Dunkin Anniversary Box Re-Asserts Claims to Mister Donut

Dunkin DonutsA good strategy when you have an older company with many different iterations is to periodically put out commemorative products and packaging using old versions of the company’s logo and brand identity. Here, a 60th anniversary box from Dunkin’ Donuts.

A few reasons why it is a good thing to do:

  • It helps your staff know about the history of the company and its brand story.
  • It’s free art; you don’t have to pay for it.
  • It asserts legal ownership to not only the word mark, but various iterations of it.
  • It shows your customers that you have a long, reputable and amusing brand story.
  • Most importantly, it’s fun and memorable, and brings back happy days.

Companies, however, don’t do it enough. They are always so busy trying to brand their current look that they obliterate all parts of the brand story. They are quite often scared of this sort of thing. Or even worse, the don’t believe that THEIR brand is interesting enough to warrant this sort of treatment.

But looking closely at the box you can see something else in the mix. Mister Donut, which was acquired by Dunkin in 1990. And it’s a Mister Donut with a trademark R next to it. This is obviously more than nostalgia; it is I am sure a well-founded and reasoned play to assert that Dunkin’ Donuts, which eliminated the Mister Donut brand, still wants to hold rights to it. The reality is that companies must use brands to assert ownership. And Mister Donut is a name that could be lost if Dunkin’ doesn’t use it.

A bit of Mister Donut History from our writer Matt Gottlieb: Mister Donut’s founder Harry Winouker was the brother in law of Dunkin’ Donuts’ creator Bill Rosenberg. Both established coast-to-coast chains across America and ventured into the Pacific Rim market. Where Dunkin’ Donuts outlasted Mister Donut in the USA, the opposite occurred in Asia. Mister Donut remains Japan’s biggest doughnut outlet with a strong market presence in the Philippines. Read more about it in Matt Gottlieb’s story on Okinawa brands.

Learn More

More: Read our story on Mister Donut in our 2009 The Phoenix Project Contest conducted by the Savannah College of Art and Design. One of the brands discussed by students in the contest was Mister Donut.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website BrandlandUSA.com has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.


  1. Love the Dunkin. I had no idea that they made them. Us folks in the south just had Krispy Kreme so we never knew such delights.

  2. They appearently started as “Open Kettle” and they don’t seem to have that name on the box. Nor do they have Dawn Donuts’ log, a chain they acquired in the Flint, Michigan area.

  3. I always find it fun and interesting to learn about a company’s brand, so it’s nice to see that Dunkin Donuts is showing its history on a box like this. It would be good to see more brands sharing their stories in such creative ways.

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