Coffee to be core of Dunkin’ repositioning

Global fast-food chain Dunkin’ plans to reposition itself as a coffee chain – but it will still sell fresh donuts.

Just a month after Dunkin’ Donuts unveiled rebranding, including dropping ‘Donuts’ from its name, the company has announced a strategy to put quality coffee at the core of its menu

Dunkin’ has previously revealed a US$100 million budget to revive its market position in its core US home market. Now it says half of that investment will be spent on espresso machines and other restaurant equipment enabling it to accelerate its beverage-led strategy. The company says Dunkin’ franchisees are also making a substantial investment in the initiative, which is focused on growing its market share of the hot and iced espresso category.

“Espresso is one of the fastest-growing coffee categories, particularly among younger consumers, and with our coffee credentials we believe we have a tremendous opportunity to improve our awareness and credibility among espresso drinkers,” said Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer at Dunkin’ US.

The company is promising “an entirely new espresso experience for customers” in its US restaurants by the coming holiday season, featuring new state-of-the-art espresso equipment, a new espresso recipe, extensive restaurant training and new espresso cups.  Dunkin’ will serve “handcrafted hot and iced espresso beverages” – including lattes and cappuccinos – “featuring a rich, smooth, balanced taste that meets the profile preferred by espresso customers, and in particular younger espresso drinkers,” the company said in a statement.

Dunkin’ will support the launch with a comprehensive marketing campaign. New espresso cups are bright orange and feature an exclamation point, a symbol the company says positions the espresso beverages as bold, new and exciting.

“Relaunching espresso in our restaurants nationwide has been a tremendous undertaking, from installation of the new espresso machines, to the creation of the new, bolder taste profile, to the extensive employee training,” said Dunkin’ US COO Scott Murphy. “This is a transformative initiative, and it would never have happened without the total alignment and support of our franchisees.”

All espresso beverages served at Dunkin’ US restaurants will continue to be made with 100-per-cent espresso beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms.

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