Dunkin’ Launches New Handcrafted Espresso Beverages

After unveiling its new rebranding designed to emphasize its beverage-focused strategy, Dunkin’ (formerly Dunkin’ Donuts) has revealed one of the most significant product initiatives in the brand’s recent history, with the goal of offering an entirely new espresso experience for customers in its United States’ restaurants by the holiday season.

Dunkin’ originally launched espresso in its stores in 2003. With 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. “Given the growing importance of this category and Dunkin’s strong coffee credentials, we and our franchisees knew we had an opportunity to launch a totally new espresso experience supported by new equipment, a new espresso recipe and extensive employee training,” says Justin Drake, senior manager of public relations, Dunkin’ Brands. “Dunkin’s new espresso will deliver a rich, smooth, balanced, flavour and an intense, bold taste that meets the stronger and more robust profile preferred by today’s espresso customers, in particular younger espresso drinkers.”

Drake notes that Dunkin’ is using the same espresso beans that it has been sourcing but that the new equipment dramatically improves espresso bean extraction. And, he adds, “100% of our espresso beans are Rainforest Alliance certified.”

Dunkin’ franchisees have the option to choose from two state-of-the-art espresso machines that have built-in grinders to grind the espresso beans fresh for each beverage. “Both machines provide an exceptional espresso beverage, can achieve our new espresso recipe, and allow for future beverage development,” says Drake. “One machine has a slightly higher output and a larger footprint, while the other machine can work for those locations with smaller footprints.” In preparation for the launch, Dunkin’ restaurant employees throughout the country have received extensive training and espresso certification on the new equipment and beverage builds.

Dunkin’ will support the espresso launch with a comprehensive marketing campaign with even the Dunkin’ espresso cups undergoing a redesign. The new espresso cups are bright orange and feature an exclamation point “!”, a symbol that the espresso beverages being served are new and bold.

Earlier this year, Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Brands announced plans to invest approximately USD $100 million into the Dunkin’ US business, more than half of which is committed to restaurant equipment that will enable the company to accelerate its beverage-led strategy, including espresso. With Dunkin’ franchisees also making a substantial investment in the initiative, the brand is focused on growing its share of the hot and iced espresso category.

According to Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer, Dunkin’ US, “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. Our superior lineup of lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos and macchiatos will delight current customers and surprise new ones.”

Dunkin’ plans to have the new espresso offering available in all participating stores nationally by the holiday season. Prices for the new espresso beverages will vary location to location as franchisees set their own prices.

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