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The Huge Differences Between Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts Coffee Drinkers

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OK. Enough politics for now. Now, let’s look at a perhaps even MORE polarized competition between America’s two most emblematic coffee purveyors, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. You don’t need a PhD in machine learning to know that one fancies itself the hip and trendy spot for java, while the other is the every-man (and every-woman) place to get a cup of Joe. As you would expect, a lot of the correlations we see among fans of each brand are proxies for age, income, race, and other core demographics.

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But, when you dig deeper, you find a few less-intuitive predictors, some that could even prove to be marketing gold for both brands. From our survey data, we analyzed two groups of consumers, 15,999 people who said they “love” Starbucks coffee and 10,020 people who said they “love” Dunkin Donuts coffee. We then cross-tabulated those responses with 161 consumer profile traits to uncover what most differentiated these two populations. The responses for both groups aged 18 or older were reweighted, when necessary, according to US Census figures for gender, age, and US region. (We will publish another post soon, looking specifically at brand and celebrity preferences for both groups).

GEEK ALERT: As with the other similar analyses we have done, we screened all tables so that they met the basic assumptions of the Pearson’s chi-squared test, and then looked at all tables that had an adjusted p-value less than 0.01 according to the Benjamini-Hochberg false detection rate procedure. In the end, 105 tables that met these criteria. Below, they are ranked in descending order by their Tschuprow’s T coefficient, which is a measure of the strength of association found within the tables.

TRANSLATION: Blah, blah, blah. Below, ranked from 1 to 105, are the biggest differences between lovers of Starbucks (STBX) and lovers of Dunkin Donuts (DD):

1.       Religion:  45% of Starbucks drinkers say their religious beliefs are “not at all important” to them, vs. 14% of Dunkin drinkers. 

2.       Social Networking: 80% of Starbucks lovers say they are a member of a social networking site, vs. 56% of Dunkin lovers. 

3.       Online TV Viewing: 47% of Starbucks drinkers say they watch full TV programs online, vs. 21% of Dunkin drinkers. 

4.       Parent-hood:  52% of Starbucks drinkers are neither parents nor grandparents, vs. 27% of Dunkin drinkers. 

5.       Political Leanings: 23% of Starbucks drinkers describe themselves as “conservative,” vs. 45% of Dunkin drinkers. 46% of Starbucks drinkers describe themselves as “liberal,” vs. 20% of Dunkin drinkers. 

6.       Twitter: 42% of Starbucks drinkers say they have a Twitter account, vs. 18% of Dunkin drinkers. 

7.       Residential Status: 45% of Starbucks drinkers own their own home, vs. 71% of Dunkin drinkers. 31% of Starbucks drinkers live in an apartment, vs. 22% of Dunkin drinkers. 18% of Starbucks drinkers still live with mom and dad, vs. 3% of Dunkin drinkers. 

8.       Views on the Housing Market: 66% of Dunkin Drinkers believe now is a good time to buy a new home, while only 41% of Starbucks drinkers feel the same way.

9.       Facebook Experience: 14% of Starbucks drinkers say they’ve “never been on Facebook and never will,” vs. 33% of Dunkin drinkers. 42% of Starbucks drinkers say they’ve “been on Facebook for years and am still very active,” vs. 18% of Dunkin drinkers. 

10.    Buying Organic: 27% of Starbucks drinkers make it a point to buy organic products, vs. 7% of Dunkin drinkers. 31% of Starbucks drinkers do not make it a point to but organic products, vs. 53% of Dunkin drinkers. 

11.   Smart-phone Usage: 63% of Starbucks drinkers use a smartphone, vs. 42% of Dunkin drinkers. 

12.   Retirement Savings: 50% of Starbucks drinkers currently have some sort of retirement fund, vs. 73% of Dunkin drinkers. 

13.   Job Type: Dunkin drinkers are more likely to work in “Professional/Managerial”, “Computer/Technical/Medical” fields, or to be Retired. Starbucks drinkers are more likely to be “Homemakers,” working in a Service field, or not employed for pay at all.

14.   Marital Status: 57% of Dunkin drinkers are married, compared to only 40% of Starbucks drinkers. Dunkin drinkers are also 2x more likely to be divorced or “separated.”

