Dunkin' Donuts is ditching its Coffee Coolatta.
This summer, the coffee chain will discontinue its frozen coffee drink and debut its new Frozen Dunkin' Coffee, a blended beverage that draws inspiration from Dunkin's classic iced coffee, made with coffee extract, sugar, and dairy.
"Our Coffee Coolatta isn't good enough," Chris Fuqua, Dunkin's senior vice president of brand marketing, said at a media day at Dunkin' Brands' headquarters on Tuesday.
Executives said that the Frozen Coffee is meant to appeal to a different type of customer than the Coolatta.
The Coffee Coolatta is basically an uber-decadent dessert. A large Frozen Mocha Coffee Coolatta with cream packs a whopping 990 calories and 133 grams of sugar. That's the same amount of calories as three chocolate creme donuts — and almost 10 times as much sugar.
The new drink is intended to win over regular coffee drinkers looking for a warm weather caffeine fix. Still, when it comes to nutrition, Dunkin's Frozen Coffee is far from a healthy beverage. A 32-ounce large with cream has 840 calories and 123 grams of sugar, while the large skim version has 550 calories and 125 grams of sugar.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends limiting sugar consumption to less than 50 grams per day.
"Coolattas are a platform we've had for years," said Paul Racicot, Dunkin's director of culinary innovation. "But, we believe it's time we... contemporize our frozen platform."
Despite the demise of the Coffee Coolatta, Dunkin' will continue to serve and rollout new flavors of the fruity Coolattas, which the company says have garnered a loyal following.
Dunkin's decision to swap its Coffee Coolatta for Frozen Coffee is part of a bigger effort to emphasize more coffee-centric beverages as coffee culture becomes increasingly mainstream. Last summer, the chain launched cold brew coffee, something that Dunkin' says helped "democratize" the drink. Now, the chain is serving nitro cold brew in five locations, with plans to expand the test in the near future.
There are also more coffee-centric frozen beverages in test phases at the company. This summer, Dunkin' Donuts is testing Caramel Shaved Iced Espresso — espresso shots served over shaved ice, topped with caramel and whipped cream — in Maine and in Florida.
"We have to continue to innovate against coffee, because of its importance to us as a business," said Anthony Bonitatibus, a brand marketing manager at Dunkin'. "We're always thinking about what is the next big thing in coffee, because we can't just rest on our laurels."
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