Dunkin' Donuts is having a tough time entering its rabid fans' Keurig machines: Bloomberg Businessweek reports the brand experienced a double-digit drop in sales of its branded K-cups, those landfill-filling cups used in single-serve coffee machines. In a conference call, Dunkin' Donuts CEO reported sales of K-cups had fallen by at least 10 percent, despite the fact that Keurig's own brand of Green Mountain K-Cups had experienced double-digit growth in the same period of time. Per Businessweek, part of that could be attributed to DD's sale strategy: While other brands like Starbucks, Tully's Coffee, and Coffee People push their K-cups in supermarkets and other outlets, DD K-cups are only available to purchase in Dunkin' Donuts stores.
Ironically, Dunkin' Donuts was an early adopter of the single-serving K-cup format, beating two of its rivals to partnerships with Green Mountain. Dunkin' Donuts first signed an agreement with Green Mountain in February 2011, bringing its cups to the market by August of that year. Starbucks followed suit in 2012, launching its retail K-cups and its own single-cup coffee system, Verismo; Krispy Kreme didn't announce it was getting into the K-cup game until 2014. Unfortunately for DD, looks like American K-cups users don't want to run on Dunkin'.