Dunkin has done very well in Colombia, especially among the middle class, by offering good value. And they fit in well here because Colombians have a very sweet tooth. Their desserts are very sweet and a lot of which are made from milk and a kind of caramel (arequipe). So Dunkin has definitely got their eyes set on the right market.
In North American Dunkin may belong to the mass market, offering one of the cheapest coffees in the country; it may even be frowned upon. But in Colombia it’s got a whole different kind of life. Here it’s an ‘upscale’ cafe. 1 donut costs COP 3,200 (US$1.5), whereas a typical snack like almojabana or pan de bono costs less than half of that, usually at COP 1,500 (US$0.8).
Recently I’ve discovered 2 things about Dunkin that made me like them more. First, they serve real coffee, not the cheap robusta stuff, but arabica coffee, from Colombia! I feel good knowing that I am supporting the locals. Second, they are always open! Some as early as 6am and even on Sundays, one of the reasons that they are getting a lot of business, during their competitors’ down time!
Since Dunkin has made its way only to some of the largest cities in Colombia, (but Bogotá alone has more than 100 branches!), their popularity is rooted in their rarity, making them a top souvenir choice when Bogotános travel across the country to visit their home towns and families across the country. It was hilarious when I boarded a plan full of Colombians carrying their Dunkin boxes with great care! It reminds me of the time when I bought a dozen of Krispy Kreme from Manila back to HK. You’d never have expected souvenirs from Philippines to be donuts, would you? Rather than the most common banana chips and coconut sweets, American Imperialism has meant that Krsipy Kreme and Dunkin take over local flavors..