The Artificial Ingredient Dunkin' Stopped Using In Its Donuts

Some mornings call for a large coffee to simply get our brains and bodies moving. Other times, we need an extra jolt of energy that can only be provided by a sweet treat for breakfast. Dunkin' understands this basic human need. The beloved brand has been brewing coffee and baking donuts and various indulgences since 1948, when William Rosenberg opened his first café's doors in Quincy, Massachusetts. Originally called Open Kettle, the restaurant was renamed Dunkin' Donuts a mere two years later. Several decades later, Dunkin' has become one of the most recognizable brands in the world, with more than 12,000 stores around the globe.

Despite being an established company with consistent menu items, Dunkin' appears to stand by the philosophy that even drastic change can be a very good thing. For example, the brand dropped the "Donuts" from its moniker in September 2018 as part of a major shift to focus on beverages, per NPR. Brand identity aside, the American icon also made a key change to its donuts' recipes.

Dunkin' no longer uses artificial coloring in its products

Next time you sink your teeth into a pastel pink-hued, strawberry frosted donut, a bright white vanilla Long John, or any other sugary delight from Dunkin', you can be sure that the coloring contains nothing artificial. Rick Golden, the company's R&D Manager aka the Manager of Donut Excellence (yes, that's his real title), released an official statement in January 2018 letting consumers know the brand had removed artificial dyes from its donuts and drinks. "This is all part of a larger initiative to offer our guests simpler ingredients and cleaner menu labels," the statement reads, noting that the company had "previously pledged to eliminate artificial dyes from all of our food and beverages in the U.S. by the end of 2018."

So, how is Dunkin' now coloring its sweets' icings, syrups, and fillings without the synthetic pigments it had been using all those years? Today, the company applies natural fruit juices and extracts to its recipes to achieve the bold colors its customers have come to expect.