Dunkin’ Doughnuts is rolling out a new menu that might be difficult for millennials to decipher.
The menu features classy photos of products, including dark-roast coffee, Coolatta drinks, and egg sandwiches, reports Bloomberg.
It also features cursive font, which is an odd choice for a company targeting young consumers.
With the rise of computing, many schools have dropped cursive writing courses.
Associated Press reporter Candice Choi jokingly tweeted that the move towards cursive was a mistake, as millennials don’t know how to read cursive.
While the claim that younger consumers can’t read stylised writing at first seems absurd, a little digging indicates that the perceived anti-cursive bias is actually a trend in marketing to millennials.
Last year, Whole Foods reportedly flagged High Road Craft Ice Cream’s packaging for containing cursive script. Apparently, the Whole Foods buyer believed that “millennials can’t read cursive,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
As a result, the ice cream company decided to make the switch to the block lettering.
Outside of marketing, there have been reports of high school students being unable to read cursive writing on chalkboards, teachers urging the end of teaching the writing style, and standardised educational benchmarks swapping out cursive for keyboard proficiency.
Still, cursive plays a major part in marketing — right? Companies such as Coca-Cola, Disney, and Kellogg have cursive logos that are an indisputable part of their brands.
However, these are companies that many cursive-ignorant millennials grew up with, so they have been familiarized with the logos for years.
Take the Disney logo for example. Countless viewers (the author of this article included) didn’t realise that the “D” in Disney was not, in fact, the letter “G” for years, due to the cursive font. The confusion has been so widespread it inspired an article in satirical website ClickHole, titled ‘This Man Used To Think The ‘D’ In The Disney Logo Was A ‘G’ Until A Radical Brain Procedure Fixed Him.’
Companies founded in the last twenty years have ditched cursive fonts in favour of clear, bold typefaces, such as those used by Facebook, Apple, and Google (which seems dedicated to continuing to simplify its logo).
Ultimately, the use of cursive is probably not a deal breaker for Dunkin’. The chain only uses cursive to title different sections of the menu, such as coffee, beverages, and bakery. Most of the menu remains in bold and readable capital letters.
Still, the chain is eager to attract millennial customers, emphasising its digital sales and speed of business. With that in mind, it is probably in the chain’s best interest that it makes sure that younger customers can actually read the menu.
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