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Now Dunkin’ is thinking beyond meat, too

Now Dunkin’ is thinking beyond meat, too
[Photo: courtesy of Dunkin’]

The plant-based protein trend is spreading like wildfire among food chains. And now, Dunkin’ (previously known as Dunkin’ Donuts) announced it’s also considering meatless-menu options.

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Dunkin’ CEO David Hoffman discussed the retailer landscape during a taping of CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on Friday. “We’re all headed into a ‘better-for-you’ platform,” said Hoffman. “We’re going to look at plant-based proteins as well, going forward.”

The current Dunkin’ breakfast menu includes sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches and bacon omelette wraps, among other meaty options. There are also several new healthier items like a veggie egg-white sandwich and egg-white bowl. Hoffman didn’t offer further details on the plan, such as whether the brand is considering meat or egg substitutes.

As Fast Company previously reported, the market for plant-based foods has grown at a rapid pace. In the last year, retail sales jumped by more than 20% to total $3.7 billion, driven by plant-based meat, reports the Good Food Institute.

Impossible Foods produces 500,000 pounds of its Impossible Burgers per month to serve more than 5,000 restaurants. Competitor Beyond Meat, meanwhile, saw sales of its meat-free burgers, chicken strips, and sausage increase by 70%. The company, which tripled its production capacity in 2018, expanded to more than 35,000 restaurants, grocery stores, universities, hotels, and stadiums. It also built a 26,000-square-foot R&D lab dedicated to diversifying its product portfolio.

On Thursday, Beyond Meat finally debuted on the Nasdaq, with the stock price soaring by nearly double. By the end of its first day of trading, it closed at $65.75 after being set at $25. It was the biggest IPO pop for a company with a market cap larger than $200 million that Wall Street has seen since 2000.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are both competing for market share, each collaborating with various food chains. Last month, Beyond Meat partnered Carl’s Jr. as well as with Del Taco, making it the first major Mexican fast-food chain to sell faux-beef tacos. As for Impossible Foods, it announced a partnership with Burger King, which is in addition to its White Castle Impossible Sliders.

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