CANTON, Mass. — Dunkin' is launching a plant-based meat alternative at certain locations in New York through a new partnership with Beyond Meat, a food company that offers a portfolio of plant-based meats.
The Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich is now available at participating Dunkin' restaurants in New York. The restaurant brand plans to roll out the sandwich nationally at a future date.
The launch makes Dunkin' the first U.S. restaurant brand to "Go Beyond" traditional on-the-go breakfast choices by serving Beyond Breakfast Sausage, the company said.
The Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich has the taste and texture that Dunkin' breakfast customers are familiar with, but it is made with 100 percent plant-based ingredients and a spice mix crafted specifically for the brand. It is served on an English muffin with egg and American cheese.
"Beyond Meat has earned the national spotlight for its innovative products and for creating incredible awareness and excitement for the benefits of plant-based meat," said David Hoffmann, Dunkin' CEO and president, Dunkin' U.S. "Dunkin' has always stood apart for offering new and exciting choices to meet the needs of our on-the-go guests, and we are proud to collaborate with this industry leader to become the first U.S. restaurant chain to serve a Beyond Breakfast Sausage option."
To celebrate the launch, Dunkin' held a special Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich tasting event at participating Manhattan Dunkin' restaurants on July 24. The ceremonial first sample was served at the 240 W. 40th Street restaurant by Hoffmann, Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown and Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer for Dunkin' U.S.
Dunkin' has high expectations for the sandwich. It taps into the plant-based meat category, which saw sales grow 10 percent in the past year and is now worth more than $800 million, according to the Plant Based Foods Association.
"We absolutely believe this will move the sales needle for us," Hoffmann told Yahoo Finance. "It's a damn good product."
Increasingly, "flexitarian" consumers are willing to delve into plant-based alternatives along with traditional meats, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
"Dunkin' is truly an iconic brand and part of the fabric of so many communities. Partnering with them as the first U.S. restaurant chain to serve Beyond Breakfast Sausage represents not only an exciting moment for both of our companies, but a big step forward in making plant-based meat accessible and easy to enjoy, even while on-the-go. I look forward to seeing consumer reactions to the product offering and partnership," Brown said.
Canton-based Dunkin' Brands Group's 100-percent franchised business model includes more than 12,500 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants.