Is iced coffee the hottest drink this winter? A new independent survey commissioned by Dunkin' Donuts shows that more coffee drinkers are turning to iced coffee for energy during the coldest part of the year. According to the survey results, nearly 80% of iced coffee drinkers are drinking more iced coffee now than they did one year ago, and the majority of iced coffee drinkers prefer iced coffee to hot coffee even in the winter months.

Dunkin' Donuts, the company that serves the most hot traditional and iced coffee in America, commissioned the survey of 500 iced coffee drinkers throughout the country during the first week of January in 2011. With the National Coffee Association's "National Coffee Break Day" scheduled for tomorrow, Jan. 20 – part of the Association's Centennial celebration – Dunkin' Donuts aimed to determine the cold hard facts and trends about how coffee drinkers are warming up to iced coffee during the winter. The survey findings include:

• The majority of iced coffee drinkers, 56%, prefer iced coffee to hot coffee, even during the winter.

• Drinking iced coffee during the winter is a hot trend, as 48% of iced coffee drinkers started enjoying the beverage during the winter just within the past three years.

• For energy, iced coffee is the cool choice. When asked for their preferred beverage when they need energy, 64% said iced coffee, followed by energy drinks (22%), carbonated beverages (9%) and juice (6%).

• What do people like best about iced coffee? 
        - 42% said it gives them energy to get through the day 
        - 21% said they can drink it faster than hot coffee 
        - 19% felt it helped cool them down 
        - 18% like being able to drink their coffee through a straw

• Iced coffee drinkers like a little additional flavor in their cup, as 91% claimed they drink flavored iced coffee. Mocha and French Vanilla were the most popular flavors (30% each), followed by Caramel (22%) and Hazelnut (13%).

• Iced coffee drinkers are a tough bunch. Nearly 40% of iced coffee drinkers brave the elements and hold the cup with just their bare hand in the winter. Only 10% admit to using a glove every time.

• Is it ever too cold for iced coffee? Fifty-six percent said it is NEVER too cold to enjoy iced coffee.

• When do people prefer to drink their iced coffee? The top time periods are:

1. 9am-12pm (37%)
2. 12pm-3pm (30%)
3. 6am-9am (20%)
4. After 3pm (13%)

"At Dunkin' Donuts, iced coffee is fast becoming as popular as the classic cup of Dunkin' Donuts' hot coffee regardless of the season," said John Costello, Chief Global Customer and Marketing Officer at Dunkin' Brands. "As these survey results show, we can expect more and more people to turn to iced coffee for the energy they need to keep themselves running, regardless of how low the temperatures might drop."

Dunkin' Donuts' survey follows the recent launch of the brand's new multi-million dollar integrated advertising and marketing campaign for 2011 that celebrates its guests' dedication and passion for Dunkin' Donuts coffee. The campaign features "everyday Joes" and is anchored by a simple question and answer: "What are you drinkin'?", "I'm drinkin' Dunkin'." The campaign is integrated across television, radio, out-of-home and online advertising, as well as social media, public relations and in-restaurant activities to ensure all consumers are engaged on as many touch points as possible. The new campaign also includes a spot that celebrates year-round iced coffee drinkers.

Dunkin' Donuts serves 285 million cups of iced coffee per year, and is the number one retailer of iced coffee in America.* The brand has been at the forefront in developing an innovative process for brewing iced coffee, which has set the standard for the industry. The unique process, called double brewing, uses twice the amount of coffee when making the beverage to achieve consistent flavor and freshness that are never compromised at the expense of serving it cold. The result is a smooth, rich taste sensation--iced coffee that is never bitter or watered down.

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