By Sara Powers

(CNN) – Krispy Kreme wants to take the edge off higher gas prices by lowering doughnut prices.

Every Wednesday from April 13 through May 4, Krispy Kreme will sell a dozen original glazed doughnuts for the price of a gallon of regular gas. Each week, the chain will use Monday’s national average gas price to set the promotional cost for its doughnuts.

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Gas prices have been soaring recently in part because of the war in Ukraine, prompting the Biden Administration to release gas from the strategic petroleum reserve to lower prices.

On Monday, AAA put the national average at $4.11 per gallon. So on Wednesday, a dozen original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts will cost $4.11. That a good deal: A dozen original glazed would typically go for at least $10 at Krispy Kreme.

The doughnut chain often ties its promotions to topical events. Last year, for example, it gave customers who had been vaccinated against Covid-19 free doughnuts. In January, after the Red Cross said it was experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade, Krispy Kreme gave away doughnuts to blood donors.

With those promotions, Krispy Kreme was trying to “encourage folks to take advantage of a kind offer from us to do something good for others,” Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme’s chief marketing officer, told CNN Business. In this case, “we’re just trying to help [people] get through the week.”

It’s also a way to keep Krispy Kreme top of mind for consumers, and tempt new customers with a taste of the brand’s signature sweet.

 

Why Krispy Kremes gives away its signature doughnuts

 

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When Krispy Kreme gives away free doughnuts, it usually offers up the original glazed doughnut, rather than other flavors or specialty items.

The original glazed is “our most popular doughnut,” said Skena. “It’s what’s kept us in business for 85 years.”

So why give it away for free (or cheap)?

“It’s the brand experience we really want [people] to have,” said Skena. In other words, Krispy Kreme wants to make the best possible first impression on customers who may be trying Krispy Kreme out because of a promotion.

Plus, the original glazed is relatively simple to produce.

“It is easier to make them” than more complicated flavors like Oreo or birthday cake doughnuts, said Skena. “We can make more of them faster. When we create these big peaks in demand, we need to be able to make a lot of doughnuts quickly. ”

That will especially come in handy if, for example, the price of oil suddenly dips and more people want to take advantage of the promotion. Krispy Kreme is ready for that possibility, Skena said.

“If gas prices plummeted over the next four weeks, even though it wouldn’t be as ‘good’ for us, we’d be so happy to sell people two-dollar doughnuts.”

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