Dunkin' Donuts is removing artificial colors from its U.S. menu.


Feel free to indulge

Sure, consumers are looking for healthy options and nutrient-dense foods for breakfast. But even in the morning, people still want to indulge a bit. If not, brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, Canton, Mass., would have no stake in the game.

Whether going for a healthy option or indulging in a sweet good, consumers don’t want to feel their choice requires sacrifice. To that end, Dunkin’ plans to remove artificial colors from products on its U.S. menu.

“At Dunkin’, we are committed to serving our guests great-tasting, high-quality products and cleaner menu labels,” the company stated in a March 1 announcement.

In response to consumer demand for nutritional transparency and cleaner-label ingredients in indulgent sweet goods, its development teams have been working with suppliers for several years to replace synthetic colors with those sourced from natural ingredients by the end of 2018.

That’s something many baking companies have noticed as well.

“Indulgent comfort food is also an emerging trend despite healthier eating habits,” said Gary Kyle, chief sales and marketing officer, James Skinner Baking Co., Omaha, Neb. “Consumers want delicious, quality baked goods, and J. Skinner offers fresh products that provide that ultimate eating experience we strive to create with our artisan baked goods.”

According to the NPD Group, 8.5% of in-home breakfast occasions include pancakes, waffles and French toast. And research from Technomic revealed that the highest priorities for consumers when choosing a food service menu item, both during the week and on the weekend, were good taste, followed by high quality — two attributes often associated with sweet goods and indulgent foods.

Additionally, brunch is gaining traction as a popular meal occasion, opening the door for more indulgent breakfast items both in and out of the home.