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CNBC reports that Krispy Kreme, which is owned by JAB (which also owns Keurig Dr Pepper, Peet's Coffee & Tea and Panera Bread), plans to become a majority shareholder in Insomnia Cookies. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

Insomnia Cookies, which has 135 locations and is valued at less than $500 million, has become a cult favorite by locating may of its stores near college campuses and being willing to deliver to students until 3 am. It also sells brownies and, of course, cold milk.

The CNBC story suggests that “buying Insomnia Cookies would help Krispy Kreme reach more diners than its doughnut loyalists, as well as provide new delivery infrastructure. There also could be opportunities to bundle the two products together, for example selling a day-old doughnut at a discount alongside an Insomnia Cookie.”
KC's View:
When my daughter was going to school at Quinnipiac University, one of the advantages was that her campus was just a few miles from Yale … and Yale had an Insomnia Cookies. It was always a good day when Ali decided to stop by and bring us cookies.

This is a great example of a company figuring out a niche that, when you think about it in retrospect, seems completely obvious. I wonder how many retailers are operating in college markets and have never thought to themselves that there are a lot of customers out there who might like to have cookies delivered at ungodly hours. Such a move wouldn’t just be about selling cookies … it would be about creating relationships, and investing in lifetime customer value instead of merely transactions.