15.   Buying Green: 51% of Starbucks drinkers make it a priority to purchase environmentally friendly products and services, vs. 29% of Dunkin drinkers. 

16.   Angry Birds: 51% of Starbucks drinkers say they’ve played an Angry Birds game, vs. 33% of Dunkin drinkers. 

17.   Gender: 32% of Starbucks drinkers are male, vs. 50% of Dunkin drinkers. 

18.   Next Car Purchase: 52% of Starbucks drinkers are likely to buy their next car “used” compared to 35% of Dunkin drinkers. Dunkin drinkers are more than 4.5X more likely than Starbucks drinkers to lease their next new car.

19.   Web Browser of Choice: 27% of Starbucks drinkers use Internet Explorer, vs. 50% of Dunkin drinkers. 31% of Starbucks drinkers use Chrome, vs. 13% of Dunkin drinkers.

20.   Next Place They Would Live: 48% of Starbucks drinkers say they would rent, vs. 28% of Dunkin drinkers. 38% of Starbucks drinkers say they would buy, vs. 57% of Dunkin drinkers. 

21.   Most Watched Cable News Network: 26% of Starbucks drinkers list CNN as their facorite cable news network, compared to 19% of Dunkin drinkers. Meanwhile, 43% of Dunkin drinkers list Fox News as their favorite, versus only 21% of Starbucks drinkers. They are tied, 13-13 on MSNBC.

22.   Fast Food Dining: 37% of Starbucks drinkers eat at fast food restaurants “once a week or more,” vs. 19% of Dunkin drinkers.

23.   What Level of Income They Believe Qualifies Someone as Being Rich: 29% of Starbucks drinkers consider someone who makes over $125,000 “rich”, compared to only 10% of Dunkin drinkers.

24.   Digital Device Addiction: 38% of Starbucks drinkers say they’re addicted to their digital devices, vs. 20% of Dunkin drinkers. 

25.   Text Messaging: 70% of Starbucks drinkers say they send text messages every day, vs. 51% of Dunkin drinkers. 11% of Starbucks drinkers say they never send text messages, vs. 25% of Dunkin drinkers. 

26.   Location-Sharing Apps: 15% of Starbucks drinkers use location sharing apps, vs. 7% of Dunkin drinkers. (In a somewhat humorous example of technical ignorance, 30% of Dunkin drinkers said “I don’t know,” vs. 16% of Starbucks drinkers.)

27.   Landline Telephones At Home: 54% of Starbucks drinkers have a land based telephone, vs. 70% of Dunkin drinkers. 

28.   Going to the Movies: 62% of Starbucks drinkers go to the movies at least once every few months, vs. 45% of Dunkin drinkers. 

29.   Telephone Survey Takers: 50% of Starbucks drinkers have responded to a telephone survey, vs. 69% of Dunkin drinkers.

30.   Time Spent on Facebook: 36% of Starbucks drinkers spend more than five hours a week on Facebook, vs. 19% of Dunkin drinkers. 23% of Starbucks drinkers don’t belong to Facebook, vs. 41% of Dunkin drinkers.

31.   Downloading Music and Movies on the Internet 66% of Starbucks drinkers download music or movies over the Internet at least occasionally, vs. 48% of Dunkin drinkers.

32.   Who Buys the Groceries: 14% of Starbucks drinkers say their spouse or partner does the majority of their grocery shopping, vs. 25% of Dunkin drinkers. 17% of Starbucks drinkers say their parents do, vs. 5% of Dunkin drinkers.

33.   Where They Get Their Weather Forecasts: 47% of Dunkin drinkers get their weather from TV, 33% online, and 17% on their smart-phones. Starbucks drinkers, on the other hand get theirs online (39%), television (29%), and smart-phone (24%). 7% of Starbucks drinkers never check the weather.

34.   Left-Brain/Right-Brain: 49% of Starbucks drinkers favor practical solutions over creative ideas, vs. 64% of Dunkin drinkers 

35.   How They Receive Health Insurance: 47% of Dunkin drinkers get health insurance from an employer, versus just 36% of Starbucks drinkers. 29% of Strabucks drinkers are covered under their spouse or family’s plan, compared to only 14% of Dunkin drinkers

36.   Favorite Smart Phone Operating System: 33% of Starbucks drinkers prefer iOS and 28% prefer Android, compared to 20% and 19% of Dunkin drinkers, respectively.

