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/ Source: TODAY
By Aly Walansky

Krispy Kreme has existed for over 80 years and is known for its relatively streamlined menu of doughnuts and coffee.

While there have been some unique, limited-edition offerings — like the heart-shaped Oreo or chocolate-glazed ring honoring 2017's solar eclipse — now, the chain is expanding its sweet spread beyond fried pastries to include milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches and more customizable creations.

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme has just opened the first of a new type of store in Concord, North Carolina, which is located close to its Global Product and Innovation Center in Charlotte.

“This new shop experience honors the heritage of Krispy Kreme while at the same time acknowledging and addressing the rising expectations of our customers,” Andy Skehan, Krispy Kreme's president, said in a statement. “From our time-tested process of producing the world’s most loved doughnuts to our new Original Glazed Doughnut infused ice cream, we’re very excited for what the future holds.”

The new shop is the first in a plan that includes 450 new shops, including 45 new shops in the U.S. expected to open within the next year. The brand is also remodeling all 350 U.S. stores that are currently open.

The expanded store menu will include items like Scoop sandwiches (ice cream sandwiches with doughnuts instead of cookies), which will be available with a variety of topping options like vanilla and chocolate sprinkles, cookie crumbles, coconut, caramel and even a fruity, crunchy cereal.

There will also be hand-spun milkshakes, all made with a doughnut-infused ice cream base.

For doughnut traditionalists, each shop will also have a new station where people can create totally customized doughnuts. Options will include up to five different glazes, 10 toppings and five unique drizzle flavors.

The Concord location is also offering online ordering and delivery, plus an expanded drive-thru window with two lanes.

The doughnut brand is also making a big splash in New York City next year when Krispy Kreme's new Times Square Flagship store is scheduled to open in early 2020. It will be open 24 hours a day to fulfill any insatiable late-night carb carvings. This location will also have unique features like a “doughnut theater experience,” where visitors can watch the preparation process from start to finish via theater-like stadium seating.

A representative for Krispy Kreme told TODAY via email that the menu for the new Times Square store "is still taking shape," and also noted that "menu and shop experience features will vary by shop location."

Krispy Kreme's chief rival Dunkin' has been making strides to grow with the times in recent years, too, from its controversial name change to introducing high-protein breakfast bowls. Are these new offerings signaling that a doughnut war about to be waged? If that just means more sweet stuff, looks like everyone will be a winner.