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After a whirlwind year for Starbucks, expect more of the same, say executives of the resurging coffee brand. Efforts to sustain the turnaround will bring more health-oriented products, along with higher-quality food, says CEO Howard Schultz. Meanwhile, the brand is reaping the benefits from its revamped loyalty program, My Starbucks Rewards, the No. 1 reason customers say they visit the brand more often than they did six months earlier.
But close competitor Dunkin’ Donuts is hot on the brand’s heels. The transformation of the once-doughnut-focused company into a broad-menu contender is quickening. The past year brought the sort of new products you might expect from a burger or sub specialist, like chicken and tuna wraps, a value menu, and a new snack called bagel twists. Meanwhile, Dunkin’ grew faster than many of the full-menu brands, with 171 domestic units added during ’09 and 131 more in the franchise pipeline.
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