Are Vegan Donuts Coming to Dunkin? Here’s What We Know
Dunkin' sells nearly 3 billion doughnuts globally, but the coffee chain's U.S. menu leaves plant-based and vegan customers with few options in the donut department. That's not the case in Chile, where Dunkin' just launched three new vegan doughnuts with the help of The Not Company –– the Chilean food tech brand known as NotCo.
Dunkin' teamed up with NotCo's artificial intelligence group, affectionately named "Giuseppe," to formulate three vegan doughnuts that feature a dairy-free version of "manjar," a signature Chilean treat similar to dulce de leche.
Customers can find Dunkin's innovative vegan doughnuts at all 106 locations in Chile. The partnership launched three doughnut flavors, including Sugared NotManjxr, Boston NotManxr, and Double Boston NotManjxr. The three doughnuts join over a dozen vegan doughnuts that Dunkin' Chile added to its menu last year.
“We are celebrating 25 years in Chile and we wanted to innovate hand-in-hand with NotCo and create this version of our most classic preparation but with this NotManjxr recipe that fans of our donuts will undoubtedly love,” María Isabel Serrano, Commercial Manager at Dunkin’ Chile, said in a statement.
While Dunkin' offers vegan doughnuts in Chile, Europe, and other countries, the American brand has yet to debut plant-based doughnuts within the United States, although product success on an international level would likely bring the treats stateside soon.
NotCo Is Making Better Vegan Products
This month, NotCo raised $70 million during a Series D1 funding round led by Princeville Capital and included participation from Jeff Bezos and Marcos Galperin –– CEO of Latin America's largest tech company MercadoLibre. The funding package brings the company's total investment to $420 million, helping the company begin its expanding its product distribution, development, and partnerships.
NotCo's current offerings include plant-based products such as NotMilk, NotBurger, and NotChicken designed by the company's AI platform "Giuseppe." The proprietary technology is built to determine the best plant-based ingredients for vegan products based on a molecular level, resulting in near-identical texture and taste to the animal-based counterparts.
“Since day one, our mission has been to create a more sustainable world, transforming the food industry by creating delicious plant-based food available for all tables, kitchens, and pantries,” Matias Muchnick, NotCo co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
The funding package is also intended to expand the company's B2B Unit (Business-to-Business). This sector will allow NotCo to cooperate with other brands such as Dunkin' to accelerate product development in the plant-based industry using its innovative AI platform.
“The food industry desperately needs to adopt technology to dramatically accelerate the product development process, reduce cost, and address the challenges posed by climate change,” Joaquin Rodriguez Torres, co-founder of Princeville Capital and a new member of NotCo's board of directors, said in a statement.
"NotCo is a very unique company in the food tech space globally with immense potential thanks to the team they have built and its one-of-a-kind AI technology. It’s rare to find a company with such an incredible track record of success in a short period of time, and we’re excited to help bolster the company’s growth and expansion.”
Other investors in NotCo include F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Questlove.
NotCo Partners With Kraft Heinz
Before partnering with Dunkin, NotCo teamed up with Kraft Heinz to reinvent the major food company's massive selection. The collaboration started with the NotCheese American Style Plant-Based Slices at 30 Giant supermarkets in Cleveland, Ohio ahead of a national expansion in 2023.
The company intends to plan to work together to create a plant-based version of Kraft Heinz's most adored products. This partnership will inform NotCo's B2B Unit as it begins to help other companies transition to plant-based products.
“Building off the example of our joint venture with Kraft Heinz, we’re excited to develop new, impactful partnerships leveraging our proprietary technology, "Muchnick continued. "These partnerships will help diversify and accelerate our impact while scaling the accessibility of truly delicious plant-based options to further propel the industry forward.”
For more plant-based happenings, check out The Beet's News articles.