There are landmarks in New England that residents have come to rely on for stability and existential continuity. Places like Fenway Park, the Citgo sign, the Provincetown Lighthouse, and the Bertucci’s your grandparents used to take you to. Now, like New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain before it, another New England staple has changed it’s image. Dunkin’ Donuts will now just be Dunkin’.
The change to the new name will officially take place in January 2019. Food critic and Senior Editor at The Atlantic Corby Kummer called the name change “a strange decision” on Boston Public Radio Tuesday.
“I don’t know why they feel that they have to dissociate themselves from donuts,” he said.
Beverages make up about 60 percent of Dunkin’s sales, according to CNBC. Kummer believes the name change is intended to boost these beverage sales even further. “They want to go straight up against Starbucks.”
Dunkin’, however, does not have the same international brand recognition that Starbucks enjoys. Kummer worries that dropping the donut part of their name could potentially hurt Dunkin’s sales numbers abroad.
“What do foreign cultures know about Dunkin'?" he asked. "They have no idea what the name means. Where as they know what donuts are."
While change is scary, Chief Marketing Officer Tony Weisman ensures Dunkin' Donut lovers that the they are only changing their name, not their values.
“We are excited to bring the iconic name Dunkin’ to the forefront in a bold way that brings to life how we refill optimism with each cup and bring fun, joy and delight to our guests each and every day," he said. "But we’re not changing who we are at the core. We’ve always been, and always will be, a brand that is for on-the-go people, who depend on us to keep running.”