Dunkin’ Donuts has a new message — and a new way to communicate — to the Latino community, and it will be in Spanish.
“La comunidad hispana es muy importante para Dunkin’ Donuts.”
With that — a simple message that the Hispanic community is very important to Dunkin’ — the Canton-based chain launched a new Spanish language Twitter account Thursday, @DunkinLatino, as it embraces social media to connect with the largest and fastest growing ethnic population in the United States.
Latinos are “the growth engine of America,” said Xavier Turpin, director of multicultural marketing at Dunkin’ Donuts. “Any company that decides to engage this consumer base is positioning themselves in a better place for future growth.”
Between 2000 and 2012, the number of Hispanics in the United States doubled to 53 million, according to the Pew Research Center, a Washington-based think tank.
The Census Bureau predicts that there will be more Hispanics in the country than non-Hispanic whites by 2043.
Winning their favor is particularly important for coffee chains.
Turpin said Latinos drink more coffee and visit quick-service restaurants more frequently than other Americans.
Dunkin’ hired Turpin two years ago to enhance the brand’s relationship with Latino consumers, he said.
The Dunkin’ website and mobile application are now in both English and Spanish, and the company has since created several marketing campaigns in Spanish, he said.
The timing of the new Twitter account coincides with the company’s second attempt to open a stable of stores in California, where Latinos are expected to become the dominant population this year.
Despite Dunkin’s cult presence locally, it hasn’t been able to attract the same following on the West Coast.
Dunkin’ Donuts once operated 17 stores in California and now operates only three restaurants in nontraditional settings on a US Marine base, in a hotel, and in a travel station. Dunkin’ eventually wants to open 1,000 stores in the state.
The brand has 378 stores in South America, Central America, and Spain.
Darren Seifer, a food and beverage industry analyst with the New York market research firm, NPD Group, said many companies are trying to cater to Latinos because of their spending power.
“If you were to treat the Hispanic population in the US like it’s own economy, it would be about the 12th largest economy in the world,” Seifer said. “That’s a big opportunity to go after.”
Turpin said Dunkin’ doesn’t plan to broadly change its menu to include Latin American staples, such as tacos, anytime soon.
But Dunkin’ may expand its markets for such products as Dulce de Leche Donut.