“Our goal is to transform Dunkin' into a beverage-led, on-the-go brand.”

Just call them Dunkin’: DD drops the ‘donuts’ and focuses on drinks

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Dunkin' will continue focusing on menu innovation, including more in-store and RTD beverages launches.
Dunkin' will continue focusing on menu innovation, including more in-store and RTD beverages launches.

Related tags Dunkin' donuts Coffee Beer Doughnut

In a week of major changes, Dunkin’ Donuts confirmed it’s dropping the ‘Donuts’ from its name, launches its first canned RTD beverage and announces a limited edition coffee beer in collaboration with Harpoon Brewery.

Dunkin’ Donuts is officially Dunkin’: after rumors of the name change swirled for months and the name change has been test-run at a few select stores, the popular US coffee and donut chain has confirmed the switch. It’s among several announcements Dunkin’ has made over the last week.

Keeping the donuts in Dunkin’

The updated logo, branding and signage will begin rolling out across the country in January 2019, though Dunkin’ acknowledged that signs are more costly to change and will happen gradually with store remodels. Dunkin’ is maintaining its iconic font and colors through the switch, as well as the tagline ‘America runs on Dunkin’.’

CMO Tony Weisman said the change “speaks to the breadth of our product offerings … while donuts may no longer appear in our logo, we remain committed to serving our signature donuts and will continue to offer new and seasonal varieties to delight donut lovers everywhere.”

The company called the simplified named just “one part of Dunkin’s multi-faceted blueprint for growth, a plan designed to transform the company.”

It cited recent initiatives like a simpler menu, more emphasis on nitro and cold brew coffee and new products like Donut Fries as integral to the brand’s facelift.

Shot in the Dark Lifestyle Image

Competing in the coffee race

Dunkin’ has also announced the launch of its first canned ready-to-drink beverage: Shot in the Dark coffee espresso blend. Dunkin’ has sold RTD coffees and teas for several years in plastic bottles, but the move toward cans indicates a desire to keep up in the coffee space.

Large competitors like Starbucks and most smaller coffee startups now sell canned coffee, particularly cold brews, espressos and latte options. Shot in the Dark comes in slim, 8.1 oz cans in Mocha, Caramel and Vanilla.

“Our goal is to transform Dunkin' into a beverage-led, on-the-go brand,”​ Dunkin’ told BeverageDaily. It revealed that it will continue focusing on menu innovation, including more in-store and RTD beverages launches.

Shot in the Dark has debuted at select retailers and will continue rolling out to grocery and convenience stores throughout 2019.

Brian Gilbert, Dunkin’ VP of retail business development at Dunkin’, said “For the coffee-loving consumers who want something a little bolder than a traditional cup of coffee, but not as strong as a shot of espresso, our Shot in the Dark creates an exciting and energizing new option.”

dunkin beer

Dunkin’ from AM to PM

Dunkin’ also revealed the limited edition launch of its first-ever beer in collaboration with Harpoon Brewery. The Harpoon Dunkin’ Coffee Porter will be available in six-packs and on draft at select retail locations in the eastern US this fall.

Both Harpoon and Dunkin’ are New England-based beverage favorites. Harpoon developed the beer as a tribute to Dunkin’ coffee for powering them through their workdays. The beer’s taste is described as malty with aromas of dark chocolate and espresso.

Dan Kenary, CEO and co-founder of Harpoon Brewery, said “Dunkin’ has been there for us since the early days when getting the brewery up and running required a lot of beer, and even more coffee. We couldn’t think of a better way to pay tribute to the company that’s helped fuel our success than to create something special for our fans by combining the taste of their favorite morning brew with one of ours.”

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