Dunkin Donuts’ is getting deeper into the RTD industry and as gourmet coffee and convenience are taking center stage for consumers and retailers alike. Coffee consumption continues to grow in popularity, and the coffee-shop experience loved by people around the world is now becoming a lucrative segment of the grocery retail space.
Dunkin Donuts is launching its first coffee drink in a can. Shot in the Dark is the name of the new blend of espresso, coffee, cream and sugar and comes in three flavors: caramel, vanilla and mocha. This is the second product introduced into the ready-to-drink (RTD) market by Dunkin Donuts, following the launch of its bottled iced coffee beverages two years ago.
Brian Gilbert, vice president of retail development for Dunkin Donuts, said customers have already embraced the brand’s RTD offerings. The company is also expanding into seasonal flavorings for its line of bottled ice coffees, starting with a pumpkin spice flavor for the fall.
RTD coffee has several factors contributing to its mounting popularity, but first and foremost, it’s a market plunged into success by convenience — with help from consumers with disposable incomes. It provides a way for people to experience gourmet coffee from the corner cafe packaged for on-the-go and found in numerous types of retail spaces. According to research by Mordor Intelligence, U.S. RTD coffee market is expected to reach almost $2.5 billion in sales in 2018 and mature to over $2.6 billion in 2023.
As a result, more food and beverage companies are entering the space and more coffee brands are joining the growing RTD trend.
Coca-Cola’s recent moves show that it is actively working to become a big player in the market. The beverage giant will be manufacturing and distributing Dunkin Donuts’ new canned beverages, who is expanding its product line to go head-to-head with Starbucks. The showdown puts Coca-Cola and Dunkin Donuts on one side against Starbucks — one of the leaders in RTD coffee drinks for almost 10 years — and PepsiCo on the other. But now Dunkin Donuts has the strength of Coca-Cola behind it, which has just jumped into the coffee market as well.
Earlier this month, Coca-Cola took another big step into the world of coffee when it announced its plans to acquire Costa Coffee, the second largest coffee chain in the world, for $5.1 billion. Along with its recent Costa acquisition, Coca-Cola also has McCafe, which recently stepped out of McDonald’s and into the retail market with its bottled Frappe drink.
But Coke is not the only company diving into the coffee profits. Nestlé purchased Starbucks’ retail products division in May for $7.15 billion, bringing the coffee chain’s pre-packed beverages into the hands of a worldwide CPG giant. With an increased number of brands delving into the coffee market, these RTD coffee cans from Dunkin could help it continue to expand its brand into the retail space.