Coffee Buzz: Where Dunkin, Starbucks Aim to Expand

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

While Dunkin Brands expands in the U.S., Starbucks is pushing for greater growth overseas, the CEOs told CNBC in separate interviews on Wednesday.

There's plenty of room for both companies in the U.S., Dunkin Brands CEO Nigel Travis told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Thursday.

"We don't think of Starbucks as our direct competitor," Travis said "They're very much about coffee. We're about breakfast sandwiches and the bakery. We can both continue to do extremely well."

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said they don't really see Dunkin as competition either.

"The competition is quite bifurcate," Schultz said. "You can mention McDonald's, Dunkin, and Panera. These are good companies but they don't in anyway resonate with the consumer the way we do."

The Starbucks exec said what his company excels at is the "sourcing and roasting of quality coffees and the experience we create in our stores."

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He also pointed to the strides they've made in social and digital media, saying "all of these things have given us the ability to create significant channels of distribution outside our stores."

Starbucks is also global, with the company fast approaching 1,000 stores in China and Japan.

Dunkin, meanwhile, is focused on growth in the U.S. where it still has plenty of "white space" to open new stores, Travis said.

"We've got over 50 percent of the U.S. still to go," he said. And down the road, growth in Dunkin U.S. should rise above 5 percent.

(Read More: Starbucks Taking a Cue From the Wine Industry: CEO)

"On top of that we've got our other brands," Travis added. "Baskin [Robbins] is coming back to becoming a growth business and the international business is developing very nicely."

During the first three months of the year, Starbucks was able to post a "stunning" 7-percent comp increase in the U.S. while Dunkin only posted only a 1.7-percent comp given some difficult weather comparisons.

(Read More: Dunkin' CEO Eats Doughnuts for Breakfast (Really!))

Dunkin said it continues to work on "weatherproofing" the Baskin-Robbins business. He said the company is pushing ice-cream cakes "because they tend to be occasion-driven and they don't have the daily ritual Dunkin has."

Schultz said the weather isn't a factor for Starbucks' business. "Others are complaining about weather and other things. We don't talk about weather," he said. "What we're talking about is the ability we have as a company to exceed the expectations of the company."

Longer-term, Starbucks wants double-digit revenue increases and 15- to 20-percent increases in terms of earnings per share

-By CNBC's Justin Menza. Follow him on Twitter @JustinMenza

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