Krispy Kreme, which announced plans this week to give a free donut to everyone who gets a free COVID-19 shot, is defending itself against some of the naysayers who think the freebie could have unintended consequences.
The donut chain’s well-meaning (and literally sweet) incentive sparked some backlash on social media, with everyone from doctors to comedians pointing out that obesity — which is rampant in the U.S.— is also a prime risk category for the coronavirus. Additionally, there’s a history of big brands offering generous specials that end up becoming costly mistakes.
Krispy Kreme is offering free donuts to anyone who’s been vaccinated. Which is great news for anyone who got the shot but still has a death wish.
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) March 23, 2021
However, CEO Mike Tattersfield defended his company’s intentions in an interview with Yahoo Finance Live on Friday. “We’re a sweet treat company, [and] if folks don’t want to visit a donut shop, they don’t have to.”
Rebutting the growing critique, Tattersfield added that if “folks that want to get a vaccine, if they decide to combine a Krispy Kreme pickup [for] a doughnut, they can. That’s how we look at it…. generosity.”
Last March, Krispy Kreme launched a similar initiative in response to the pandemic. It allowed all healthcare workers to receive a free dozen of its original glazed donut. Tattersfield says the initiatives have been well received by the community.