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Coffee Drinkers Buy Starbucks More But Like Dunkin’ Better

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Maybe it's the doughnuts that make the difference. While Americans are more likely to buy their coffee at Starbucks, they like Dunkin' Donuts better.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% of Adults say they drink coffee. Thirty-five percent (35%) say they don't touch the stuff.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Of those Americans who do drink coffee, 23% say they are more likely to buy it from Starbucks, while 22% each opt for either a convenience store or a local coffee shop. Fourteen percent (14%) get their coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, and 15% say they purchase it somewhere else.

But 57% of coffee-drinking Americans express an at least somewhat favorable opinion of Dunkin' Donuts, including 20% with a Very Favorable view of the chain. By contrast, just 49% of those who drink coffee regard Starbucks at least somewhat favorably, with 14% who have a Very Favorable opinion.

Thirty-four percent (35%) of coffee drinkers hold an unfavorable opinion of Starbucks versus 22% who feel that way about Dunkin' Donuts. Roughly one--in-five aren't sure what they think of either franchise.

The views of Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts are nearly the same among all Americans, whether they drink java or not.

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on February 7-8, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Regardless of where they purchase their coffee, 71% of adults generally like the brew they make at home more than the kind they buy in a store or restaurant. Just 23% disagree and like the kind they buy away from home better.

Maybe in part that's because 63% think the coffee they buy in a store or restaurant is overpriced compared to other non-alcoholic beverages. Twenty-five percent (25%) don't think the price is too high, and 12% are undecided.

In an August 2008 survey, 73% of all adults said Starbucks was overpriced.

Adults over 40 are more likely to drink coffee than those who are younger. But adults under 30 are far more likely to buy coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts than those in any other age group.

Women have a higher opinion of Starbucks than men do. Those who earn $60,000 or more a year like Starbucks more than those who earn less.

Blacks are more than twice as likely as whites to buy coffee from Dunkin' Donuts.

When asked about the top three fast-food hamburger chains, Americans clearly preferred Wendy’s over McDonald’s and Burger King.

However, adults did admit that when they eat fast food, they do so for convenience and cost, not because they truly enjoy the food.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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