With the rise and plateau of the Fast Casual sector, consumer preferences changing, millennials consuming all the avocado toast, and all the other craziness of 2017 (See @RealDonaldTrump for Details), many restaurant concepts are making executive level shifts and reconfiguring their business models.
Dunkin Brands is no different. Dunkin’ Donuts opened their first shop in Quincey, Massachusetts in 1950 and since has grown to 12,300 locations worldwide with over 8,500 locations here in the United States. Recently, Dunkin’ Donuts announced they were considering a rebranding initiative to remove the…donuts. Don’t grab the tissues. The donuts are not going anywhere for now, but soon the brand may be known simply as Dunkin’. They are expected to make a final decision sometime next year after rolling out a few test stores, according to CNN Money. If they go through with it, it would mean removing the word “Donuts” from thousands of stores including signage and marketing materials. Dunkin’ Brands, with the pastry market already cornered, is looking to capitalize on the consumer preferences leaning heavy on the beverages.
That is why they are also shaking things up with their doughnut inventory. According to Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN), the Dunkin’ brand is “getting its doughnut mojo back”. Their plan is to reduce the variety of doughnuts offered, while simultaneously introducing more “artisanal” options that have proven success with consumer preferences in the recent past. They plan to land at around 18 different doughnut options including a maple doughnut with bacon bits on top; maybe taking a page out of Voodoo Doughnuts’ recipe book out in Portland, OR.
In addition to shrinking their doughnut variety, Dunkin’ will look to expand their beverage variety experimenting with a number of new beverage options. Their hope is to rebrand and capture more of the beverage heavy consumers from their immediate competitors. All in all, it is a lot of major change happening fast. Some say they are putting the “nuts” in Donuts, but if profits jump and it appears they are making more money by capturing more market share from their competitors, they may be simply replacing one kind of dough for another ($$$).