37.   Donating By Text Message: 23% of Starbucks drinkers have donated money to a charity or cause via text message, vs. 11% of Dunkin drinkers

38.   Political Party Registration: 21% of Starbucks drinkers are registered Republicans, vs. 41% of Dunkin drinkers; 41% of Starbucks drinkers are registered Democrats, vs. 33% of Dunkin drinkers

39.   Google: 31% of Starbucks drinkers consider Google to be “very trustworthy,” vs. 16% of Dunkin drinkers; 12% of Starbucks drinkers consider Google to be either “very untrustworthy” or “somewhat untrustworthy,” vs. 22% of Dunkin drinkers 

40.   “Sensers” Versus “Feelers”: 54% of Starbucks drinkers make decisions objectively, as opposed to basing their decisions on how they feel and how others will be affected, vs. 69% of Dunkin drinkers

41.   Mobile Coupons: 27% of Starbucks drinkers have used their cell phone to redeem mobile coupons, vs. 12% of Dunkin drinkers

42.   Household Chores: 58% of Starbucks drinkers prefer to cook, vs. 44% of Dunkin drinkers; 13% of Starbucks drinkers prefer to do yardwork, vs. 26% of Dunkin drinkers

43.   Time at Their Current Residence: 50% of Starbucks drinkers have lived in their current house/apartment five years or less, vs. 34% of Dunkin drinkers

44.   Making Up Their Minds: 46% of Starbucks drinkers said they like to have things settled, rather than keep their options open, when making major decisions, vs. 60% of Dunkin drinkers

45.   Hair Color: 56% of Starbucks drinkers have Brown hair and 18% are Blonde. 45% of Dunkin drinkers have Brown hair and 22% are Blonde. Starbucks drinkers are more than twice as likely to have Red hair, while Dunkin drinkers are 2.3X more likely to have Gray hair.

46.   Morning Person or Night Owl: 62% of Starbucks drinkers say they’re night owls, vs. 47% of Dunkin drinkers; 26% of Starbucks drinkers say they’re a morning person, vs. 40% of Dunkin drinkers

47.   Concerns Over Crime and Violence: 65% of Starbucks drinkers say they are at least “somewhat concerned” with crime and violence in their community, vs. 79% of Dunkin drinkers

48.   Early or Late Risers: 22% of Starbucks drinkers wake up before 6 am, vs. 33% of Dunkin drinkers; 29% of Starbukcs drinkers wake up after 8 am, vs. 17% of Dunkin drinkers

49.   Exercise: 72% of Starbucks drinkers exercise at least “several times a month,” vs. 56% of Dunkin drinkers

50.   Where They Eat Lunch: 47% of Dunkin drinkers eat lunch at home, 33% pack their lunch, and 19% eat out. Meanwhile, 41% of Starbucks drinkers eat at home, 26% pack, and 33% eat out.

51.   AARP Membership: 10% of Starbucks drinkers are members of the AARP, vs. 20% of Dunkin drinkers

52.   iPods and MP3 Players: 70% of Starbucks drinkers own an iPod or other mp3 player, vs. 56% of Dunkin drinkers

53.   Recreational Reading: 61% of Starbucks drinkers prefer fiction, vs. 46% of Dunkin drinkers; 33% of Starbucks drinkers prefer non-fiction, vs. 44% of Dunkin drinkers

54.   Current Level of Energy: 34% of Starbucks drinkers said their energy level was at least “moderately high,” vs. 25% of Dunkin drinkers (This question is a little silly, but it’s kind of funny here since we’re comparing coffee brands)

55.   Buying Tickets With Mobile: 17% of Starbucks drinkers have bought travel or entertainment tickets using their cell phone, vs. 7% of Dunkin drinkers

56.   Online News Websites: 58% of Starbucks drinkers spend LESS than five hours a week on news websites, vs. 46% of Dunkin drinkers.

