JAB expands bakery empire with majority stake in Insomnia Cookies

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Krispy Kreme is acquiring a majority stake in Insomnia Cookies to diversify its offerings. Pic: Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme is acquiring a majority stake in Insomnia Cookies to diversify its offerings. Pic: Krispy Kreme

Related tags Krispy kreme Cookies Mergers and acquisitions Panera bread Keurig JAB Holdings

JAB-owned Krispy Kreme Doughnut is acquiring a majority stake in popular student cookie and milk chain Insomnia Cookies, for an undisclosed sum.

North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme – which was acquired by the Luxembourg-based investment arm of the wealthy Reimann family, JAB Holdings, for $1.35bn in 2016, and currently has around 1,400 retail shops in 32 countries – said the acquisition was aimed at taking its brand beyond the signature fresh and hot glazed donuts for which it is known.

Insomnia Cookies is a food service delivery concept with a menu that features cookies, ice cream, brownies and cold milk, which has built up a cult-like following.

Founded in 2003 by university student Seth Berkowitz, the business strategically positioned its stores near colleges with the focus on delivering cookies to students until 3a.m. Today, the chain has expanded to 135 locations.

“At Krispy Kreme, we have an 81-year heritage of creating the most awesome donut experience imaginable, and today we are delighted to add Insomnia Cookies, a rapidly growing business with an innovative delivery experience and exceptional product that is beloved by consumers,”​ said Mike Tattersfield, CEO of Krispy Kreme.

Another cog in the wheel

The deal is another building block in the bakery-related food service empire that JAB is putting together.

JAB also owns Panera Bread, Pret a Manger, Noah’s Bagels, Einstein Bros Bagels and Bruegger’s Bagels, as well as Keurig Dr Pepper and Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

According to Tattersfield, Insomnia Cookies will continue to operate as an independent, standalone company under the leadership of Seth Berkowitz post-sale.

“My team and I are confident that Krispy Kreme [is] the ideal partner to support Insomnia through our next phase of growth. We are thrilled to be joining the Krispy Kreme family,”​ added Seth Berkowitz.

The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of calendar 2018. 

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