.

Apart from unique flavors or variants that an establishment offers, frequent donut patrons know their favorite brand by the taste and texture of the bread.

The bread in Krispy Kreme donuts is soft yet rigid enough not to crumble or squash easily. In fact, you can leave your donut at room temperature overnight (or even for a few days and yes, we have tried this), and the quality of the dough doesn’t suffer that dramatically. Although this might sound like a good thing, we can’t help but wonder what preservatives, if any, Krispy Kreme injects in its products to make them last so long.

J.Co’s bread, on the other hand, is a glorious drug of fluffy chewiness when served warm and straight out of the oven. Unfortunately, to keep up with the demand of its nonstop influx of customers, the JCrew is forced to forego serving only freshly baked bread. And just like that, you turn that angelic piece of pastry into a cold, flat piece of depression.

Bottomline: The perfect donut bread exists, it’s just not from either brand. Therefore, no one wins this round. The score remains tied at 1-1.

Flavors

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Krispy Kreme knows how to attract the young market. They are constantly coming up with different limited-time-only flavors, from Speculoos Cookie Butter to the one-eyed Mike Wazowski. With eight-year-olds frolicking in a sea of colorful donuts as projected customers (I swear that sounded a lot less perverted in my head), most if not all Krispy Kreme flavors are, unsurprisingly, too sweet.

Peanut Butter and Kreme, Hershey’s Cookies and Kreme, Oreo, and the Chocolate Iced Kreme Filled are always at the top of our Krispy Kreme shopping list. Kids love them, and so do we!

Not all Krispy Kreme flavors have been a hit, though. Some have certainly missed the mark. The Caramel Kreme Crunch, for instance, is a mishmash of nutty, sweet, and salty flavors that don’t quite mesh. Their Kreme Brulee’s crystal coating tasted more burnt than toasted. Let’s keep char-grilling to our burger patties, please. And have you tried the New York Cheesecake? I swear, I tried to like it, but the tangy lemon filling just didn’t work for me.

 Meanwhile, past the long queue of customers extending all the way to EDSA, there lies the not-so-secret garden of donuts that is J.Co. Even though they do not have seasonal or co-branded donuts, their wide array of flavors, though rarely if at all updated, is more than enough to keep their customers coming back.

Some J.Co creations worth a spot in your box of 12 include the Alcapone, which is a perfect marriage of white chocolate and almonds, Why Nut (the peanut butter filling in this one is the sex!), Oreology, which they should double in size because having just one is torture, and any of their flavors topped with chocolate caviar.

However, J.Co also offers several topping choices that we’d rather leave behind the glass counters. The Monapisa, a cheap Meat-Lovers’ Pizza trying to be an artisanal donut, the Don Mochino, tastes like liquefied Cream-O (minus the cream filling), and the Green Tea, which even matcha lovers would find bad, are all donuts you should skip.

Krispy Kreme has an edge due to their constant innovation, but J.Co offers a much wider variety to choose from. And since the too-sweet quality of Krispy Kreme donuts has numbed our taste buds, we give this round to J.Co, giving them a 2-1 lead.

 The Verdict

Technically, J.Co is the winner. But since each round was either a draw or a really tight match, we need you to help us decide. Which donut brand do you prefer? Tell us by commenting below.

Addi dela Cruz Addi dela Cruz Addi writes nonfiction that reads like fiction and fiction that isn't meant for children. He lives for breakfasts, getting new stamps on his passport, and perfecting his yoga tree pose. In between episodes of MasterChef and Hannibal, he dreams of owning a café that would serve the best hot chocolate in the South and have 12 tables at most. FOLLOW
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Dude
Dude

Ill go with J.CO.. I like Krispy Kreme however, the sweetness level is intense which makes it a not so good, not so healthy food intake.. 🙂 But original glazed? I’ll go with Krispy Kreme.. 😉 Each has their own strengths..

Chocobutternut
Chocobutternut

How bout a review between Dunking Donuts and these two? Regular vs “special” donuts? to really see what the fuzz is about

Billie Bautista
Billie Bautista

J. Co because it is not overly sweet compared to Krispy Kreme

VinceGolangco

This is such a good feature! Am such a fan of your site! I’ve been digging J.Co a bit more as of late. Sometimes KK can be a bit too sweet. I guess it depends on my mood though…

Katrina Gumaru-Roa
Katrina Gumaru-Roa

Betweent J Co and Krispy Kreme, I’d go for Krispy Kreme. But yes, Dunkin’ Donuts should have been included here. Their Boston Cream is the best.

'Migs Autocani'
'Migs Autocani'

Krispy Kreme vs J.Co? How about Dunkin Donuts vs Mister Donuts?! Ha! 2 of the Filipino’s original favorite donut shops, IMO.

Chuck
Chuck

dunkin donuts is imported not local

'Migs Autocani'
'Migs Autocani'

I did NOT say Dunkin Donuts is local, I am fully aware it came from the US. I mentioned that is one of the country’s 2 FAVORITE donut shops. Please read and understand more. Thanks.

