The Hustle

Vaccine freebies may not be incentives (but people like them)

Free goodies related to vaccines may not increase the actual vaccine rate… but help stores drive traffic.


June 4, 2021

Since announcing it would give free donuts to any adult with a vaccination card, Krispy Kreme has given away 1.5m fried treats.

Several other companies and even governments have followed suit:

But do these incentives work?

Most likely… no. Health data doesn’t reflect much of a surge in vaccination rates, per ABC News. And health experts who spoke with the news outlet don’t think the incentives alone would motivate vaccine holdouts.

But a poll from data intelligence company Morning Consult found that while they might not increase vaccination, incentives don’t hurt a business’ brand:

Plus, freebies often encourage customers to buy other stuff.

Comic book shops have seen a rise in sales on Free Comic Book Day. And despite giving away 4.5m free Slurpees on July 11, 2011, 7-Eleven saw a 38% increase in Slurpee sales that day.

In the mood for a donut now? Krispy Kreme will keep at it all year long.

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