The idea of eating dessert for breakfast is an unsavory one in many cultures. And though Dunkin’ Donuts boasts more than 12,000 stores in 46 countries, the doughnut chain has failed to penetrate the Indian market. CNBC Digital examines Dunkin’s missteps on the subcontinent. Readers interested in business strategy and international marketing will gain practical tidbits from this business case study.


Despite its rampant popularity elsewhere, Dunkin’ Donuts has failed to penetrate the Indian market. Between 2016 and 2018, the doughnut chain closed more than half its Indian stores, citing a “lack of profitability and operational efficiency.” When it entered the Indian market in 2012, Dunkin’ positioned itself as a breakfast fast-food chain and expected lots of morning footfall. However, Indians don’t want breakfast on the go. They prefer a “sitdown meal” that caters to local tastes. Thus, Dunkin’ localized its menu, adding mango doughnuts, lychee coolattas and spicy sandwiches. Though coffee accounts for 60% of its sales...

About the Speakers

MacKenzie Sigalos is a senior producer at CNBC Digital, where Ashley Turner is a digital associate.

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