Dunkin’ Spiked: Dunkin’s Latest Foray into Alcohol

Dunkin’ Spiked: Dunkin’s Latest Foray into Alcohol

Dunkin’ Spiked Iced Coffees and Iced Teas each come in four varieties and will hit the shelves early next month. Photo courtesy of Dunkin’.

Dunkin’, America’s largest coffee and donut chain, announced the launch of Dunkin’ Spiked Iced Coffees and Iced Teas. The two boozy beverages, which are set to roll out in early September, will feature four iced coffees and four iced teas based on the chain’s flavors. 

Initial Spiked Iced Coffee flavors include original, caramel, mocha and vanilla, each with a six percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Dunkin’s Spiked Teas have an ABV of five percent and will be available in slightly sweet, half-and-half, strawberry dragon fruit and mango pineapple varieties. The malt-based ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages follow several seasonal beer collaborations with Harpoon Brewery.

“We knew we had the opportunity to create something special when we saw the positive response to our previous seasonal collaborations for Dunkin’-inspired beers,” said Brian Gilbert, vice president of retail business development at Dunkin’, in a press release. “The growing appetite for adult beverages inspired us to put a twist on our customers’ favorite Dunkin’ Iced Coffee, Iced Tea and Refresher flavors.”

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Hard Tea and Coffee Markets

Dunkin’ is entering a crowded market segment with the launch of Dunkin’ Spiked, a reflection of the rising popularity of RTD drinks that offer innovative blends of well-loved tastes. As this trend gains momentum, the market for RTD alcoholic beverages is set to rise significantly. 

According to InsightAce Analytic, a market research and consulting firm, the global RTD alcohol market was estimated to be valued at $36.42 billion last year and is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2 percent between 2022 and 2030. This market encompasses not only alcoholic coffees and teas, but also cocktails, kombuchas, seltzers, sakes, wine coolers and more.

Despite the fierce competition, the Dunkin’ brand has the potential to carve a distinct identity in this dynamic landscape. Like many other popular non-alcoholic beverage brands, Dunkin’ is hoping to capitalize on its loyal customer base as it makes its first foray into the RTD alcohol market.

While there isn’t a dominant leader in the spiked coffee market, the hard tea market is currently dominated by Twisted Tea, brewed by the Boston Beer Company. Remarkably, Twisted Tea is now the beer company’s largest brand, surpassing Truly and Samuel Adams beer, which have seen their popularity fade. While it remains to be seen whether Dunkin’ can rival Twisted Tea, the market is ready for new players.

On the other hand, Dunkin’ could face a tougher road ahead when it comes to hard coffee, which lacks the same level of popularity as other alcoholic RTD beverages. Only a handful of brands currently occupy this space, including Kahlua’s espresso martinis and Loverboy, a canned cocktail from some of Bravo’s “Summer House” stars.

Even more prominent players in this category have faced setbacks. Just last year, Pabst Blue Ribbon decided to discontinue its hard coffee flavor due to lackluster sales. Similarly, in 2019, a partnership between Molson Coors and La Colombe to introduce “Hard Cold Brew Coffee” failed to resonate with consumers, leading to its discontinuation within a year of its launch.

Dunkin’ Spiked Details

Dunkin’ Spiked Iced Coffees contain about 30 milligrams of caffeine, less than the average 100 milligrams of caffeine found in a cup of coffee. Drinkers can buy a variety pack, consisting of a dozen 12-ounce cans, three each of all four flavors. The original flavor will also be sold in a four-pack of 12-ounce cans or a single 19.2-ounce can.

Meanwhile, Dunkin’ Spiked Iced Teas also contain caffeine, ranging from 15 to 30 milligrams, depending on the flavor. Similar to the hard coffee, the tea offering comes in three options, including a variety pack of a dozen 12-ounce cans containing every flavor. The slightly sweet ice tea flavor will be sold in a six-pack of 12-ounce cans and single 19.2-ounce cans.

The pricing details remain unreleased, but Dunkin’ Spiked will not be available for purchase at Dunkin’ locations due to alcohol laws. Upon their debut, consumers will be able to find them in a dozen US states including Florida, Massachusetts, New York and Texas. To help customers find the RTD beverages, Dunkin’ Spiked’s website features a tool for locating grocery stores, convenience stores and liquor outlets that carry the product.