Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Unit Of Krispy Kreme Files for Chapter 11

Another Hole!!!

We Have been watching this company and reporting the progress how a good company with greed and mismanagement can go downhill

A six-store subsidiary of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. that includes the store on Route 70 in Brick has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors, the latest in a series of blows to the troubled company.

Freedom Rings LLC, which had been 70 percent, owned by Krispy Kreme, became fully owned by the corporation before the bankruptcy filing, spokeswoman Laura Smith said Monday. Three of the other five stores are in or near Philadelphia; the other two are in Delaware."

The Philadelphia area stores were not performing well financially," Smith said. "Many other stores around the country are performing well financially," he said, noting that there are approximately 360 Krispy Kreme locations.

Smith said the six stores remain open, and she declined to speculate if any would be closed as part of the reorganization. The Brick store at Route 70 and Chambers Bridge Road, the only franchise in Monmouth and Ocean counties, opened in July 2003.

The petition seeking Chapter 11 protection from creditors was filed Sunday in Delaware. Freedom Rings owes Krispy Kreme $24.1 million, excluding lease obligations, the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based doughnut maker said. Freedom Rings said it had sales of $22.7 million in fiscal 2005 and 220 employees. The subsidiary's petition for Chapter 11 protection said it owes all creditors less than $50 million.

A lawsuit filed earlier this month by two partners in Los Angeles-based Great Circle Family Foods LLC claimed Krispy Kreme was trying to force their company, which has 32 stores, into bankruptcy. The largest Krispy Kreme franchisee also claimed company executives misappropriated marketing money and billed for phony charges.

The company said it would "vigorously" defend itself against the charges.The company's stock, which traded for $105 in November 2000 before a pair of two-for-one stock splits, fell 26 cents, or 5.4 percent, to close at $4.60 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares have traded in a range of $4.05 to $12.95 over the past 52 weeks.


Saturday, October 15, 2005


Ten Health Benefits of Coffee

It may be time to take coffee off the list of life's guilty pleasures. New studies indicate that moderate coffee drinkers can not only enjoy their morning java jolt, but they may also get significant health benefits in the process.

This is good news for the millions of people who cannot seem to get through the day without an infusion of caffeine. Coffee is one of the few drinks that is universal. From cafes in Paris to truck stops in Japan to pubs in New South Wales, whether served as a hot, black shot of espresso, diluted with milk and sugar, or rendered virtually unrecognizable in a Starbucks' Caramel Macchiato, more than $70 billion worth of coffee is sold every year, according to the London-based International Coffee Organization. In the U.S. alone--which is the world's largest coffee consumer--the National Coffee Association of U.S.A. (NCA) estimates that retail sales alone are $19.2 billion.
Despite earlier beliefs that coffee has negative health effects, it is becoming increasingly clear that the opposite is in fact the case. Coffee consumption is now being linked to the lowered occurrence of cases of certain cancers and chronic diseases. One study, conducted by the Harvard University School of Public Health, shows that the risk for developing Type II diabetes is lower among regular coffee drinkers. There are even studies that link coffee to added endurance during physical workouts.

"The problem is that there is a preconceived notion that coffee is bad. It arrived relatively early when the studies weren't at the level of current studies," says Peter R. Martin, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. "There's no compelling evidence that shows it's harmful, and everyday there's more evidence that shows coffee is beneficial."

But that isn't an excuse for a person to increase their coffee intake. It means that a moderate daily dose could very well be justified, as long as one keeps in mind that too much coffee can make a person jittery and uncomfortable.

According to the NCA, 80% of Americans drink coffee, and more than half of the population drinks it every day. It's the popularity of coffee that makes it the main source of antioxidants for Americans.

"Plants produce a lot of antioxidants. These compounds prevent the sun from causing free-radical damage to the plants," says Professor Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. "That's why they may be good for the human body. I think antioxidants are the actual major causes of decreases in diseases. We consume fats and sugars that produce free radicals, and vitamins can't fight them alone. They need antioxidants."

