These Coffee Chains Have the Best Coffee (Sorry Starbucks, Dunkin’)

Consumers shared the coffee favorites in a new survey and some surprising names come out on top.

Consumers can be pretty particular when it comes to their coffee, not just the flavor, but who makes it as well. For folks that lean on coffee to get them through the day, they may have a preference for not only a favorite coffee company and location but may even be picky enough to have a favorite barista who makes their coffee just how they like it.

When it comes to the best coffee around, one might assume that it comes from Starbucks  (SBUX) – Get Free Report. Maybe they would assume it is the best because Starbucks has about 33,000 locations worldwide. Maybe it is because Starbucks is ranked second in the world for revenue for fast food restaurants with $13 billion, only behind McDonald’s. 

Maybe it’s because it is not unheard of to have a Starbucks on one side of the road and then drive a little and there might be another Starbucks just a few blocks away. For any of the reasons above, you might be surprised to learn that it isn’t the top dog for coffee chains according to a survey performed by Technomic. 

Who’s Got the Good Stuff 

Interestingly enough some who made the top ten list are not in the coffee business but serve coffee with their core business products. 

– 10: At the bottom of the top of the list is Cinnabon. Clearly, its main market is Cinnabon’s or cinnamon rolls. The United States has 667 Cinnabon locations. 

– 9: Baskin-Robbins comes in at #9 —  who would have thought that coffee and ice cream go hand in hand?! There are 2,339 Baskin-Robbins locations in the United States. 

– 8: Einstein Bros. Bagels serves up breakfast and lunch bagels, adding a cup of joe to either get your day going or to energize you through lunch. Einsteins Bros. Bagels has 684 locations in the U.S.  

– 7: Corner Bakery Cafe specializes in baked goods, soups, and salads, but its coffee made the list! Corner Bakery Cafe has 192 locations in the U.S. 

– 6: Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop, a Canada-based business, pairs its coffee with donuts. There are 623 Tim Hortons locations across the nation. 

– 5: Much like Tim Hortons, those who love Dunkin’ Donuts love its coffee. Dunkin’ has more than ten times the number of locations as Tim Hortons however, with 9,534 locations nationwide. 

– 4: Dutch Bros Coffee is the first dedicated coffee business to make the list. It has 446 locations in the US, but primarily on the west coast. 

– 3: Starbucks needs no introduction and has 33,000 locations worldwide, with roughly half of those locations within the United States. 

– 2: Peet’s Coffee has 338 locations primarily on the west coast, but there are pockets of other locations on the east coast and a smattering throughout the rest of the country. 

– 1: Caribou Coffee takes the top prize. There are 488 locations, with a focus on Midwest locations and (surprisingly) no coastal locations at all. 

Consumers who participated in the survey had comments about their favorite coffee businesses.

“I stop here in the mornings on my way to work and it is really out of my way, so I leave a little early so I can get a great cup of coffee.” – one voter for Peet’s Coffee said. Another voter said, “I stop here in the mornings on my way to work and it is really out of my way, so I leave a little early so I can get a great cup of coffee.”

Survey Data Junkies 

The survey was able to garner data from coast to coast, and no businesses were deemed less appealing because of the number of locations. It just shows that even a small number of lovingly-run coffee businesses can make their mark in customers’ hearts. 

Technomic performed the survey through its Technomic Ignite Consumer platform, a foodservice industry-designed data analysis base to garner insight from busy consumers who are always on the go. Technomic is a sister company of Restaurant Business.

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