Dunkin' drops the "Donuts" as it tests new store brand

Is it time to ditch the donuts -- at least in name?

A new Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN) store opening in the Boston suburb of Quincy is giving the idea a try, at least in its name. Officials say the "next generation" store being unveiled Tuesday will be the first in the nation to be billed simply as "Dunkin."

But the chain's signature doughnuts aren't going anywhere. The restaurant will still serve the fried treats that have been a mainstay for the company since its founding in Quincy in 1950. At the same time, Dunkin' Donuts is trying to take on Starbucks as a contender for consumers' coffee habits, rolling out new coffee flavors such as "winter white chocolate."

Dunkin' Donuts last year said it would test out a "less is more" strategy in about 1,000 locations out of its 9,000 U.S. stores by paring down its doughnut selection. The streamlined stores will sell a minimum of what it calls 18 "core donuts," down from about 30 varieties. Dunkin' Donuts said in a statement that, depending on how customers respond, it may pare down its selection nationwide.

The shortened name is part of a broader rebranding at several of the company's stores. The Canton, Massachusetts-based company has been referring to itself as Dunkin' in advertisements for years.

The Patriot Ledger reports the Quincy franchise also will pilot other new concepts, including multiple, high-tech drive-thru lanes.