As the Wall Street Journal reports, Dunkin Donuts is returning to Russia. After it has retreated from the market in 1999, the owner of the Dunkin’ Donut brand, Dunkin’ Brands, is planning to open 20 stores in Russia this year. At the time when then owner Allied Domecq decided after only three years in the market that Russia would not work for their brand, there were two Dunkin’ Donut stores in Moscow and three outside. The official reason has been Russia’s economic crisis, but there was also talk about difficult relationships with franchisees (in particular one who sold liquor and meat pies in addition to Dunkin’ products). There may have been at least one more reason – at least according to the Wall Street Journal, Russians aren’t really familiar with donut’s. In recognition of this, Dunkin will be experimenting with scalded cream and raspberry fillings. Plus, this time they are bringing in a lot of Russia expertise – Dunkin’ is teaming with a Russian real-estate developer. What’s also noteworthy is that Dunkin’s CEO, Nigel Travis, has developed the Russian market for another US brand in the past, Papa John’s.
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