57.   Search Engine of Choice: 82% of Starbucks drinkers use Google, vs. 67% of Dunkin drinkers

58.   Employment: 46% of Starbucks drinkers say they are “not currently employed for pay,” vs. 31% of Dunkin drinkers

59.   News Sources: 71% of Starbucks drinkers say they get the majority of their news information from the internet (though not apparently from news websites), vs. 58% of Dunkin drinkers

60.   Most-Watched Broadcast TV Network: Starbucks drinkers name Fox (22%), NBC (19%), ABC (18%), and CBS (16%) as their favorites. Dunkin drinkers say Fox (33%), CBS (21%), NBC (14%) and ABC (11%).

61.   Domestic Travel: 67% of Starbucks drinkers have been to twenty states or LESS, vs. 53% of Dunkin drinkers

62.   Public Transportation: 45% of Starbucks drinkers “never” use public transportation, vs. 57% of Dunkin drinkers 

63.   Walmart vs. Target: 49% of Dunkin drinkers make most of their purchases in a given year at Walmart and 20% at Target. On the flip-side, 42% of Starbucks drinkers shop most at Walmart and 32% at Target.

64.   Time Online: 60% of Starbucks drinkers spend more than twelve hours a week on the internet, vs. 45% of Dunkin drinkers

65.   Charter Schools: 47% of Dunkin drinkers have a favorable view of charter schools versus only 32% of Starbucks drinkers.

66.   The American Dream: 54% of Starbucks drinkers view owning a home as the American dream, vs. 67% of Dunkin drinkers

67.   Cell Phone Banking: 29% of Starbucks drinkers use their cell phones to do banking, vs. 18% of Dunkin drinkers

68.   Cat or Dog: 38% of Starbucks drinkers prefer cats, vs. 26% of Dunkin drinkers; 51% of Starbucks drinkers prefer dogs, vs. 60% of Dunkin drinkers

69.   Multi-Lingual: 32% of Starbucks drinkers speak two or more languages fluently, vs. 20% of Dunkin drinkers

70.   Home TV Service: 72% of Dunkin drinkers have cable/broadband service in their homes and 21% have satellite, compared to 62% and 25% of Starbucks drinkers, respectively. Starbucks drinkers are 2x more likely to have no home TV service.

71.   State of the Current Economy: 81% of Dunkin drinkers characterize the current US economy as “Weak” versus 71% of Starbucks drinkers.

72.   Dental Insurance: 57% of Starbucks drinkers receive dental insurance, vs. 65% of Dunkin drinkers

73.   Country Music: 49% of Starbucks drinkers like country music, vs. 59% of Dunkin drinkers

74.   Interest in Sports: 34% of Starbucks drinkers say they are not interested in sports at all compared to just 23% of Dunkin drinkers.

75.   Views on the Job Market: 43% of Dunkin drinkers believe the US economy will get worse in the next six months, versus 31% of Starbucks drinkers.

76.   Personal Financial Situation: Conversely, 40% of Starbucks drinkers expect their personal financial situation to get better in the next six months compared to only 29% of Dunkin drinkers.  

77.   Window or Aisle Seat: 23% of Starbucks drinkers prefer the aisle seat when flying, vs. 30% of Dunkin drinkers 

78.   Registered Voters: 88% of Starbucks drinkers are registered to vote, vs. 93% of Dunkin drinkers 

79.   Voting Frequency: 58% of Starbucks drinkers “always” vote in local, state, or federal elections, vs. 69% of Dunkin drinkers

80.   The Importance of Cell Phone Operating Systems: 80% of Starbucks drinkers say that the operating system is at least “somewhat important” when considering a new cell phone purchase, vs. 70% of Dunkin drinkers.

81.   Technology Blogs: 19% of Starbucks drinkers read tech blogs or websites daily, vs. 21% of Dunkin drinkers; 22% of Starbucks drinkers read tech blogs or websites weekly, vs. 13% of Dunkin drinkers

82.   Screening Phone Calls: 87% of Dunkin drinkers screen phone calls from telemarketers always or most of the time, compared to 83% of Starbucks drinkers.

