Starting today, Dunkin’ Donuts is selling snicker doodle and sugar-cookie lattes, both new for this year, said John Costello, president of global marketing and innovation for Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc.
“Our guests love tradition along with new,” Costello said in an interview. “I would describe our holiday strategy as familiar with a twist.”
Starbucks’ US customers have to wait until 12 November for its new holiday beverage: the chestnut praline latte. That drink took about three years to create and is the chain’s first new holiday beverage in five years in the US and Canada. The company also is bringing back peppermint mochas and caramel brulee coffees this year. Stores in the Pacific Northwest will serve eggnog lattes as well, said Linda Mills, a spokeswoman.
The holidays are an important time for domestic coffee sellers, who seek to lure shoppers in for quick refuelling stops and maybe get them to pick up a gift card while they’re inside as well. Last year, Dunkin’ Donuts got 27 per cent of US revenue from the fourth quarter, when it sold red velvet lattes and salted-caramel hot chocolates. Seattle-based Starbucks said its holiday line-up in 2013 helped boost its revenue 12 per cent in the three months through December.
Both chains’ new creations are indulgent. A medium Dunkin’ cookie latte made with whole milk has 340 calories, while a medium Starbucks caramel brulee latte with 2 per cent milk has 430 calories. A small chestnut praline latte has 270 calories.
Recent holiday seasons have been more challenging for coffee sellers and fast-food restaurants as consumers increasingly forgo mall visits for the convenience of shopping online. Starbucks last year saw “softening” traffic growth in December as consumers turned to the Internet and away from brick-and-mortar stores.
“People are shopping more online, but they’re also still visiting stores,” Dunkin’s Costello said. “Consumers are clearly in a cautious mood but are also interested in having the very best holiday that they can.”
Bloomberg News, edited by Hospitality Ireland