Dunkin' Donuts gluten-free options coming

June 21, 2013 11:02:30 AM PDT
When you think of healthy eating, does Dunkin' Donuts cross your mind?

Well, the breakfast chain is gearing up to serve gluten-free products. Dunkin' Donuts says it plans to offer gluten-free cinnamon-sugar donuts and blueberry muffins -- by the end of this year.

Gluten is the major protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, as well as in some deli meats and other packaged products.

For people with a condition known as celiac disease -- about 1-percent of the population -- even small amounts of gluten can prompt severe discomfort.

That announcement comes after the company's CEO told consumers not to expect to see Dunkin' Donuts revive its famous "Time to make the doughnuts" ad campaign anytime soon.

Paul Carbone, chief financial officer for Dunkin Brands Group Inc., said at the Jefferies Global Consumer Conference Tuesday that the company gets asked all the time when it's going to bring back the ad starring the perpetually tired baker who gets up early every morning to make doughnuts.

"He's not coming back," Carbone said, noting that the chain has shifted toward beverages, which are the "holy grail" when it comes to profitability.

Dunkin' says the "Time to make the doughnuts" ads ran for 15 years until 1997, when the actor who played Fred the Baker announced his retirement under a giant inflatable doughnut in Boston.

The actor, Michael Vale, died in 2005.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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