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Krispy Kreme DNUT-Q said its donuts would be available across McDonald’s MCD-N U.S. restaurants by the end of 2026 as the companies expand a pilot project, sending its shares surging 23 per cent on Tuesday.

The companies were testing the program in 160 McDonald’s restaurants in the Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky areas as part of the partnership that began in October 2022.

The phased roll-out of the program will begin in the second half of 2024, the companies said.

Krispy Kreme said it would not supply its donuts to any other quick service restaurant in the U.S. through Dec. 31, 2026, as part of the agreement.

The company has been aiming to open its outlets in at least 75,000 points of access such as quick-service restaurants and grocery stores around the world through a hub-and-spoke model.

Krispy Kreme said in February that it ended 2023 with 2,300 more points of access than 2022.

The company’s shares were at an eight-month high, and were headed for their highest percentage rise ever, at current levels.

McDonald’s has about 14,000 stores in the U.S., and said in December that it planned to open about 10,000 restaurants globally by 2027.

The company has struggled with weak overseas demand at its restaurants as a result of boycott campaigns against the burger giant in some international markets related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, as well as tough macro economic conditions in China.

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