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Dunkin’ Donuts sets up shop in India

Marketplace Contributor May 8, 2012

Stacey Vanek Smith: Dunkin’ Donuts is now open for business in India. The U.S.-based company is celebrating the grand opening of a store in New Delhi today.

Bob Moon has more.

Bob Moon: Here in the U.S. lately, ads for Dunkin’ Donuts have been almost all about the coffee.

Dunkin’ Donuts commercial: “Hey, what are you drinkin’?” “Definitely Dunkin’.” “I run on Dunkin’.” “America runs on Dunkin’ coffee.”

In India, though, the coffee shop business is already booming, and will get even more crowded when Starbucks moves in this summer. So Dunkin’ Brands’ Karen Rascoff says the company and its local partner will cast Dunkin’ as an all-day eatery that sells more than coffee.

Karen Rascoff: Items for every day part, including donuts, sandwiches, milk shakes, smoothies, snacks and more.

In New York, freelance Indian journalist Aseem Chhabra says Dunkin’ would be wise to follow the lead of other American fast food chains.

Aseem Chhabra: They had to sort of like tailor-make the food items specifically for Indian tastes, especially the salty, savory things. You know, a Western taste but with Indian spicing.

Much like McDonald’s changed its Big Mac into a mutton-and-chicken Maharaja Mac, Dunkin’ will cater to local tastes with mango donuts. Chhabra says donuts aren’t new to India, but Dunkin’ could raise the bar.

Chhabra: For a country of India’s size, they haven’t figured out how to make the perfect donut.

I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.

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