business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe reports that in New England market share, Starbucks is a distant second to Dunkin’ Donuts…and about to face off against new competition as Krispy Kreme opens its first Boston store and Wendy’s acquires 48 Bess Eaton Coffee and Bake Shops.

Starbucks has 203 stores and Dunkin’ Donuts has 1,644 units in New England.

"We're still in the early stages of growth in New England," Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz tells the paper. "But we're growing, and we're growing very strongly."

However, the problem in New England for Starbucks seems to be that the ubiquitous chain is Dunkin’ Donuts – which has ratcheted up the competition by getting into the cappuccino and latte business.

Of course, Starbucks is fighting back by experimenting with a hot breakfast sandwich business.

Which means that the real winner is the consumer.
KC's View:
Most people are going to have clear preferences between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, and there’s probably not much that either company can do to shake those preconceptions. Some people will prefer Dunkin’ coffee, others Starbucks.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

We may be unusual, but we happen to like both – and see them as vastly different experiences. There’s nothing better in the morning than several large cups of black Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. And in the afternoon, a venti skim latte is incomparable.

We won’t even go into the doughnuts…because we’re trying to avoid those at the moment.