Vinson and his team studied the content of antioxidants in various foods, like vegetables, fruits, tea and cocoa. They eventually decided to look at coffee as well. When they did, they found that both regular and decaffeinated coffee contain significant amounts of antioxidants, though Vinson does note that fruits and vegetables are more nutritious sources.

What kind of health benefits can people expect to receive from drinking coffee? According to Martin, "Predominantly in epidemiologic studies, there have been associations between coffee consumption and lowered rates of certain illnesses, like suicide, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, Type II diabetes, colon cancer and heart disease." (Epidemiologic studies are often historical trials that are not considered definitive by clinicians.)

While it doesn't matter what type of roast a person drinks--the benefits come from both Arabica or Robusta beans--Dr. Ernesto Illy, honorary chairman of espresso giant illycaffe S.p.A, whose coffee is sold in over 80 countries, says quality is what makes drinking coffee so pleasurable.

Dr. Illy has been drinking coffee all of his life and, at the age of 80, he's healthy and drinks four cups per day. His family-owned, Trieste-based company uses only the more expensive Arabica bean, combining quality and science to create what he calls a perfect cup of coffee. To him, aroma and taste is the key to enjoyment.

While more studies are being conducted to further explore coffee's effects, plenty of benefits are already known. Now if only the same could be said of martinis...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fast-food restaurants spruce up coffee

Facing upscale coffee heat not just from Starbucks but from the likes of Dunkin' Donuts, 7-Eleven and ExxonMobil stores, fast-food giants are brewing up fancier java to compete.

Today, Burger King will officially launch its BK Joe — brewed 100% from premium arabica beans. Sold in decaf, regular and "turbo strength" (extra caffeine), the coffee will be in all of Burger King's more than 7,000 U.S. stores by the end of November.
BK Joe is aimed at giving the chain more profit from the nation's coffee craze. Eighty percent of Americans drink coffee — 53% every day vs. 49% in 2004 — reports the National Coffee Association.

Adding up on java

Projections for coffee and specialty drinks sold in fast-food restaurants:
2005 sales (in billions)
Annual growth rates, 2006-09
Hot coffee $7 - 7%
Lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and espressos $4 - 15%Lo
Total $11 - 10.5%
Source: Technomic

Joining Burger King with better brews to go after those drinkers:

•McDonald's tested a premium roast and plans a national rollout soon.
•Chick-fil-A added a Cafe Blends line this summer.
•Subway is trying gourmet java in some stores to lure morning traffic.

Beverages are important in the restaurant business as a typically low-maintenance, high-profit item.

"Depending on how you price it, you can make 90% margins-plus," says Joe Pawlak, a consultant at industry tracker Technomic.

Quick-serve hot coffee sales in the USA this year are expected to be $11 billon, with about half at coffee shops such as Starbucks, Technomic says. Regular-coffee dollar sales are expected to grow 7% annually for the next three years, while specialty drinks — lattes and cappuccinos — are pegged to grow 15% annually.
But it's not Starbucks' customers that Burger King is trying to win. It is looking, with BK Joe, to keep its coffee-loving customers from being lured away by the improved quick cups of joe being rolled out by fast-food rivals, as well as convenience stores and gas stations.

"Our customer isn't likely to wait in line at a Starbucks or coffeehouse," says Burger King chief concept officer Denny Marie Post. "They're going elsewhere for a consistent cup of coffee, (such as) gas stations and convenience stores."

Last October, ExxonMobil launched its Bengal Traders coffee line. The gourmet blends are available in more than 1,200 Tiger Mart stations. While ExxonMobil would not disclose sales, "We're encouraged by our first year," says Russ Ritenour, manager for dispensed beverages.

Even as Burger King ups its coffee offerings, the competition continues to improve brews, too.

On Monday, 7-Eleven will announce the addition of a World Roasts gourmet line to its already upgraded selections.