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Here's Why Dunkin' Donuts May Change Its Name

"America runs on Dunkin'" has been Dunkin' Donuts' slogan for more than a decade now. But it turns out the clever coffee cup catchphrase may hold an unexpected clue to the ubiquitous donut purveyor's future; namely, the future of its name. You may want to set that Boston Kreme down for this one. 

Yes, Dunkin' Donuts may be changing its name, according to a report by the Associated Press. The company signaled the potentially massive branding change when it recently revealed plans to open a new Pasadena, California location that's simply branded as Dunkin'. No Donuts. Just Dunkin'. The move, according to the company, is a trial effort to emphasize that it offers more than just donuts.

"While we remain the number one retailer of donuts in the country, as part of our efforts to reinforce that Dunkin’ Donuts is a beverage-led brand and coffee leader, we will be testing signage in a few locations that refer to the brand simply as “Dunkin’," a spokesperson said in a statement via email on Friday. "The signage will appear on a new restaurant scheduled to open in Pasadena this month, followed by a few other locations later this year."

Test or not, the change is pretty crazy, right? Well, Dunkin' claims dumping the Donuts half of its name isn't as crazy as it may seem, if you consider its longtime slogan: "We have been referring to ourselves simply as Dunkin’ in our advertising for more than a decade, ever since we introduced our “America Runs on Dunkin’” campaign."

But don't get too sentimental about the iconic branding just yet. Dunkin' Donuts doesn't plan on making a final decision to change its name across the board until "the latter half of 2018" when it begins rolling out redesigned stores, the spokesperson said. So, until then, hold on to your Munchkins, folks. 

Hopefully, other popular chains don't follow suit. Burger King rebranding to just Burger, or Taco Bell rebranding to just Taco, or Krispy Kreme rebranding to just Kreme would get confusing. And awkward. 

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Tony Merevick is Senior News Editor at Thrillist and is thinking about changing his name to just Merevick. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.