Dunkin’ Donuts, Where A 640-Calorie Sandwich Is Considered A Snack

Would you eat this for a snack? (Morton Fox)

Would you eat this for a snack? (Morton Fox)

When you hear the words fried chicken sandwich, you probably think of lunch or dinner, right? Well, if you’re at Dunkin’ Donuts you might want to rethink your classification, because that’s just considered a snack – all 640 calories of it.

Despite expanding their sandwich offerings in an attempt to attract the afternoon crowd, officials with Dunkin’ Donuts maintain the chain isn’t in the lunch business, but rather in the snacking business, The Washington Post reports.

“We’re not moving into lunch. We’re in snacking. We never talk about lunch,” Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nigel Travis tells the newspaper.

Travis says by offering more sandwiches the chain is simply reacting to consumers tendency to eat several smaller meals throughout the day.

But a quick look at the Dunkin’ Donuts online menu would leave many consumers’ definitions of what constitutes a lunch or snack turned upside down.

The menu is packed with a variety of wraps, bagels, flatbreads and traditional sandwiches featuring fried chicken, bacon, cheese, as well as, chicken and tuna salads.

A bacon ranch chicken sandwich will run you 660 calories, while a healthier grilled chicken flatbread still comes in at a filling 360 calories.

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How does the bacon ranch chicken sandwich at Dunkin’ compare to actual lunch offerings at other fast food restaurants? Pretty comparable.

The Premium Chicken Ranch BLT at McDonald’s actually has fewer calories than the Dunkin’ sandwich with just 590 calories. But add medium fries for a “real lunch” and you’ll be sitting at about 970 calories.

However, snacks at McDonald’s come in well below Dunkin’ Donuts’ “snacks”. The grilled chicken ranch snack wrap at McDonald’s carries just 270 calories.

Similar sandwiches at Wendy’s and Burger King clocked in with more calories than the Dunkin sandwich, but they still weren’t far off. The Wendy’s Asiago Ranch Chicken Club has 670 calories, while the Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich at Burger King has 700 calories.

Just because the sandwiches come in quick on-the-go packaging and lack sides such as chips or french fries traditionally associated with lunches at other fast food joints that doesn’t mean they should be considered a snack.

Senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley with the Center for Science in the Public Interest tells Consumerist “snacks” like those offered at Dunkin’ Donuts are last thing consumers need.

“With ‘snacks’ like that who needs meals? No one thinks of a Big Mac as a snack, yet it has “only” 550 calories,” she says. “The last thing most people need is 600 calories inserted between lunch and dinner … especially since we’re increasingly eating 1,000-plus-calorie appetizers, entrees, and desserts.”

Instead a registered dietician tells the Post that snacks should be considered “small, satisfying potions of food that can help curb hunger or a craving between meals.”

Sure, a sandwich from Dunkin’ Donuts could fit that description, but a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit are better choices to fill the void between meals than a 660-calorie sandwich.

“That is a meal,” the dietician tells the Post. “I can’t think of a good example where I would recommend a 500-calorie snack.”

Dunkin’ CEO: Our sandwiches are snacks, not lunch [The Washington Post]