NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In a country of calorie-cutters forever in search of the next organic superfood, 65-year old Dunkin' Brands Inc. (DNKN) - Get Report is content continuing to do what it does best: developing indulgent sandwiches and drinks that are hard for consumers to resist.
On Thursday, Dunkin' Brands held a small gathering at its Canton, Mass. headquarters to take the wraps off its latest food and beverage creations. What TheStreet observed in Dunkin's test kitchens over the course of a day certainly qualified as indulgent, and then some.
The Bacon Lovers Sausage sandwich, which will be tested in select markets starting Sept. 28, is a breakfast sandwich featuring a sausage made completely out of bacon. And in November, the Sweet Black Pepper Bacon sandwich will arrive, boasting four pieces of bacon dredged in a mixture of pepper and real sugar placed on top of an egg and then stuffed onto a buttery croissant roll. The sandwich's two extra pieces of bacon will cost consumers a little bit more money.
The bacon barrage does not stop there, however. A thick donut with crispy, crumbled bacon and a maple glaze, pictured above, was confirmed to have just finished internal testing. Dunkin' Donuts declined to say when the new donut would be released, however.
The Sweet Black Pepper Bacon sandwich debuts in November.
"The products have to be differentiated and exotic, it's a crowded field," explained Dunkin' CEO Nigel Travis to TheStreet when asked about the inspiration for Dunkin's latest offerings.
For the more health-conscious non bacon fans, a new instant multigrain oatmeal will be tested in select Chicago restaurants in November.
All of this new savory and sweet food has to be washed down with something, so enter a new series of espresso-based drinks and shakes. On Sept. 28, Dunkin' will release a pumpkin macchiato with steamed milk, a pumpkin flavored swirl, and a double shot of espresso.
"We are getting more serious about espresso beverages, and specialty coffees," said a spokesman at the event. The emphasis on handcrafted espresso beverages a la competitor Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report has caused Dunkin' to offer new training to employees to ensure product consistency.
For dessert, you ask? How about a product called a Piñata cake from sister brand Baskin Robbins? When the ice cream cake is cut open, out pops M&Ms from the hallowed out center.
Being bold with its menu is continuing to pay off for Dunkin' Brands.
Second quarter net sales came in at $221.5 million, surpassing the consensus forecasts for $204.2 million. Earnings tallied 50 cents a share, higher than the 48 cents a share estimates by analysts. In large part, the quarter's strength was fueled by Dunkin' Donut's U.S. business, where same-store sales rose 2.9% on the back of demand for new hot and iced beverages, as well as a new flatbread with eggs, bacon and guacamole.
Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis explains the company's new product strategy.
Dunkin' Donuts U.S. has now managed to deliver 19 straight quarters of sales increases in donuts, helped recently by the fancy croissant donut that launched in 2014. Shares of Dunkin' Brands have gained 5.7% in the past year, outperforming the S&P 500's 3.5% drop. McDonald's stock has tacked on about 3.6% during that span.
The barrage of new food and drinks gives Dunkin' Donuts a good shot at keeping McDonald's at bay as the burger giant begins to serve all-day breakfast on Oct. 6. Pointing out Dunkin' Brands has always served breakfast all-day, Travis is not overly concerned about consumers defecting to buy an Egg McMuffin at 1:00pm. "We believe we are the leader in all-day breakfast, so could build on McDonald's marketing -- we think their roll-out could be very good for Dunkin' Donuts," says Travis.
One category Dunkin' Donuts won't be venturing into anytime soon is alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is a category the likes of Yum! Brands (YUM) - Get Report Taco Bell and Starbucks are trying out to get into to grow sales in the evening. "I don't see us doing alcohol anytime soon," said the Dunkin' spokesman.