Dunkin' Doughnuts is becoming more like Starbucks

Dunkin DoughnutsREUTERS/Jim YoungA drink and a doughnut are seen at a Dunkin’ Doughnuts location in the Chicago suburb of Niles, Illinois, February 4, 2015.

Dunkin’ Doughnuts is starting to emulate Starbucks.

The brand will tap into a more upscale market starting in October with fancy tea, reports Bloomberg.

Vice president of Marketing Chris Fuqua told Bloomberg the popular doughnut and coffee franchise will be testing five flavours of teas, such as black tea, hibiscus, mint, chamomile and a blend called “harmony leaf.”

The test market is limited to Chicago, notes the news site, but should the test prove to be successful, Fuqua said upscale teas are “something that we’ll want to grow broader with.”

The tea industry is thriving.

Matcha tea is all the rage, and this winter, Starbucks switched from selling Tazo teas to Teavana teas, as the ubiquitous coffee chain purchased the tea company back in 2012 for a cool $US620 million. (During the transition, teas were even sold out.) Teavana is known for its loose-leaf teas.

This January, IBIS World reported that “revenue [in the tea industry] will heat up as the wave of health consciousness supports growth,” and that “the demand for tea will continue to brew over the next five years.” Dunkin’ Doughnuts might be making a solid investment.

And Dunkin’ Doughnuts knows that. “The tea market is one that’s evolving relatively quickly,” Fuqua told Bloomberg. “It’s one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.”

This has been evident for a few years now. Back in 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported that America was turning to tea over coffee. In fact, the news organisation pointed out how Starbucks was jumping on this opportunity, noting how Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schulz said “[Starbucks] could do for tea what we’ve done for coffee.”

Further, Bloomberg notes this could be a way for Dunkin’ Doughnuts to compete with Starbucks.

Meanwhile, Starbucks is also trying to cater to more discerning customers with items like coconut milk, cold brew coffee, locally sourced artisanal foods, and flat whites.

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