Dunkin’ Donuts cold-brew coffee is hot.
Sales since the beverage’s nationwide introduction at the start of the month have been “very strong,” and parent company Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. is now planning to continue the product and its advertising through the end of year, said Chris Fuqua, a marketing executive for the doughnut chain. The ads originally were supposed to wind down in September as the product was phased out, he said.
“The early numbers on the launch are very strong,” Fuqua said in an interview, while declining to give specific figures. “I have a hard time believing cold brew is going to go away anytime soon.”
Dunkin’ Donuts is facing slowing same-store sales growth and a tough U.S. restaurant industry, which has struggled in the past quarter amid macroeconomic uncertainty. The chain, however, may have found a bright spot with cold brew, which is helping to pull in younger customers, said Fuqua, who serves as senior vice president of brand marketing and global consumer insights for Dunkin’ Donuts. And consumers will likely see more varieties of cold-brewed drinks coming soon.
“I see us doing flavors and doing other ways of making coffee,” he said. “This is a way Dunkin’ Donuts is going to grow.”
Dunkin’ Brands shares lost 1.9 percent in the 12 months through Tuesday’s close. That trails the 11 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.