Dunkin' Brands is a leading quick-service restaurant group, with around 21,000 franchised outlets worldwide. There are stores in almost 60 countries, but the biggest markets by far are the US, South Korea, Japan and the Middle East. There are only a handful of outlets elsewhere. It operates two branded chains. Specialising in coffee and donuts, as well as other snacks, Dunkin' - or Dunkin' Donuts as it was until a 2018 rebrand - operates 13,140 stores worldwide. Combined system sales in 2019 were just over $10.0bn, of which $9.2bn was in the US, where it is now the #8 foodservice chain overall, and #2 in the beverage & snacks segment behind Starbucks. In 2020 it was ranked by Entrepreneur magazine as the #1 franchise brand in North America for value, growth and franchisee support, and has been ranked for more than a decade by Brand Keys as the #1 out-of-home coffee brand for customer loyalty. It followed its main US rival into packed retail coffee in the 2000s, in a modestly successful partnership with what is now JM Smucker and it also markets single-serve capsules for use in Keurig home coffeemakers. Baskin-Robbins is the world's largest ice cream franchise with 8,200 outlets in 49 countries, and system sales of $2.1bn, more than 70% of which came from outside the US. A third chain, sandwich store Togo's, was sold in 2007. All outlets are operated by franchisees, who pay royalties and license fees for use of the brands. In return, Dunkin oversees product development and marketing. Company revenues were $1.4bn in 2019, with net income of $242m. David Hoffman is group CEO. In 2020, Dunkin' accepted an offer to join the fast-expanding Inspire Brands restaurant group for a total of $11.3bn including debt. The Dunkin' business was assembled over several years by British spirits and wine group Allied Domecq. Baskin-Robbins, founded in California in 1946 by brothers-in-law Burt Baskins and Irv Robbins, was acquired in 1973 by J Lyons, one of Allied's forerunners. It went on to acquire Dunkin' Donuts - founded in Boston in 1946 by William Rosenberg - in 1990. Following the break-up of Allied in 2005, Dunkin' Brands was acquired by private equity investors, who floated the business in 2011.
Capsule checked 23rd June 2020
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Marketer Moves 22nd Jun 2021: New CMO at Dunkin'. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Nov 2020: As looked likely last week, Dunkin' Brands agreed to be acquired by Inspire Brands, the fast-expanding parent to a host of different quick-serve chains including Arby's and Sonic Drive-Ins. Price was $8.8bn, a premium of 20% to Dunkin's undisturbed stock price. Including Dunkin's debt, the final cost is $11.3bn. The deal will lift Inspire's combined system sales to around $27bn, making it the #2 restaurant operator in the US after McDonald's. Add in the sales of Carl's Kr, Hardee's and other chains already owned by Inspire's parent Roark Capital and total combined sales come close to matching the Golden Arches operator.
Adbrands Social Media 11th Feb 2019: "Fuel Your Destiny". Our favourite ad by far from last night's Grammys was this offbeat spot from BBDO New York for Dunkin' - just Dunkin' now; they still sell Donuts but not above the door! It's quite a change from previous ads from the coffeeshop chain, and all the better for that. Great concept, great script and a really impressive collection of unusual-looking character actors. Don't be offended but even in these PC times, the technical term for them is still "uglies", but we think they're all wonderful. A special shout-out for the crazed captain and that "prototypes" guy.
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Sep 2018: Dunkin's Donuts are no more, at least above the door. The coffee and snacks chain is rebranding as plain Dunkin'. Customers need not fear a change of menu. "Although the word 'donuts' will no longer appear in the logo or branding, donuts will remain a significant focus for the brand," said the company. Social media backlash was considerable, nonetheless, with several commenters asking "So what exactly are we 'Dunkin', if not Donuts?"
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