Starbucks Is Already in Front of the Next Specialty Beverage Craze | Coffee News |

Starbucks' (NASDAQ: SBUX  ) enormous success prompted McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) and Dunkin' Brands Group (NASDAQ: DNKN  ) to enter the specialty coffee market. Now, its success serving tea and chocolate-based beverages is driving another wave of copycat beverages. Growing demand for tea and chocolate provides an opportunity for all three companies to increase beverage sales, but one company is positioned better than the other two.

Americans are going crazy for tea
U.S. demand for tea is soaring. According to the Tea Association of the USA, the size of the U.S. tea industry grew from a mere $1 billion in 1990 to $10 billion at present -- a 10.5% compound annual growth rate. The industry is expected to grow another 30% by 2017.

So it is no surprise that Starbucks, McDonald's, and Dunkin' Brands have eagerly rolled out their own teas. Starbucks owns two major tea brands: Tazo and Teavana. McDonald's serves iced tea and sweet tea. Dunkin' Donuts serves hot tea and iced tea in its stores and packaged tea through retailers.