Dunkin’ Donuts plans to offer gluten-free cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and blueberry muffins across its U.S. stores by the end of the year, Stan Frankenthaler, the company’s executive chef, told Bloomberg News. To avoid contamination from the shops’ other baked goods that contain wheat flour, the gluten-free items will be packaged individually.
The waist-stretching treats already went through a trial run at two locations in Miami, Florida and a few locations in Canton, Massachusetts–where chain’s corporate headquarters are located.
While only 1 in 133 Americans suffer from celiac disease–the condition that induces extreme digestive discomfort after consuming gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley– 29% of Americans say they are trying to avoid gluten, lending some to believe that “gluten-free” may be perceived as a healthier alternative.
Gluten-free doesn’t mean calorie-free, however: The wheat-less doughnut has 320 calories versus a regular glazed doughnut with 260 calories. Dunkin’s gluten-free blueberry muffin has 400 calories, compared to 460 for the standard version and 410 for a reduced-fat one.
Besides hitting your waistline, this speciality foods can also hit your wallet. Gluten-free foods are typically twice as expensive as regular ones because kitchen scientists have to find a replacement for gluten that will give the finished product the same light, chewy texture. The gluten-free Cinnamon Sugar Donut is slated to cost $1.89, versus a regular doughnut at $1.06 a pop. The gluten-free Blueberry Muffin is $2.39, as opposed to $1.81 for a regular muffin. (Regular prices are reflective of the prices at the Miami store that had been offering the gluten-free options.)