It’s true: Dunkin’ is adding alcohol to two of its most popular drinks.
Last week, there was a lot of talk on the internet about Dunkin’ Spiked Iced Coffees and Iced Teas. On Monday, Dunkin’ will officially say that they are coming out in the coming weeks.
Dunkin’ Donuts is joining the field of soft drinks that are doing well. It’s part of a growing trend toward ready-to-drink drinks, as people want to try new combinations of their best tastes.
Due to more competition, the group is getting bigger: A new NIQ report says that over the past 12 months, sales of RTDs in the US added up to more than $10 billion, which is a 7% rise from the year before.
The Dunkin’ name, on the other hand, could help it stand out.
Duane Stanford, director of Beverage Digest, said, “Like other well-known non-alcoholic brands, Dunkin’ wants to take advantage of a built-in audience and established brand equity as it moves into alcohol.” “This is just the beginning of a new trend.”
The Dunkin’ name will help it stand out in the hard tea market, which is controlled by Boston Beer Company’s Twisted Tea. Notably, Twisted Tea is now the company’s biggest brand, bigger than Samuel Adams and Truly, whose fame has been falling.
Dave Williams, vice president of analytics and insights at Bump Williams Consulting. He said that hard tea still has a big market share and is still growing. “There is proof that other hard tea brands can do well, but none of them have been able to compete with Twisted Tea.”
Scott Murphy, the president of Dunkin’, told that the creation of Dunkin’ Spiked means that “you can start and end your day with Dunkin’, which shows that we are always trying to come up with new ideas and that we know what our fans want.”
Stanford said that Dunkin’ “has as good of a chance as anyone to make that category resonate with drinkers.”
But Dunkin’ might have a harder time in the hard coffee area, which isn’t as popular as other hard soft drinks. Only a few brands are sold, like Kahlua’s espresso martinis, Beam Suntory’s On the Rocks drink in a jar, and Loverboy, a canned cocktail made by some of the stars of Bravo’s “Summer House.”
Even bigger companies in the same field have failed. Because it wasn’t selling well, Pabst Blue Ribbon got rid of its hard coffee-flavored drink last year. Molson Coors and La Colombe worked together in 2019 to sell a drink called “Hard Cold Brew Coffee.” However, customers didn’t like it, and the drink was taken off the market within a year.
It’s not a very developed market for a few reasons, like the fact that their strong flavors might make it hard to drink more than one at a time, making them less appealing than fruitier and lighter drinks.
Stanford said that spiked coffees aren’t as easy to drink in one sitting as hard teas, seltzers, and ready-to-drink cocktails. “They taste and feel more like a luxury item, which makes them less likely to be drunk than a drink that makes you feel good and gives you a buzz.”
What’s in the drinks
Dunkin’s new spiked coffee comes in four flavors: original, caramel, mocha, and vanilla. Each has about 30 milligrams of caffeine, which is less than the normal 100 milligrams of caffeine in a cup of coffee. There is 6% alcohol by volume in the iced coffee.
People can buy a variety pack that has three 12-ounce cans of each of the four types. This pack has a total of 12 cans. The original taste is sold in a four-pack of 12-ounce cans or as a single 19.2-ounce can.
The hard tea choice also comes in four flavors: slightly sweet (black tea with a twist of lemon), half and half (half black tea and half lemonade), strawberry dragonfruit, and mango pineapple. They also have between 15 and 30 milligrams of caffeine, based on the flavor, and will be on sale in late August. There is 5% alcohol by volume in the hard tea.
Like the hard coffee, the tea comes in three different kinds, including a pack of twelve 12-ounce cans that has one of each taste. The slightly sweet ice tea taste comes in a six-pack of 12-ounce cans and a single 19.2-ounce can.
The price hasn’t been set yet, and because of alcohol rules, they won’t be sold at Dunkin’. At the start, they will be available in 12 US states, including Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas. On the Dunkin’ Spiked website, there is also a way to find grocery stores, convenience stores, and liquor shops that sell the canned drinks.
This isn’t the first time Dunkin’ has tried to sell alcohol. Over the past few years, it has made several beers with Harpoon Brewery, another New England business. Harpoon also helped Dunkin’ develop and make its Spiked line. In 2020, Dunkin’ Donuts and Harpoon will release a beer with doughnuts in it. Last year, they sold a coffee roll cream ale and a cold brew coffee porter. This fall, the Dunkin’ Pumpkin drink will also be back.
“When we saw how well our previous seasonal collaborations for beers inspired by Dunkin’ went over, we knew we had a chance to make something special,” Brian Gilbert, Vice President of Retail Business Development at Dunkin. He also said that Dunkin’, which is privately owned, has seen a “growing appetite for adult beverages,” which has led it to keep adding to its line of alcoholic drinks.