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Foodservice

Dunkin': Time to Drop the 'Donuts'

New name is part of effort to reposition the brand as a beverage specialist that sells doughnuts

CANTON, Mass. -- A quick-service icon is positioning itself to cut into retailers' $11.9 billion beverage market. Dunkin’ Donuts will take a major step in its repositioning by phasing out “Donuts” from its name starting in January, parent company Dunkin’ Brands has announced.

The rebranding is intended to underscore Dunkin’s makeover into a quick-service coffee brand that sells doughnuts, rather than the other way around, the company said.

The chain will adopt the name change in phases, starting with packaging, advertisements and online branding. New restaurants will sport the shortened name, and existing restaurants will switch signage as they convert to Dunkin’s new format, which puts an emphasis on beverages and takeout.

Management, however, said that doughnuts will remain a major portion of the concept’s sales mix and inventory.

All branding will retain Dunkin’s signature pink and orange color scheme as a reference to the brand’s long history, which extends back to the 1950s.

“Our new branding is one of many things we are doing as part of our blueprint for growth to modernize the Dunkin’ experience for our customers,” Dunkin’ USA President and Dunkin’ Brands CEO Dave Hoffmann said.

The company has yet to reveal the cost of the rebranding.

Dunkin’ has been experimenting with the name change for nearly a year, starting with a restaurant in the Boston area that was updated with a new design that showcased coffee and other beverages as much as it did doughnuts. Among its signature features is a cold-coffee tap, identical to the multihead beer taps of bars, that quickly dispense the foundations for Dunkin’ specialty drinks.

The new design also incorporates a drive-thru lane reserved for picking up orders that were ordered and paid for via Dunkin’s app.

 

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