The Coffee Battle

The Ongoing Dunkin’ vs Starbucks Feud

starbucksThough some may disagree, coffee is a beloved drink that helps people everywhere wake up in the morning. Coffee shops have been popping up across the nation as they are a great place to lounge, gossip, and even get work done.

While there are many locally owned coffee shops, such as The Ink Well located on Second Ave in Long Branch, there are also many chains across America. The two most loved coffee sellers across the nation are Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. The on-going battle between these two chains may live on forever as many have their choice of preference.

When freshman Jessica Caffey was asked which coffee chain she preferred she replied, “I am definitely a Dunkin’ girl. My favorite is their Mint Hot Chocolate. It’s so rich and it is guaranteed to stay hot on my commute to school.”

Dating back to when Dunkin’ Donuts originated in 1950 in Quincy, Massachusetts, its name gained its popularity primarily as a donut shop. Dunkin’ soon realized coffee could bring profit, but they began with just a basic cup of joe compared to the drink variety the chain has now.

The second you enter a Dunkin’ Donuts, you are faced with choices ranging from flavored coffees to lattes to hot chocolate. Another perk of going to a Dunkin’ Donuts is having the option of getting ice cream by Baskin Robins. It was in 1990 that Dunkin’ bought Baskin Robbins and three years later the two shops merged.

Dunkin’ Donuts evolved their marketing program to create America Runs on Dunkin’ in recent years. However, a tough competitor to Dunkin’ is Starbucks, the 1971 Seattle, Washington coffeehouse chain that, unlike Dunkin’ Donuts, gained its customers by solely selling coffee.

Starbucks is a prime example of a coffeehouse where streams of people trickle in on a daily basis to get their beloved beverage and lounge on one of the cozy couches set up inside. Twenty years after it originated, Starbucks stores rapidly began to pop up across the United States, a pace that continued well into the 2000s.

Communication Professor Dr. Marina Vujnovic boldly spoke her mind as she stated that “Starbucks tastes better than Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ tastes artificial to me. I’m European so I’m used to strong coffee.”

The coffee quality of Starbucks is delicious to some, but strong and bitter to others, in fact some even described their coffee as having a “burnt” taste to it.

Have no fear because Starbucks has an extensive menu ranging from espresso beverages to the Frappuccino to bakery treats and sandwiches, thus one is bound to find something they enjoy.

Even health conscious costumers can appreciate a treat from Starbucks; in June 2009 the company announced they would no longer have high-fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients in their salads or baked goods.

When looking at a Starbucks menu, it is difficult to ignore the sophisticated naming of sizes of drinks. Using Italian sizes, instead of ordering a small 12 oz. latte, proper Starbucks vocabulary includes a “tall” latte. As becoming as it sounds, many customers oppose this foreign menu.

Freshman Carly Lubsen does not appreciate this tactic Starbucks marketers have thought of.  “Not only is Starbucks expensive, the way they display their products on the menu is confusing and aggravating,” Lubsen said.

Starbucks has recently connected to social media as they recently linked their name with the iPhone. There is now a free application solely for Starbucks which allows you to put money on a Starbucks card and collect points. These points build up when you purchase items to eventually be redeemed for a free drink of  any size. Not to be outdone, Dunkin’ Donuts has followed Starbucks lead and has created a similar application for iPhone users.

The pricing of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts is another factor that divides the majority of both of their customers. As some may feel they are getting a better quality item for the money they pay at Starbucks, others feel that it is not worth the price and would much rather enjoy a cheaper item at Dunkin’ Donuts.

The price is a major factor when differentating the two companies. For a medium Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee, the price is $2.09, while at Starbucks, the same sized drink is priced at $2.79.

If you are stuck on a gift idea with Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, a great gift would be a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks gift card- just be sure to choose wisely, coffeehouse fans can be dangerous.