RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live

Split country: Dunkin' vs. Starbucks

  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

The Globe mapped all the Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts in the United States — more than 11,100 Starbucks and 7,200 Dunkins — and asked three business analysts to tell us what the maps say about the competition between Starbucks and Dunkins. The three are: David Tarantino with Robert W. Baird & Co., a wealth management company, Chris Christopher, the director of consumer markets for IHS Global Insights, which does economic and financial analysis, and Darren Tristano, of Technomic Inc., a food industry market research firm. | Check out our comprehensive coffee coverage.
Dunkin' Donuts are the orange dots. Starbucks are the green dots.
Although the US is their stronghold, both are global brands. The Canton-based Dunkins has 10,000 stores in 32 countries and sales of nearly $9 billion. Starbucks is even bigger — the Seattle-based company has $13 billion in sales and 20,000 stores on six continents. That said, each company dominates the region where it was founded -- Starbucks on the West Coast and Dunkins in the Northeast, they said. And both are expanding across the country, from opposite directions. “Starbucks has already penetrated a lot of markets in the US. Dunkins is not quite there yet,” said Tarantino, a senior research analyst in Milwaukee. “But Dunkins has aspirations of becoming a large national player.”
Dunkins is based in Massachusetts, and it shows. “It looks like you could paint it all orange,” said Tristano. “It really captures the strength of Dunkins.”
In New York City, there are about 240 Starbucks and 350 Dunkins. Across the state, there are more than 500 Starbucks and 1,200 Dunkins. Starbucks dominates in the “glitzy” areas of Manhattan, said Christopher. But elsewhere in the city, it’s Dunkins.
New York
Starbucks has a strong edge in Washington, DC, with more than 80 stores. Dunkins has about 12. “Starbucks is in the primary trade area and Dunkins is around the periphery,” said Tristano.
In Chicago, Starbucks is located where there are more affluent consumers — downtown, on the Northside, and in the suburbs, said Tristano, an executive vice president for the Chicago-based Technomics. Dunkins is more on the less affluent Southside and more to the west.
In Michigan, Dunkin has about 60 stores, while Starbucks has more than 200. While the companies are battling it out in a number of communities and states, like Detroit, they aim at slightly different demographics, said Tarantino, so they can both coexist successfully in the same markets. “Starbucks skews towards higher income, while Dunkins is more middle income,” said Tarantino.
Dunkins has the edge in Florida, with more than 660 stores. Starbucks has about 560. It's a rapidly growing state that attracts a lot of retirees, from places like the Northeast, who might already be Dunkin fans, said Christopher.
Texas, too, is dominated by Starbucks, the analysts noted. This far west, there are no Dunkin strongholds or even any competitive battlegrounds.
California is dominated by Starbucks, but we might start seeing specks of orange in the next few years. Dunkins plans to expand into California by 2015, said Tarantino.
Seattle is the hometown of Starbucks. Color it all green, noted the three analysts.
If you think the competition between Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks is intense now, the fight between the coffee giants is going to get a lot more caffeinated. Both plan to grow aggressively and infringe upon the other's territory.
Maps © OpenStreetMap contributors (terms). Data from Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts.