Sunday, June 11, 2006

Coffee rivals give Starbucks a wake up call

The Sunday Times, Business, p. 3

By Dominic Rushe in New York

Dunkin' Donuts and Burger King are battling for a bigger slice of an $8.4bn market. LAST YEAR Dunkin’ Donuts paid dozens of loyal customers $100 (£54) a week to buy their coffee at Starbucks instead. At the same time the company paid Starbucks’ customers to make the opposite switch.
Dunkin’s coffee has been voted the best in America. It is a favourite of cops and construction workers. Starbucks, with its vanilla soy lattes and laptop-toting customers is the anti-Dunkin’.
By the end of the experiment the two groups were so polarised that researchers dubbed them “tribes”. And each tribe loathed the things the other loved. Starbucks was pretentious, said Dunkin’ fans. Dunkin’ was austere and unoriginal, said the Starbuckians.


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