Dunkin' Donuts Adding Gluten-Free Options, Focusing on Beverages

Image: Dunkin' Donuts Adding Gluten-Free Options, Focusing on Beverages

Thursday, 20 Jun 2013 05:00 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Dunkin' Donuts customers will soon be able to team a cup of coffee with gluten-free pastries.

Jumping into the rapidly growing gluten-free food market, which generated $19.7 billion in sales last year, Dunkin’ Donuts will sell gluten-free cinnamon sugar doughnuts and blueberry muffins by the end of the year, Bloomberg News reported.

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Although moving forward to keep up with consumer trends, Dunkin' Donuts is reportedly pushing to be acknowledged as something other than a doughnut store.

Forbes reported the chain is bringing marketing focus to its beverage and coffee products, which make up 58 percent of sales today.

“We are a beverage company,” Dunkin Donuts’ CFO Paul Carbone said, putting the company in competition with Starbucks and other drink-oriented businesses.

The company will be focusing a media campaign to drive sales out West, Forbes reports, wanting to add stores in that part of the country. The chain currently has about 7,400 stores around the country.

Gluten-free products have become popular as medical professionals recognized and educated patients about celiac disease, a problem for about one in every 133 Americans. People with celiac disease have an immune reaction to eating gluten, sometimes even in extremely small amounts.

But even people without gluten allergies or celiac disease are buying gluten-free products. The Christian Science Monitor said one in three adults say they’d like to cut down their gluten intake.

The newspaper reported that gluten-free diets may be rising in popularity because some celebrities have talked about their gluten-free diets. Miley Cyrus and Gwyneth Paltrow both are gluten-free, and Paltrow released a cookbook with gluten-free recipes.

Julie Jones, a professor of dietetics in St. Paul, Minn., told Business Insider that gluten-free is the “diet du jour” but that not many people really need to take gluten out of their diets. She cautioned that cutting out gluten can cause peope to be deficient in several nutrients and fiber.

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