Dunkin’ Donuts to Take On Starbucks With Premium Teas This Year

Dunkin' Donuts Premium Teas
Dunkin' Donuts five new varieties of tea. Source: Dunkin' Brands Group via Bloomberg

Dunkin’ Donuts, known for gooey breakfast treats and no-frills coffee, is taking a stab at a more refined business: premium tea.

Starting in October, the chain will test five new varieties of tea in hundreds of Chicago locations, said Chris Fuqua, vice president of marketing. The blends include black, hibiscus, chamomile, mint and one called “harmony leaf.”

“The tea market is one that’s evolving relatively quickly,” Fuqua said. “It’s one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.”

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., the doughnut chain’s parent company, is trying to attract higher-end consumers and compete better with Starbucks Corp., which sells Teavana brand tea. Starbucks has said the tea category is worth $100 billion globally and is its fastest-growing product segment.

Currently, Dunkin’ sells regular, decaf and green tea. The premium teas, sold in triangle-shaped sachets, may eventually replace this line, Fuqua said.

“Pending test results in Chicago, we think this is something that we’ll want to go broader with,” he said.

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