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The Seattle Times reports that consumers will begin to see Dunkin’ donuts packaged coffee on the shelves of stores such as Costco, Wal-Mart and Kroger this month, compliments of a distribution deal with Procter & Gamble. The move “is a bid to get customers to brew the brand at home, not just get it at Dunkin' outlets,” according to the story.

Details of the distribution deal are scheduled to be announced today.
KC's View:
Okay, I’m going to sing the same sold song, one more time…

Here’s the interesting sentence from the story:

“The distribution deal with Procter & Gamble is also about introducing the New England-bred brand to new customers in the West and South where Dunkin' is expanding, with plans to triple U.S. stores to 15,000 by 2020.”

In other words, both Dunkin’ and P&G are using supermarkets are a kind of billboard through which Dunkin’ can get greater visibility for its new coffee-and-doughnut shops.

At the risk of annoying people who disagree with me on this issue, if you are a retailer I would point out to you that every doughnut sold by Dunkin’ Donuts in your marketplace potentially is a doughnut that you are not going to sell.

Which is why I think that supermarkets, which ought to be in the share of stomach business, ought to think twice about carrying brands that essentially hype their competitors. Such deals may lead to short-term dollars, but long-term obsolescence.