Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the most popular coffee and baked goods chains in the United States. With over 9,000 locations across the country, Dunkin’ offers a wide variety of hot and iced coffees, donuts, bagels, breakfast sandwiches and more. However, one menu item that Dunkin’ doesn’t have is smoothies. So the quick answer is no, Dunkin’ Donuts does not currently offer smoothies on their menu.
A Brief History of Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950 by Bill Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts. The chain was originally called “Open Kettle” and focused on coffee and donuts. Rosenberg changed the name to Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950. The name “Dunkin'” referred to Dunkin’ donuts into coffee.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Dunkin’ Donuts rapidly expanded across the United States through franchising. By 1979, there were 1,000 Dunkin’ Donuts stores. The chain continued expanding through the 1980s and 1990s. Dunkin’ Donuts opened its 5,000th location in 1996.
In the 2000s, Dunkin’ Donuts focused on expanding its beverage offerings beyond just coffee. This included introducing espresso drinks, frozen beverages, and tea. However, smoothies have never been added to the Dunkin’ menu.
Dunkin’s Current Menu Offerings
Although Dunkin’ doesn’t have smoothies, their menu does include a wide range of hot and iced beverages. Some of the most popular drinks include:
- Hot coffee – Available in Original Blend, Dark Roast, Decaf, and various flavored coffees
- Iced coffee – Either freshly brewed or Cold Brew style
- Lattes – Made with espresso and milk
- Macchiatos – Espresso with a dollop of foamed milk
- Frozen coffee – Iced coffee blended with ice and other ingredients like chocolate or caramel
- Tea – Hot, iced, and frozen varieties
- Hot chocolate
- Frozen lemonade or fruit smoothies – Made with either lemonade or real fruit
In addition to beverages, Dunkin’ serves a variety of baked goods including donuts, bagels, muffins, sandwiches, and hash browns. So while they don’t have traditional smoothies, customers still have frozen drink options like the frozen coffee and frozen lemonade.
Why Dunkin’ Donuts Doesn’t Offer Smoothies
There are a few potential reasons why Dunkin’ Donuts has never added smoothies to their menu lineup:
- They don’t match Dunkin’s core focus on coffee, donuts and breakfast.
- Smoothies require different equipment and ingredients that would complicate operations.
- Adding smoothies could slow down service times when customers expect to get in and out quickly.
- Smoothies have a much shorter shelf life than Dunkin’s normal menu items.
- Smoothies usually cost more than a donut or coffee beverage.
Dunkin’ likely avoids smoothies because they don’t fit the quick, affordable breakfast and coffee concept that the chain is built around. Customers expect to run in and out of Dunkin’ and pay just a couple dollars for a coffee and donut. Adding smoothies would complicate that experience.
Smoothie Offerings at Other Coffee Chains
Unlike Dunkin’, some other major coffee chains do offer smoothies as part of their menu lineup. For example:
Starbucks has a limited selection of smoothies available at select locations. Some popular Starbucks smoothie flavors include:
- Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino Blended Crème
- Mango Pineapple Smoothie
- Orange Mango Smoothie
- Raspberry Black Currant Smoothie
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Starbucks smoothies are made blended with real fruit and fruit juices. They are thicker than Frozen Frappuccinos. Some locations even allow customers to customize smoothie flavors. However, smoothies aren’t a focus of Starbucks’ menu.
Caribou Coffee Smoothies
Caribou Coffee offers a variety of “Real Fruit Smoothies” at many locations made with real fruit purées and juice. Some examples include:
- Strawberry Banana
- Mango Tango
- Mixed Berry
- Caribou Breeze (pineapple, orange, and lime)
- Raspberry Rush
- Or build your own custom smoothie
Smoothies are prominently featured on Caribou’s menu boards and website menu. They offer more customization and variety than Starbucks.
Peet’s Coffee Smoothies
Peet’s is more known for quality coffee rather than food and blended drinks. However, some Peet’s cafes do offer a small selection of fruit smoothies including strawberry, berry, or tropical flavors. The availability varies by location. So while not a core part of their business, Peet’s does offer smoothies at certain cafes.
Smoothies at Other Quick Service Chains
Popular fast food and quick service chains that are known for serving smoothies include:
McDonald’s is one of the most popular spots for on-the-go smoothies. They have a wide selection of McCafé Smoothies available in flavors like:
- Strawberry Banana
- Mango Pineapple
- Triple Berry
- Strawberry Watermelon
Smoothies at McDonald’s are more affordable than other chains at just $2 to $3 for a small. They are made from fruit purée and juice.
Tropical Smoothie Café
As the name suggests, smoothies are the star of the menu at Tropical Smoothie Café. They offer traditional smoothies, superfood smoothies, and smoothie bowls. Popular flavors include:
- Sunrise Sunset (strawberries, bananas, orange juice)
- Caribbean Way (pineapple, coconut, bananas)
- Jetty Punch (watermelon, strawberries, lemonade)
- Bahama Mama (bananas, pineapples, coconut, ginger)
Customers can customize their smoothies with supplements and enhancers as well.
Jamba Juice is another chain focusing on smoothies and juice blends. They use fruit juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt to make smoothie options like:
- Caribbean Passion (orange, pineapple, passionfruit)
- White Gummi (peach, pineapple, orange, lime)
- Aloha Pineapple (pineapple, orange, banana)
- Mango Mantra (mango juice, orange sherbet)
Add-ons like whey protein, immunity boosts, and energy boosts can customize the nutrition.
So while Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t offer smoothies, many competitors like Starbucks, McDonald’s and dedicated smoothie cafes have capitalized on consumer demand for blended fruit smoothies.
Should Dunkin’ Donuts Consider Adding Smoothies?
While smoothies don’t currently fit Dunkin’s brand and menu, the rise of smoothies at other chains raises the question of whether Dunkin’ should consider offering them. There are pros and cons to Dunkin’ adding smoothies:
- Appeal to health-conscious consumers looking for fruit smoothies
- Provide a new, cold blended drink option beyond just iced coffee
- Smoothies have higher profit margins for restaurants than brewed coffee
- Fruit smoothies could attract younger Millennial and Gen Z customers
- Smoothies could work as a breakfast meal replacement
- Increase brand competition with Starbucks, McDonald’s and other smoothie sellers
- Difficult to juggle smoothie production during breakfast and coffee rushes
- Requires investment in new blenders and ingredients management
- Smoothies take longer to prepare, slowing down service speed
- Adds operational complexity with more menu items
- May lose focus from core coffee-focused brand identity
- Lower margins than coffee drinks
Here is a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis summarizing the pros and cons:
In summary, while Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t currently offer smoothies, the growing popularity of smoothies and their place in other coffee chains’ menus means Dunkin’ may want to consider testing them in select markets. Smoothies could attract new health-conscious customers and provide a higher profit margin blended drink.
However, adding smoothies comes with significant operational challenges and risks diluting Dunkin’s famous coffee-focused brand identity. Any move into smoothies would need to be tested cautiously. Dunkin’s commitment to quick service speed and affordable prices would also need to be maintained.
So in conclusion, Dunkin’ Donuts does not have smoothies currently, but may explore adding them on a limited basis in the future. However, coffee, donuts and breakfast will remain the core focus of the Dunkin’ Donuts menu.