Dovakhin
Dovakhin

Para sa akin panalo ang Krispy Kreme kasi mas masarap yung dough niya, malaman at siksik atsaka masarap ang fillings niya. Ang J.Co kasi puro hangin, sa tingin ko ang J.Co ay combination ng Dunkin at Krispy, parang dunkin ang dough at para namang Krispy ang fillings and toppings.

Philip
Philip

Krispey Kreme wins because I really think the line in Jco is OA.

CL Roach
CL Roach

Wow. This one is hard. KK has flavors that J.Co doesn’t have, and vice versa. Is it OK if I just love them both? Haha! But still. nothing beats Dunkin’ Donuts. They really have stood the test of time here in the Philippines, i’ll give ’em that.

Carlito
Carlito

The logo of J.Co looks like the inside of a vagina.. just sayin

Romila Marie

JCo. Less sweet!

Mikka Wee
Mikka Wee

Love this article, Addi!!! Though I must say, despite KK being a bit too sweet most of the time, their Dark Chocolate Cookie Butter donut is pretty good (and not super sweet) 🙂

A
A

J.Co wins! Krispy Kreme gives you diabetes, sickly sweet doughnuts. Bleh

Mikka Wee
Mikka Wee

Hahaha Cronut vs. Doissant vs. Kronut for the next Tray’s Anatomy, please! 😀

Vincent Maldia
Vincent Maldia

” we can’t help but wonder what preservatives, if any, Krispy Kreme injects in its products to make them last so long.”

you dont need artificial preservatives to do that. see
http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/11/the-burger-lab-revisiting-the-myth-of-the-12-year-old-burger-testing-results.html

Vincent Maldia
Vincent Maldia

many many things can act as preservatives like the humongous amount of sugars in jellies, jams and honey or simple dehydration

Addi dela Cruz
Addi dela Cruz

Hi Vincent! Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

Vincent Maldia
Vincent Maldia

btw, by some coincidence, the local SM in san fernando pampanga has both these donut shops – and they started construction within days of each other

kath
kath

None. Cello’s forever!!

brrrp
brrrp

RE: Dough. The local Krispy Kreme dough is not as fluffy as its American counterpart.

Johann
Johann

JCo for me. I can only tolerate Krispy Kreme’s original glazed donuts–the rest of their stock make me feel like I’m gonna get diabetes after the first bite (and I have diabetics on the family gene pool). But then, I can just walk into a JCo here in KL and not be worried about long lines (the one with the long lines here, curiously, is Auntie Anne’s).

rftreyes
rftreyes
Krispy Kreme for me. J. Co flavor and texture didn’t get my vote, and all the more with their super long lines that still get me wondering until now why can’t they just add more manpower per store to take orders and stuff the boxes (Yes, I studied the store movement. I had THAT much time in those few years of my misspent youth 😛 ) Oh, and regarding the Krispy Kreme doughnuts lasting days and still looking the same. Yes that is true. It is in my list of of those that pass this “Leftover Test” standards (along with… Read more »
Rain
Rain

GAVINOS!!!

Roxy
Roxy

For donut quality it’s a tie for me too. I love the original glazed donuts of Krispy Kreme, but hate their other flavors. On the other hand, I love J.Co’s flavour-ful dounts but hate their original one.
But may I just say that the biggest downer for me is the line in J.Co. I mean, it’s just too overrated and ridiculously long. :l (That’s why I never buy much from J.Co- I hate long lines.) I crave for the day that those lines will be gone like *poof*.

Ces Cabatuando
Ces Cabatuando

The sweetness of Krispy Kreme is just perfect with coffee!

Edward Obnial
Edward Obnial

I totally agree, coffee with KK – perfect for rainy days and every morning 🙂

Miss Khee
Miss Khee

I don’t have a sweet tooth so I’ll go for JCO because their donuts are not too sweet and less expensive as well.(although I can tolerate eating only 1-2 varieties at a time so I always opt for a dozen of alcapone instead w/c is my fave) KK’s donuts are too sweet. I can only have 1 bite except for the original glazed which I can finish a box of 6.:D

Essie Atienza
Essie Atienza

Krispy Kreme is too sweet for my tastes. I like J.Co better. But my real favorite is Cello’s.

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[…] Hahaha Cronut vs. Doissant vs. Kronut for the next Tray’s Anatomy, please!See all stories on this topic […]

CARMES ✯
CARMES ✯

Still Krispy Kreme. And btw, their New York Cheesecake is my fave 🙁 well it’s a matter of personal taste anyway.

AC
AC

Kk all the way!! I guess they made their doughnuts sweet so that you’ll consider them more of an indulgence. Good guy krispy kreme :))

Katrina

Krispy Kreme, on the merits of their Original Glazed alone. I always have a choirs-of-angels-singing moment whenever I bite into one of those. Mmmmmm…

Plus, I’ve tried the Al Capone (and other flavors), and I didn’t like it. At least not enough for me to go back to J. Co, even with no lines.

