Vegan donuts may be a new feature of the American brand Dunkin’ Donuts menu, as the company considers introducing plant-based options.
David Hoffman, CEO of Dunkin’ Donuts, revealed in a shareholder meeting that a “viable vegan donut option” is being investigated at the moment, as the organisation adapts to the growing customer demand for vegan alternatives.
“You’re going to continue to see us put more consumer choice on the menu,” says Hoffman, when asked by Rachel Pawelski, a campaigner for animal advocacy organization Animal Outlook.
The group has been encouraging Dunkin’ (as it is colloquially known) to introduce more vegan options, encouraging customers to sign their petition and write directly to Hoffman asking for a varied plant-based selection.
Last year the company trialed a partnership with Beyond Meat, introducing a vegan breakfast roll which promptly became their second biggest sandwich seller. Sales for the Beyond Meat product were double the company’s expectations - similar to the runaway success of Greggs’ vegan sausage rolls and steak bakes.
"It's changed dramatically and it's interesting,” Dunkin’ chairman Nigel Travis told Yahoo Finance. “I go to see my doctor as you should do at my age, and all he talks about is plant-based foods.
"I really think it's a trend — we are really happy with what has happened with Beyond Meat at Dunkin’."
Some have criticised fast food outlets such as these for jumping on the vegan bandwagon, with writer Benedict Spence arguing that the introduction of plant-based options at KFC was merely an “attempt to cash in on this social movement” and full of “marketing gimmicks.”
But even animal rights organisation PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has celebrated these changes in cuisine. “Dunkin’ has joined an ever-growing list of restaurants that understand their menus should reflect the public’s increasing interest in vegan options for their own health, to help animals, and to protect the environment,” says PETA. The charity has even made a page on its website dedicated to navigating Dunkin’s menu as a vegan.
It’s not here yet - so where are the best places to find a vegan dessert?
With no word on when a vegan donut will be released by Dunkin’, you may be left wondering where you can get your hands on some plant-based sweetness.
With a heatwave approaching, ice-cream may be top of your dessert hit-list. Although it’s usually dairy-heavy, more and more mainstream brands are launching plant-based ice cream.
Both Baskin-Robbins and Ben & Jerry’s now have numerous vegan options. The former is exclusively available in-store, so may be one for the post-pandemic bucket list, but Ben & Jerry’s vegan tubs are on offer in most major supermarkets these days.
If you are really hankering after a donut, UK-based Crosstown Doughnuts may be just the place. At the moment, under lockdown, they are open for pick-up and delivery in London. From yuzu and passionfruit to dark chocolate truffle, this brand has some incredible vegan options which will make you wish you were close enough for delivery.
For those of us without vegan desserts available for delivery, we may need to turn our hand to the kitchen, taking inspiration from these master vegan patissiers.
Of course when lockdown ends, you may want to branch out and take yourself to some of the best vegan restaurants in Europe, especially after the news that plant-based diets may be crucial in preventing a future pandemic.