Clean label move: Dunkin' Donuts scraps artificial dyes from US donuts

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09 Jan 2018 --- Dunkin' Donuts has removed all artificial dyes from its donuts in the US, declaring donuts now sold at restaurants nationwide are no longer being made using colors from artificial sources. Although the famous donuts are well-known for being bright and colorful, all synthetic dyes will be scrapped, something the company describes as a “milestone moment.”

As part of the company's ongoing efforts to offer guests great-tasting, high-quality products and cleaner menu labels, Dunkin' Brands Group, the parent company of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, previously pledged to eliminate artificial dyes from all of its food and beverages in the US by the end of 2018.

Click to Enlarge“Eliminating artificial dyes from our donuts is an incredible milestone moment for a fun brand whose products are synonymous with bright, colorful confections. After years of research and development, we are thrilled to be taking such a big step in providing guests with simpler ingredients while still delivering the delicious taste and vivid colors expected with our donuts,” said Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer, Dunkin' Donuts US.

“We look forward to sharing a sweet 2018 with more donut news and innovative new flavors in the months ahead.”

Weisman added that customers will be hard pressed to see the color difference in the new donuts.

For example, a new addition to Dunkin's donut offerings, the Snow Flurries Donut, features a frosted donut with wintry-blue icing and special snowflake sprinkles, all without colors from artificial sources.
 
By the end of 2018, Dunkin' Donuts will also remove synthetic dyes from other menu items beyond donut icings, fillings and toppings including frozen beverages such as COOLATTA frozen beverages, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and coffee flavorings.

Click to EnlargeSimilarly, Dunkin' Donuts' sister brand Baskin-Robbins will remove synthetic dyes from its menu, including ice cream sold both at its restaurants and at retail locations, as well as its syrups, sauces, sprinkles and beverages.

The exceptions on both brands' menus include select supplier-branded ingredients produced by other companies that are used as toppings, ice cream inclusions or decorative elements. Additionally, Baskin-Robbins will take a longer period of time to find replacements for the decorative elements on its ice cream cakes.

Simplifying menu options
Removing the synthetic dyes comes at the same time as Dunkin Donuts US restaurants are simplifying menu options, scaling back the menu by scrapping “slower moving” items.

Products like afternoon sandwiches, some muffins, bagel and cream cheese varieties, smoothies and flatbreads are included.

“Beginning in early 2017, Dunkin’ Donuts began testing a simplified menu in several markets and by the fall expanded the test to nearly 1,000 restaurants,” a statement sent to FoodIngredientsFirst says.
 
“After much analysis and consumer input, we have decided to roll out a simplified menu nationally in the first quarter of 2018, beginning with restaurants in New England and upstate New York. It is anticipated that all Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide will feature the new menu before the end of March.”
 
“Ninety percent of Dunkin’ Donuts menu remains unchanged. Dunkin’ Donuts’ vast lineup of coffee beverages, donuts and breakfast sandwiches are staying on the menu.”

Some of the items being removed were always optional for franchisees to offer at restaurants, according to the donut maker.

Simplifying the menu will result in faster, more accurate service and a more consistent consumer experience from store to store, while still offering consumer favorites, allowing for regional preferences as well as new beverages and food items.
 
By Gaynor Selby

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