The web erupted with mixed reactions last summer when Dunkin’ Donuts announced its new gluten-free bakery items, scheduled for release by the end of 2013. Yet as New Year’s came and went, one fact was apparent: the gluten-free goodies were nowhere on the menu.
In a statement to Gluten-Free Living, Dunkin’ Donuts confirmed the disappointing news:
In 2013, we tested a gluten-free Cinnamon Sugar Donut and Blueberry Muffin in select markets. We are currently assessing the results of this test, as well as feedback from our guests and franchisees, and we do not have plans to launch these products nationally at this time. We are continuing to develop additional gluten-free products for future tests, and we remain committed to exploring ways to offer our guests gluten-free choices.
Last July, Dunkin’ presented a promising plan for ensuring the safe production of these new products. The baked goods were certified gluten free by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO), prepared in a dedicated facility and individually packaged to avoid cross-contamination. With more than 7,000 restaurants in 36 states, Dunkin’ would have been a massive platform for gluten-free products.
Although by no means a healthy option—the donut was 320 calories and the muffin 400 calories—these bakery items were seen by many as a welcome treat for gluten-free consumers across the U.S.
Starbucks experienced a similar setback when it introduced a gluten-free Valencia orange-flavored cake three years ago. After a mere two months, the coffee chain pulled the cake from stores due to negative customer feedback.
While all of Dunkin’s beverages are still gluten free, a donut indulgence remains a distant dream.