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The Tampa Tribune reports that Dunkin' Donuts will require its 5,300 locations in 32 countries to stop making its signature “donut with a handle” product.

The reason? Because of changes in batter and production methods, the doughnut that had an appendage for dunking was the only one that had to be made by hand.

Franchies haven’t been required to carry the product for some time, and a number of them already have discontinued the item. Slow sales, according to the company, meant that many of this particular item were being wasted.
KC's View:
The subtext to this, of course, is that because of competition from Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts can’t afford to waste product, time, or money.

However, we’d suggest that you don’t get more competitive by eliminating a signature product. That’s just a way of eliminating the little touches that make you unique…which allows the competition to define the game.

This isn’t just a doughnut issue. It is a broad business issue that cuts across formats and venues, in food and nonfood.

That little handled doughnut’s demise is a symbol of much that is wrong about modern retailing’s approach to business.

It should be noted here that we happen to have a dog in this hunt. The Dunkin’ Donuts that we can see from our office window happens to carry the “donut with a handle,” and we happen to like to dunk them in our coffee.