Dunkin’s newest pumpkin drink contains actual donuts

New York CNN  — 

Dunkin’ is elevating the pumpkin drink wars with, what else, donuts.

Beginning Wednesday, its newest fall drink combines Munchkin pumpkin-flavored donuts mixed with frozen coffee and topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle, marking the chain’s first time it has added donuts directly to its beverage lineup.

The drink, called “Ice Spice Munchkins Drink,” is a collaboration with rapper Ice Spice and perhaps Dunkin’s biggest fan, actor Ben Affleck. The duo stars in a TV ad promoting the drink, which notes that fans of the rapper are called “munchkins.” It’s also the second ad that Affleck has starred in for Dunkin’ after making his debut in a spot for this year’s Super Bowl.

Dunkin rolled out its fall-themed menu in mid-August, a few weeks before Starbucks added its pumpkin spice latte to menus. On Tuesday, Wendy’s began selling for a limited time a pumpkin spice-flavored Frosty, a new flavor to its menu, and a pumpkin spice-flavored cold brew coffee drink, which uses the same syrup from the pumpkin spice Frosty.

Dunkin’ said in the release that “pumpkin spice season has gotten a bit predictable lately” and that the new drink “appeals to those early-bird pumpkin aficionados, regardless of the season’s official start.” Prices vary depending on city, and the drink is on menus for a limited time.

Adding pumpkin-flavored drinks is a no-brainer as the flavor keeps growing in popularity. Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte has become a reliable hit, making it an autumn(ish) mainstay that has given the coffee chain a seasonal sales boost during this time of year over the past two decades.

Dozens of other food products, from pumpkin spice Oreos to beer, hot chocolate mix and even protein powder have crammed into the market.

For marketers, seasonal products are a crucial way to create buzz. Often, they pick items that make people feel a certain way — nostalgic or excited for a new season — but that are too indulgent to buy more than a few times a year. Also, the ‘limited-time only’ availability boosts the appeal.


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