Krispy Kreme has met mixed reaction on social media to what they describe as an act of "sweet support" for those who get vaccinated against the coronavirus in the United States. After the restaurant offered a free doughnut in exchange for viewing a vaccination certificate, netizens engaged in heated debate on whether this is an acceptable motivation or fueling obesity problems.
"We'd like to show sweet support to those who have received the COVID-19 Vaccine. Starting today, bring your Vaccine Card to a Krispy Kreme shop and get 1 FREE Original Glazed doughnut. No chance to get your Vaccine? This will run thru end of 2021", Krispy Kreme tweeted on Monday, noting that the exchange is only available in the US.
The teaser met different reactions that quickly evolved into a discussion of Krispy Kreme allegedly encouraging unhealthy eating or even being sponsored by the pharma industry to promote vaccines.
Many people saw the gesture of "sweet support" amid the coronavirus pandemic as a move to push forward the "obesity epidemic" in the US. As others actively defended the offer, Krispy Kreme's name propelled to Twitter trends.
Krispy Kreme offering free doughnuts for getting vaccinated is like Marlboro offering free cigarettes for getting a flu shot. We have an obesity epidemic in this country that is killing us. Corporations that ride the COVID-19 vaccine as a marketing ploy for junk food is terrible.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 22, 2021
As much as I ❤️ Krispy Kreme, I think that this is completely unacceptable. What business do you have in people's medical records? I admit it's a great marketing tactic in today's time, but I wholly disagree with this on a moral level.— ⭐️ troy (@urnewboytroy) March 22, 2021
Covid and bad eating habits are directly linked. 78% of COVID patients who had to be hospitalized are overweight and/or obese. How about give out a free coffee instead of a doughnut, Krispy Kreme?— Emily Miller (@emilymiller) March 22, 2021
Slamming Krispy Kreme situational marketing, some argued that, instead of COVID, those who vaccinated and received a free doughnut, could get a diabetes.
Show your vaccine card and get your first free dose to diabetes...— robert tyler (@rtylerFL) March 22, 2021
Vaccinated from Covid, but here’s some diabetes.— Throw Up & Theology (@revlaurelj) March 22, 2021
Other questions emerged about the offer.
If you only have 1 of the 2 shots so far do you get half a donut?— Jenna Ezarik (@jennaezarik) March 22, 2021
Not everyone condemned the offer, however, as many noted that a single doughnut would be unlikely to cause either obesity or diabetes. Others suggested that the offer only served to anger those who do not understand the science of vaccines.
I see people on this website actually getting mad at Krispy Kreme for offering free donuts, like people have no agency and responsibility in their own decisions. Twitter is so dumb.— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) March 22, 2021
If a free glazed donut can serve as the extra incentive for someone to get their vaccine and save lives, that's really good, actually. Don't overthink this. Krispy Kreme is doing a good thing.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 22, 2021
in 2 years Tom Hanks is gonna win an Oscar for playing the guy at Krispy Kreme whose idea to give out a free donut every day for a year to anyone getting vaccinated ultimately saved our nation, isn't he?— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) March 22, 2021
Why are people mad? It's one doughnut— Bellatrix (@satanfeline) March 22, 2021
Literally ONE doughnut
Five minutes and it's gone, if even that
What's the problem?
Antivaxxers mad lol
While the United States remains the nation worst hit by the raging coronavirus pandemic, three vaccines have been approved for emergency use in the country: Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, over 100 million coronavirus vaccines have been administered across the US as of 12 March.