Dunkin' CEO: 'We're going to look at plant-based proteins' for breakfast menu

Key Points
  • In addition to doughnuts, Dunkin' also sells breakfast sandwiches and wraps.
  • "We're going to look at plant-based proteins as well, going forward," CEO David Hoffmann says.
  • Other fast food chains already sell plant-based meat substitutes.
Watch CNBC's full interview with Dunkin' CEO David Hoffmann

Dunkin's breakfast options include more than just doughnuts. And soon, plant-based proteins could be up on the menu.

"We're going to look at plant-based proteins as well, going forward," CEO David Hoffmann said Friday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

In addition to coffee and doughnuts, the chain sells breakfast sandwiches and bowls. Its breakfast strategy has largely focused on being cheaper than the competition. At the start of 2019, Dunkin' kicked off its Go2s value menu, offering two of the same breakfast item for $2, $4 or $5.

The chain has also moved into offering lower-calorie options that target customers looking for a healthier breakfast, with items such as the Power Breakfast Sandwich and new Egg White Bowl. Plant-based proteins are not necessarily lower-calorie substitutes, but they do not share meat's connections to heart disease and cancer.

Hoffmann's comments on plant-based proteins follow Beyond Meat's initial public offering on Thursday. Shares of the maker of meat substitutes skyrocketed 163%, making it the most successful public market debut so far this year.

And investors aren't the only ones who like plant-based proteins. In the U.S., the meat substitute market is worth about $1.44 billion, according to Euromonitor International data. By 2023, the market is expected to grow 74% to $2.5 billion.

Some fast food chains already have plant-based meat substitutes on their menus. Restaurant Brands International's Burger King announced last week that it would launch its Impossible Whopper — made with the bleeding Impossible Burger — nationwide this year.

On Thursday, Dunkin' reported earnings and revenue that topped analysts' estimates. However, the coffee chain is still seeing traffic decline, despite investments in new espresso machines and menu innovation.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Dunkin' CEO David Hoffmann's name.