Political Battle: Starbucks Versus Dunkin Donuts
Politics and Activism

Political Battle: Starbucks Versus Dunkin Donuts

This isn't actually a political article. It's the opposite of a political article. I promise.

Political Battle: Starbucks Versus Dunkin Donuts
Vaughan Dugan

Did you honestly think I’d try to write a political article? Wade through everything that’s been posted in the last seventy-two hours? That I’d subject myself to that? Absolutely not, we’re going to talk about what makes everything okay; coffee.

The debate between Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts has been perpetrated solely by the two chains- I’ve never met a coffee drinker that would actually judge you for getting one brand over the other, and I certainly wouldn’t. However, it seems that both companies seem to be under the impression that they’re competing for the same customers. I’ve seen a “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Starbucks” t-shirt hanging in the campus Dunkin Donuts shop, as well as a mug with a reversed sentiment being sold at the local Starbucks. In reality, it’s two completely different markets these companies are catering to.

Some research into the demographics each company targets in their business pursuits actually led to the realization that a very similar article has been written, and you can find it here, as it’s where I’ll be getting some of the following information I throw at you.

Surveys and research has revealed that Starbucks in fact caters to a younger, more technologically savvy group of coffee-drinkers. They’re less likely to own their own home, be parents (or grandparents), and more likely to claim to be “addicted” to their digital device and have numerous social media accounts. In addition, the Starbucks consumer base consists mostly of females. Dunkin Donuts, on the other hand, seems to cater to a slightly older group of coffee-drinkers. Those who run on Dunkin are reportedly more likely to be parents, own their own home, subscribe to print magazines or newspapers and have a retirement savings set up, insinuating an older demographic.

On top of all the basic, easy yes-or-no questions, it’s also interesting to see that political issues, religious beliefs, and even definitions of the ever-elusive ‘American Dream’ seem to correlate to one company or another. [Disclaimer: this is not a 100-0 ratio of beliefs. If you see me drinking Starbucks one day and Dunkin another, it’s not because I’ve jumped across the political aisle or had a theological crisis of conscious. I just like to change it up sometimes.]

That being said, the political leanings of customers from both chains do differ. 23% of Starbucks drinkers and 45% of Dunkin Donuts drinkers call themselves more “conservative.” On the flip side, 46% of Starbucks drinkers and 20% of Dunkin drinkers describe themselves as “liberal”. An interesting distinction to make while taking a coffee-shop survey. Religion also fluctuates in importance between the two companies, with 45% of Starbucks coffee drinks claim their religious beliefs are “not at all important to them,” while only 14% of Dunkin Donuts coffee-drinkers claim the same thing. Maybe those red Starbucks cups were boycotting Christmas after all. Finally, some define “the American Dream” as owning a home; only 54% of Starbucks drinkers buy into this philosophy, while 67% of Dunkin Donuts drinkers believe in this definition.

So there are some fun facts about these “warring” coffee companies to try to pull your mind from some of the more unpleasant arguments that are currently happening on social media. We just have to keep an open mind about coffee. And the snacks that are sold with coffee. And we have to not judge the people who like one coffee better than the other, no matter how much we want to comment on a Facebook post about the coffee. Because, when it comes down to it, is Dunkin Donuts actually going to build a wall? Will Starbucks really protest the outcome of the election? I don’t know. Drink up, we have a long year ahead of us.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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