83.   Business Travel: 64% of Starbucks drinkers “never” travel out of town for business, vs. 60% of Dunkin drinkers

84.   Conflict Resolution: 55% of Starbucks drinkers say they are “straightforward and direct,” as opposed to “more sensitive and diplomatic,” vs. 46% of Dunkin drinkers

85.   Bagging Groceries: 58% of Starbucks drinkers use plastic bags, vs. 68% of Dunkin drinkers; 31% of Starbucks drinkers use bags they bring from home, vs. 21% of Dunkin drinkers

86.   Most Important Cell Phone Features: 9% of Starbucks drinkers say “carrier availability,” vs. 17% of Dunkin drinkers; 32% of Starbucks drinkers say “functionality,” vs. 26% of Dunkin drinkers

87.   Recent Spending on Entertainment, Movies, Concerts, & Sporting Events, etc: 43% of Starbucks drinkers spent less than $20 in the past 30 days, vs. 55% of Dunkin drinkers; 22% of Starbucks drinkers spent more than $100, vs. 14% of Dunkin drinkers

88.   Watching Movies at Home: 27% of Starbucks drinkers watch movies at home on demand, vs. 37% of Dunkin drinkers; 17% of Starbucks drinkers rent from the local video store, vs. 11% of Dunkin drinkers

89.   Pepsi or Coke: 53% of Starbucks drinkers prefer Coke, vs. 42% of Dunkin drinkers; 30% of Starbucks drinkers prefer Pepsi, vs. 36% of Dunkin drinkers

90.   NASCAR: 12% of Starbucks drinkers regularly watch NASCAR or other motorsports, vs. 18% of Dunkin drinkers

91.   Hybrid Cars: 7% of Starbucks drinkers drive a hybrid car, vs. 3% of Dunkin drinkers

92.   Print Newspaper Subscribers: 30% of Starbucks drinkers subscribe to a print newspaper, vs. 38% of Dunkin drinkers

93.   ESPN: 55% of Starbucks drinkers “never” watch ESPN, vs. 46% of Dunkin drinkers

94.   Race: 78% of Starbucks drinkers are white, vs. 84% of Dunkin drinkers

95.   Eating Breakfast: 56% of Starbucks drinkers eat breakfast at home, vs. 64% of Dunkin drinkers; 21% of Starbucks drinkers don’t eat breakfast, vs. 14% of Dunkin drinkers

96.   Political Websites or Blogs: 36% of Dunkin drinkers read political websites or blogs “daily,” 17% “weekly,” and 47% “never.” Meanwhile, 33% of Starbucks drinkers read them daily, 25% weekly, and 42% never.

97.   Fantasy Sports: 14% of Starbucks drinkers have played fantasy sports, vs. 20% of Dunkin drinkers

98.   Online Product Reviews: 30% of Starbucks drinkers consult online product reviews “Always” when making a major purchase decision, versus 26% of Dunkin Drinkers.

99.    Electronics: Starbucks drinkers are nearly 2X more likely than Dunkin drinkers to spend “a lot more” on electronics in the next 30 days.

100.  Fishing: 14% of Starbucks drinkers regularly fish, vs. 19% of Dunkin drinkers. No shocker here.

101.  Mac or PC: 16% of Starbucks drinkers are prefer Macs, vs. 9% of Dunkin drinkers; 59% of Starbucks drinkers prefer PCs, vs. 66% of Dunkin drinkers

102. Where They Live: 36% of Starbucks drinkers live in the city, vs. 27% of Dunkin drinkers; 43% of Starbucks drinkers live in the suburbs, vs. 52% of Dunkin drinkers

103. Economic Outlook: Similar to other consumer sentiment questions, over the next six months, 41% of Dunkin drinkers expect the US economy to get worse, compared to 32% of Starbucks drinkers.

104. Eye Color: 40% of Starbucks drinkers have Brown eyes, compared to 34% of Dunkin drinkers. But 66% of Dunkin drinkers have Blue or Hazel eyes, compared to 48% of Starbucks drinkers.

105.Current Wireless Carrier:

Starbucks drinkers are more likely to subscribe to AT&T and Sprint; Dunkin drinkers are more likely to subscribe to Verizon, Cricket, or to have no wireless carrier at all.


Interested in more food and beverage insights? Check out our recent posts on restaurant spending, made-to-order food, and the move away from sugar! 

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