Dig in at Dunkin’! The “Donut” Chain Tries Out Gluten-free Goodies

Having grown up in the Boston area, Dunkin’ Donuts has always been my gold standard when it comes to baked morning goodies (albeit, gluten-filled). That orange and pink box showed up on more than one Sunday morning filled with a dozen different types of doughnuts, from glazed to frosted to jelly-filled. Now, in my gluten-free life, the DD means great coffee, not doughnuts and I still miss those morning munchkins.


Well, here’s some big news for all of you Dunkin’ Donuts fans! According to InvestorPlace, and as reported by the Huffington Post, DD is in the trial stages of incorporating some celiac-friendly fare to its menu! The chain is starting with locations in southern Florida (like Miami) and around Boston by selling individually wrapped gluten-free products so we don’t even have to worry about cross-contamination.

As reported by InvestorPlace, a spokesman for Dunkin’ Donuts noted that the options are still very much in the testing phase at a limited number of stores. The company is encouraged by positive feedback, but “do not yet have a timeframe for potential national distribution.”

This decision to expand its product line follows the recent surge in popularity surrounding gluten-free products in many fast food restaurants.

What do you think of this expansion? Are you excited to indulge in a pastry with your morning cup again, or do you think this is another result of the gluten-free diet fad?

44 thoughts on “Dig in at Dunkin’! The “Donut” Chain Tries Out Gluten-free Goodies”

  1. I was born and raised in the South, so obviously, I am a fan of Krispy Kreme. However, I would love to be able to buy a single gf donut, as opposed to a four pack of frozen gf donuts. I think it is promising, and if I recall correctly, one of the franchisee’s in Florda has a child with celiac. Anytime a parent of a child with celiac is involved it gives me hope that it will be done in a safe manner. Mmmmm, donuts.

  2. Personally, I cannot wait! One of the things I miss most is a good raised donut! I’ve told my hubby that DD is off limits for us (he still goes when he’s by himself) because they have nothing for me (I don’t drink coffee). So, this is very exciting news for me! Now, when Pizza Hut comes out with a GF pizza, then I think life will be even better, although I do have a GF pizza option nearby.

  3. Based on the article and Meg’s post, it sounds like the idea came from a celiac parent, but I’m guessing the diet fad is driving the decision at corporate to try a nationwide rollout. Either way, it’s good news!

  4. Fabulous news! Always frustrating going into DD at breakfast for coffee or tea and there are no gluten-free menu options! I hope they bring the GF menu items up to the East coast as well! :-)

  5. I’m excited. I won’t even go inside for coffee because the smell of the donuts is just pure torture for me. So, as soon as they have them in the Tampa Bay area I’ll be there.

  6. I love this idea! I know donuts, whether gluten-free or not, are not the healthiest option, but once in a while if I crave one I have to buy a box of frozen GF ones from the store and have to warm it to go at home. This would be nice for a change so that I can stop by and have one with my coffee in the mornings on the way to work!

  7. Even if it’s a response to a perceived “fad”, it helps those who need to be gf. Certainly there are celebrities, especially, who are jumping on the gf banwagon because they think it’ll help them lose weight (& perhaps it will), but the truth is also that w/better diagnostics & increased awareness, more people are being diagnosed w/celiac disease. & then there is the fact that, although not manifesting the immunologic hallmarks of celiac disease, some people simply feel better when not eating gluten, just as some w/autism seem to respond better when on a gf diet. I’m not sure those latter cases fit into the category of “fad”. I realize some folks w/celiac feel that the severity of their difficulty, i.e., that gluten can in fact be life-threatening, is minimized by the perception of some that gf is a fad. On the other hand, if companies feel that there’s a large enough market out there to cater to, then everyone gets more gf choices. I think a good example is the typical classroom/training exercise where people are blindfolded. Certainly it does not mimick the experience of being blind. But if it raises awareness, that can be a good thing.

  8. News like this is always encouraging for those of us with Celiac disease. But, it is also bittersweet. If Dunkin is anything like Subway then most of us will not have access to their GF products for a long time. Subway is still test marketing GF in specific areas and has no plans to expand that offering even after two years of testing. How long will it be until I can buy a GF Dunkin donut in my area? Maybe my grandkids can find one?

