Good news! Dunkin’ Donuts will be introducing and selling gluten-free cinnamon-sugar donuts and blueberry muffins later this year. It’s a revolutionary move to be the first to set a healthy trend for several fast food chains. It is poised to beat McDonald’s Corp. and Starbucks Corp.
The strategy, it seems is like hitting two birds with one stone. First, it could be Dunkin Donuts’ contribution to a healthier lifestyle as more people today are conscious of their health. Second, it could mean also an inventive move to boost their revenue and change their image.
As disclosed by Dunkin’s executive chef, Stan Frankenthaler, “ At Dunkin’ Donuts, we recognize the importance of providing our guests with may options, including alternative choices for people with food and dietary restrictions,” as told to Bloomberg.
If this move is successful, everything else will follow. It’s going to be the next trend in many restaurants, fast food chains and coffee shops as they try to lure customers with healthier food and of course increase their sales.
There are a growing number of people who believe in a gluten-free diet. Aside from people with Celiac Disease, people nowadays choose healthier options. Gluten-free baked goodies were enthusiastically received by people when it was taste-tested last year in certain parts of Florida and Massachusetts.
Gluten & Gluten-Free Diet:
Gluten is a protein usually found in foods processed from wheat, barley, rye and other related grain species. It gives elasticity to dough helping it to rise. The final product is chewy in texture. Those with Celiac Disease cannot eat foods with gluten
A gluten-free diet excludes foods containing gluten.
When people with Celiac Disease eat foods that contain gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. The villi allows nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream. If the villi is destroyed then the person becomes malnourished and other health issues such as anemia and osteoporosis exist. Blood tests can help diagnose the disease. According to National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse, more than 2 million people in the US are affected by Celiac Disease.
As reported by Packaged Facts, the gluten-free industry is valued at $4.2 billion and it is still growing. Industry sales are projected to exceed $6.6 billion by 2017.
The suggested prices for Dunkin’s gluten-free doughnuts is $1.89 and $2.39 for the muffins. According to Bloomberg, Dunkin chain has more than 7,300 U.S shops of which 99 percent are franchised.
Gluten foods are everywhere, this is the challenge. It’s in the staple products like bread and pasta and you may even find it in soups and salad dressing. Eating gluten-free foods is a lifestyle change not just a fad. But even so, some food critics say that it is not a guarantee for a healthy diet in fact they will have more calories than the regular donuts. As Adriana Velez wrote, “There will be nothing healthier about these donuts, they are still donuts after all.”
Success will be the measure for Dunkin’ Donuts to come up with this option. Who knows, these gluten-free confections will be the next trend for fast food chains.
What do you think? A penny for your thoughts?
Written for The Guardian Express: Anthony P. Derayunan