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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Canadian doughnut icon Tim Hortons, faced with the probability that in about seven years it will have completely saturated the Canadian market with franchises, is looking to the US for future growth – and is targeting Dunkin’ Donuts home market, New England, as one of its priorities.

That may take some work. As the Journal notes, “Last year, the Boston area counted at least 1,210 doughnut shops, or one for every 5,143 residents -- five times the national average, according to NPD Group, a Port Washington, N.Y., marketing information company. Many of those shops are Dunkin' Donuts, a unit of Dunkin' Brands Inc. Among U.S. cities, only Providence, R.I., Boston's smaller neighbor, has more doughnut shops per capita, one for every 4,226 people.”

The Tim Hortons stores in New England tend to do less business-per-store than their Canadian brethren, and they find themselves not just competing with Dunkin’ Donuts, but also with Starbucks and McDonald’s in the hotly contested breakfast day part. But Tim Hortons is supporting its US franchisees with a television ad campaign, is encouraging lots of community involvement, and seems unwilling to concede anything to the competition.
KC's View:
Wish we still ate doughnuts. It’d certainly be worth a taste test.

Based on our memory of our last Canadian visit, we’d have to say that we liked Tim Hortons doughnuts, but were less than enthralled with the coffee. And since coffee seems to be the weapon with which this battle will be won or lost by all concerned, we’re not entirely convinced that Hortons is a long-haul survivor.