  9. This sounds too good to be true! Can’t wait to see what items they decide to offer in gluten free. Hope it is nut free too,so that my daughter can enjoy it as well. DD bring it on down here to Dallas Texas!! We love our sweets in the south.

  10. Having been diagnosed with celiac disease in 1968, I am happy to have more and more choices in prepared foods such as pizza. It is just too bad it has taken a gluten-free craze for more GF products to come on the market!

  11. If only DD hadn’t taken the easy way out.

    After years of dreaming that SOMEONE would market a raised, yeasty, airy honey dipped donut for the gluten-free community, I had hoped that THEY would be the ones to provide it. But no–here’s yet ANOTHER cinnamon-sugar cake donut–exactly like all the others available GF in supermarkets across the nation.

    Yes, I get that some of you are going to tell me that it’s better than nothing, and a good first step. Well, maybe so, but I see it as a problem when celiacs are so grateful to have ANY GF food in a restaurant that they’ll eat things they would never have touched in their old life just because they’re THERE. This does not send the right message. I didn’t hang up my credentials as a serious foodie [and baker] just because I gave up gluten.

    The only part of this lazy offering at DD that makes me happy, is that little kids who can’t have gluten can now feel included. Adults can suck it up when they have to sit out sharing food with others because there’s nothing GF…; for children, it’s a different kind of feeling that hurts them more than it does us. For only that, I applaud DD for doing SOMETHING.

    If this test market is a success–please, DD–get off your arse and make a real raised donut like your non-celiac customers prefer–and so did I, back in the day. Now get to work. Thanks!

  12. I have to agree with you Silentcal.

    this is another “lets have SOMETHING on the menu” approach, but it IS THE WORLD for KIDS!!!!

    FEELING LEFT OUT at Pizza Parties and everyday events like school functions where the only options are Donuts or Chicken Parm is the worst part of Celiac for a kid.

    even if they NEVER get a REAL product, at least they should get these everywhere fast for the kids.


  13. I agree with most of the comments above. It would be nice to have an occasional treat out — coffee and a donut. But, like SilentCal said, it would have been so much nicer if DD would do some research and decide to dedicate a vat to g.f. raised donuts or something similar to Krispy Kreme, etc. I do like cake donuts, and I understand the idea of packaging them…. But then, how fresh are they?? That’s the draw of a donut shop — that it was “time to make the donuts” only an hour or two before that confection finds its way to my mouth.

    This also makes me laugh, because so many people have responded to news of my g.f. “lifestyle” with, “Wow, that’s so healthy!” to which I respond, “Sugar and potato chips are gluten-free.” On one hand, I appreciate convenience at a local shop for a treat… But on the other hand, it seems like all the UNHEALTHIEST food producers are the ones that are the fastest to jump on the g.f. bandwagon.

  14. I think larger chains like this are going to have to acquiesce or lose business. My son always has to have his “special” donut from Whole Foods and wants to be treated equally with us when we have our own treats, which is totally understandable. At least major chains are figuring out they are not isolating this market of people which is growing rapidly. If you snooze you lose, so thanks DD for making the effort on behalf of celiacs everywhere.

  15. this is great news for people who have celiac. My grandson, age 4, has celiac and this would be great for us to bring him there to buy him a donut too when we get his brother and sister one. Can’t wait until they become nationwide

  16. Great news from Dunkin Donuts! Make the French Cruellers (sp?) gluten free, and, I am coming back to Dunkin Donuts after being away 10 years!

  17. This would be AMAZING!!!!! I’ve made mention to the managers of Dunkin in my town to see if they could talk to corporate & make an inquiry. Even since going GF 4 yrs. ago, I’ve been dying for a Dunkin garlic bagel. I haven’t been able to find anyone who makes GF garlic bagels. Udi’s is decent, but they’re not Dunkin. Hopefully Dunkin brings the experiment to Connecticut, please??????

