Coffee drinkers often have a hard time deciding where to go for a cup of coffee. Should you head for the upscale ambiance of Starbucks or the fast-food practicality of Dunkin’ Donuts?
Are you one of the many people who wonder which of the two coffee retail giants is better? If you’re looking to compare Starbucks and Dunkin’, you’ll find all the information you need right here!
Starbucks Vs. Dunkin’ Donuts In 2023
Starbucks is the clear leader with 30,000 stores worldwide compared to Dunkin’ with 13,000 locations in terms of size as of 2023. Starbucks’ annual revenues were $23.5 billion in 2020 compared to $1.3 billion for Dunkin’ brands in 2019. However, taste tests, pricing, and popularity polls show both companies excelling in different areas.
If you want to know more about the Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ rivalry and which company wins, carry on reading! I’ve researched the matter and have all the answers for you!
Starbucks Vs. Dunkin’ Donuts: Which Is Better?
In the clash of the coffee titans, is the winner Starbucks with its upscale stores and premium coffees, or Dunkin’ with its relatively no-frills approach to coffee?
As every coffee fan knows, taste and flavor are personal preferences. So, in the end, the better brand is the one you prefer, for whatever reason.
However, in comparing the two giant coffee retail chains, there are some benchmarks we can use to decide which is more popular and more successful.
With that, some of the points of comparison you can look at include:
- Market share
- Number of locations
- Taste tests
- Popularity polls
Starbucks Vs. Dunkin’ Statistics
Size and market share are two critical points of comparison, along with revenues. So, let’s look at what the statistics tell us.
When it comes to size, Starbucks is way ahead of its biggest rival. Looking at revenues, Starbucks is ahead of Dunkin’ Donuts, too, reporting over $23.5 billion in 2020.
By comparison, in 2019, Dunkin’ Brands’ annual revenues were $1.3 billion.
Also, Starbucks is way ahead of Dunkin’ in terms of worldwide presence, with 30,000 locations, adding up to 40% of the total market share.
In comparison, Dunkin’ is quite far behind, with 13,000 locations or 26% of the market share.
In fact, the gap is even larger than these figures show since many of the Dunkin’ locations outside the US are Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores, which the same company owns.
However, there are other ways to compare coffee brands besides size, and taste is one of the most important.
Dunkin’ Donuts Vs. Starbucks Poll
As we all know, opinion polls can be hopelessly misleading. That’s certainly true of polls looking to establish a winner in the Starbucks vs. Dunkin rivalry as well.
In fact, people were surprised to see that when a major polling company tried to find the best coffee chain in the US, Starbucks didn’t make it to the top two.
Further, the 2019 Harris poll found that people chose Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme as the top two coffee chains in the US, with Starbucks coming in third place.
However, that’s not the complete story, and the answers to pollsters depend on whom and where you ask.
On college campuses, Starbucks wins for having better coffee with a consistent taste and higher caffeine content.
Also, students like that Starbucks gives them a comfortable place to study with free wifi. In comparison, Dunkin’ can’t compare on this count.
On the other hand, Dunkin’ has donuts! For cash-strapped, hungry students, that can be a godsend, as can the reasonably-priced breakfast sandwiches.
Poll results depend on geographical location, with Dunkin’ holding its own in the northeast and Starbucks winning out on the West Coast.
Additionally, the West and Midwest tilt towards Starbucks.
Dunkin’ Donuts Vs. Starbucks Taste Test
Taste tests may be a better way to settle the issue because the standard for judging is so direct.
Let’s look at a recent taste test done by People Magazine, which they billed as the Super Bowl of coffee.
During this taste test, they found that Starbucks won in four categories: regular coffee, seasonal drinks, tea, and breakfast sandwiches.
Dunkin’, meanwhile, took the honors in iced coffee, frozen drinks, hot chocolate, and of course, donuts.
So the tiebreaker was hometown pride, and Starbucks was the clear winner. With that, Seattle is proud of its Starbucks success story and supports the brand in every way possible.
Also, the People magazine taste test did not cover consistency or how the coffee and other drinks taste at different stores from the same chain.
At Starbucks, all the coffees and drinks taste the same at all stores, and customers know what to expect each time.
That said, this is because Starbucks baristas go through a training period, and Starbucks maintains strict quality control at all stores.
By contrast, Dunkin’s coffee can taste very different from one store to another because Dunkin’ stores are mostly franchises.
So, there isn’t the same level of quality control at Dunkin’ that you find at Starbucks.
Is Dunkin’ Cheaper Than Starbucks?
Overall, Dunkin’ does have lower prices for coffee as well as food items. Comparing coffee prices, at Dunkin’, a large latte costs just around $2.49.
At Starbucks, the cost of the corresponding Venti latte is much higher, at $4.15
Additionally, breakfast sandwiches cost more at Starbucks, where you’d pay $ 4.75 for a bacon, cheddar, and egg croissant.
On the other hand, the bacon, egg, and cheese at Dunkin’ is $3.59.
Finally, many Dunkin’ combos come with free coffee, which is a bargain that Starbucks can’t match.
Which Has Stronger Coffee: Dunkin’ or Starbucks?
Sometimes your definition of the best coffee can be the cup with the most caffeine in it. In that case, Starbucks is your best bet.
That said, Starbucks coffee has more caffeine than coffee at Dunkin’.
At Starbucks, the average caffeine content of a cup of coffee is 267 milligrams, while coffee at Dunkin contains 220 milligrams of caffeine in a cup.
Starbucks Vs. Dunkin’: Sustainability
When we look at sustainability and social responsibility practices, Starbucks is again way ahead of Dunkin.
For example, Starbucks has followed ethical sourcing practices from the beginning and supports the farmers and communities that produce its coffee, tea, and cocoa.
On top of that, Starbucks has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by half by 2030.
Also, it has reintroduced reusable cups and started using recyclable cups to cut down on waste.
Moreover, Starbucks invests in local communities where it has its stores through education, employment, and training.
By comparison, Dunkin’ is only now starting to phase out its signature styrofoam cups.
Styrofoam is one of the most difficult, commonly used artificial materials to dispose of responsibly because it does not biodegrade.
So, Dunkin’ does have social responsibility programs, but not on the same scale as Starbucks.
To know more about Starbucks, you can also read our posts on Starbucks vs. McDonald’s, the most popular Starbucks drinks, McDonald’s vs Taco Bell, if McDonald’s microwaves burgers, and why Starbucks is successful.
The Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ matchup shows that both companies have their strengths in different areas.
But, Starbucks is the clear winner in terms of size, number of locations, market share, and revenues.
However, Dunkin’ holds its own in terms of taste, popularity, and pricing. Also, in sustainability and social responsibility practices, Starbucks is again the clear winner.