Krispy Kreme heats up pumpkin spice wars with offer to burn competition

Krispy Kreme is turning up the heat on the pumpkin spice wars, rolling out fall doughnuts as well as an offer that could burn competitors like Starbucks and Dunkin'.

Starting Tuesday, Krispy Kreme is serving up the returning “Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed” doughnut and a new “Pumpkin Spice Original Filled" doughnut through Sept. 8.

But the North Carolina-based doughnut empire is also hoping to take a bigger bite out of the competition with a tempting offer for customers. Krispy Kreme says it will give customers a free doughnut if they trade in "disappointing" pumpkin spice products purchased elsewhere. And it's not just coffee and doughnuts. Whether it's pumpkin spice hummus or dog food, Krispy Kreme is only offering the deal for one week.

“Bad pumpkin spice products shouldn’t happen to good people.”

- Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme Chief Marketing Officer  

The move comes weeks after Dunkin’ released its “autumn array”; Dunkin’ has capitalized on the passion for pumpkin spice, citing a spike in annual sales of 15.5 percent in 2018.

Pumpkin spice lattes first jolted the coffee industry in the fall of 2003 when Starbucks unveiled the sweet and spicy treat.