  18. I agree with silentcal. I hope they can make it just as good as the regular donuts. I’m tired of spending good money on product that is just okay. Tired of products that say they are Glutten Free in big print ,then see in small print on back “Made in faciliuty that processes wheat.” How glutten free will they realy be & how fresh! My daughter is 17 & has had this for 3 & half years it stinks!!

  19. I live in the Boston area, and have tried the gluten-free donuts!
    The gluten free blueberry muffins sold out.

    My gluten-eating-husband agreed that they taste just like a cinnamon doughnut from Dunks should taste like!

  20. This is great news for my 7 year old daughter, who always has the saddest look on her face when we pass the Dunkin Donuts right next to our house but can’t go in. Fad or not, I’m glad all of these places are starting to recognize the need for GF foods. Now we just need to educate them on the dangers of cross contamination, and things will really start looking up for us!

  21. This is most exciting news! Happy New Year to me! I’m a huge DD fan and miss my bagels/muffins. Keep up the good work of providing us Celiacs with a tasty, on-the-go snack.

  22. I just hope they don’t contain the unnecessary gums, like Xantham and Guar, which end up in nearly every GF baked good on the market. More and more people who eat a lot of GF food, eventually are becoming sensitive to these gums too.

  23. Grains of any type are not gluten-free. This includes Tapioca and cross grains such as quinoa. Check out Dor Osborne at http://www.the glutenfreesociety.com. All of these products can actually make one sicker if you are a Celiac or have a gluten allergy.

    I am finishing a book that I am writing about all these challenges as well as my life in Tuscany, where I lived for 20 years and was married to a Florentine actor. I learned to cook most of the traditional Tuscan recipes from my mother-in-law, and have translated them to authentic gluten-free/.

    Judith Fine-Sarchielli
    The Gluten-Free Topanga Chef

  24. I called Dunkie’s and the Boston locations are: 99 Cambridge st Charlestown, 5 3rd St Cambridge, 209 N Harvard St Allston, 1955 Beacon St Brighton, 1009 and 1316 Beacon St Brookline, and 219 Cambridge St Allston. See you there!

  25. Why do you use newspaper articles and other potentially “non-credible” sources for information. The Dunkin Donuts Information is titilating, but there’s nothing in your report that indicates the donuts are produced in a gluten-free facility and that’s a significant issue. Even though the product may be sealed, the flour residue on the counters and in the air of the production facility are cross contaminated. Companies jumping on the band-wagon of gluten free just don’t get it. It isn’t the food itself, It’s all the complexities of cross contamination/environment.

  26. I am sooooo excited. I can’t tell you how many times people bring in DD to my job and all I can do is look at them. Very Sad So looking forward to having donuts from DD again. PLEASE do it in New York!!!!

  27. This would be a great option for me. I have celiac disease but this may not be any help for myself because I cannot have dairy either. Many people with celiac disease cannot have dairy. If Dunkin Donuts offered it gluten free and dairy free they would make bank! Think about everyone out there that is only allergic to dairy, this would bring back a huge amount of customers who only stay away for dairy purposes.

  28. This is very exciting news. A few years ago starbucks had gluten free muffins and they were really good. But unfortunately they didn’t keep them in the frig and they kept on turning green. Hopefully duncun donuts will make sure to keep them somewhere so they don’t go bad. Also the article mentioned that gluten free is a fad. Not to people with celiac disease. It’s a way of life!!!

  29. This is great, but like Subway, it will be years before the small test markets are expanded enough to make these products available to most of us. We will probably have the magic Celiac pill before I will be able to eat a Duncan locally.

  30. This may very well be a result of the gluten free fad, but that doesn’t make it inherently a bad thing. Look at all that the fad has gotten us! The GF alternatives we can buy are MUCH tastier nowadays. The fad does seem to make ordering food more difficult, as some servers who are ignorant of Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance seem to get annoyed and wonder why some gluten free folks are so picky about how their food is prepared while plenty of others are not. But the delicious food is certainly an upside. :)

  31. I think the person who said it was a fad should do reserch before commenting on a subject that can be life threatening.

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