No question.
No question.

I don’t even get why people line up for J. Co donuts in the first place…………

junjun
junjun

for instagrama and facebook sake? lol

bernie t.
bernie t.

krispy kreme is still better. better presentation–more enticing and better in quality. J.Co’s long queue is a minus

Roc
Roc

Krispy kreme is too sweet!

Dez del Rosario
Dez del Rosario

Speaking as a non-lover of donuts (in all honestly, I hate them), I’ve tried both just to satisfy the question “WHY (do people line up in queues for donuts?!?!)?”. If I had to make a choice, I would prefer to have Krispy Kreme’s original glazed donut (Served fresh please, not the cold stuff that’s been sitting behind the counter for X hours).

Lesly Bries
Lesly Bries

Aww! I love Krispy Kreme’s New York Cheesecake 🙁

Curious about the cookie butter variants being offered though–how were they? Maybe you guys should do a roundup of the cookie butter craze-related products being offered lately. 🙂

Yuki

Krispy Kreme wins for me!

Lauren
Lauren

I think that the presentation and decoration of J Co’s Donuts is sloppy, especially because the icing drips down the donuts very easily, which i don’t like

Maryanne Margrethe Palag
Maryanne Margrethe Palag

I don’t see the appeal of J.Co. KK has got donut down to a science, making it perfect every time (whether it’s the orig glazed, or their fancy donuts). KK all the way! 😀

As for JCo’s long lines, I have a suspicion that the long queue is more of ineffective customer service rather than popularity. :))

Jamie Love
Jamie Love

Krispy kreme for me. Even when cold the dough texture is perfect unlike J.Co’s.Sloppy decorating too for J.Co lagi kasing minamadali.

Keith Chiravat
Keith Chiravat

KK for me. consistently mouth watering.

Ray
Ray

KK for me too!

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[…] reply from KKPH but people are irate to hear of such excuse. And there are also rude people who are comparing JCO and KKPH while this problem is […]

Jiro
Jiro

I refuse to go back to J.Co until that queue disappears. Had a bad experience with the staff and their donuts was not as good as expected.

anne
anne

yes I have experienced that too… may pagka bastos yung guard at ibang crew ng j.co specifically sa trinoma…

angel's voice
angel's voice

correct! humaba lang ang pila feeling ng crew at guard e sila na ang may ari ng store.. yan minsan ang hirap sa iba.. umangat lang ng konti ang company mas mayabang pa ang mga tauhan..

Sam M.
Sam M.

J.Co is is too sweet and nakaka-umay(and too greasy) 😐 Krispy Kreme is still better 🙂
But Cello’s doughnuts are the BEST.

james
james

mas matamis ung KK

fararara
fararara

Shonga lang? O mahina ang panglasa? Alin sa dalawa?

Sam M.
Sam M.

I’m sorry for trying to eat healthier.

Sam M.
Sam M.

Maybe I just had a bad batch of donuts from j.co.
You don’t have to be so rude.

clurzie
clurzie

With regards to varieties in flavors, I think one would opt to go join that ridiculously long line at j.co’s – and when you actually managed to be at the counter, the flavor that you’ve been wanting oh so badly (Alcapone and Coco Loco for me) are no longer available and you are left with those flavors that you don’t really like. KK is a classic favorite, and because it’s too sweet – let’s just say that it’s good for sharing.

Adrid Catindig
Adrid Catindig

I recommend also the J.co’s Alcapone. But Krispy Kreme’s G

liza
liza

krispy kreme glazed is the only only donut for me. i think i can eat half a dozen in 1 sitting. haha

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irish pamintuan
irish pamintuan

i’ll go for j.co:))

CK
CK

Krispy Kreme’s glazed donut only. I don’t enjoy lining up for J.Co. Among the flavors they offer, their Alcapone is satisfactory but I won’t fall in line for that. And true, I enjoy matcha but their Green Tea tastes odd: I stopped at one bite. Sometimes, Alcapone can get a bit sweet, too. KK’s glazed is a classic. I still enjoy grabbing a bite once in a while.

Basel Santos
Basel Santos

Krispy Kreme.
1. You don’t have to stand in line.
2. You can hang around and use their Free Wifi.

barado
barado

1. Your patience is too short to fall in a long line.
2. You don’t have the money to pay for your own wifi connection.

baradosibarado
baradosibarado

1. Just because you don’t like to stand in line does not make you impatient — it’s a choice you just don’t want take.
2. Just because you use free wifi doesn’t mean you don’t have money to pay for your own connection — you just don’t want to spend more money when something is already being offered for free.

Ur1ignorantTroll
Ur1ignorantTroll

1. Not everyone has the time to waste to fall in line just to buy something. For me that’s the most pathetic thing you can do to yourself.
2. Establishments have wifi as an add on experience, connecting to their wifi adds consumer satisfaction and this translates to good business.
Next time, try to think critically before criticizing others, or better yet, get your self educated first.

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