Soon the Starbucks Frappuccino won’t be your only option for an on-the-go iced coffee fix. Dunkin’ Donuts is teaming up with Coca-Cola Co. to produce a line of Dunkin' bottled coffee, unofficially completing its transition from New England doughnut shop to national coffee chain. Dunkin’ Donuts announced on National Coffee Day, a.k.a. Thursday, that their bottled iced coffee drinks will hit shelves early next year. This news no doubt comes as a relief to legions of loyal Dunkin' Donuts fans who until now have been forced to consume Starbucks when in need of a quick and dirty jolt of caffeine.
As convenience becomes increasingly important to consumer decisions about breakfast—remember, millennials think even a bowl of cereal takes too long to prepare—bottled coffee is turning into a big business. Sales of ready-to-drink coffee rose 14 percent last year, according to data cited by the Wall Street Journal, and the ready-to-drink coffee market represents $2.3 billion in annual sales, according to Nielsen.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ foray into the market not only pits Starbucks against Dunkin’, but is a continuation of the long-standing rivalry between Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, which has has produced Starbucks’ bottled coffee drinks since 1996. Frankly, it’s about time another major coffee brand threw its bottle cap into the game. (Could there be a Dunkin' vs. Starbucks bottled coffee challenge in our future?) This isn’t Coca Cola Co.’s only stake in the coffee market, either. Coke is responsible for the Georgia brand of coffee in Japan and has plans to start selling cold-brew in the U.S. under its Gold Peak tea label next year.
Dunkin’ Donuts bottled coffee will be available in the refrigerated sections of grocery stores, convenience stores, mass merchandisers, and at Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants, allowing you to order a Dunkin’ cold brew for your a.m. dose of caffeine at the same time as you pick up a bottle for an afternoon pick-me-up. You’ll be saving time and running on Dunkin’ all day long.