Photo taken from Dunkin’s website.
Photo taken from Dunkin’s website.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which looks to keep customers coming back for more partly by constantly changing its seasonal menu, said it is now “teeing up delicious new iced tea beverages to help guests stay refreshed all spring and summer.”

One new offering, Iced Green Tea, will complement a line-up awash in fruity options, including blueberry, raspberry, and peach iced teas.

According to Canton-based Dunkin’ Donuts, its new Iced Green Tea is infused with “healthy antioxidants to help people feel renewed any time of day.”

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Once upon a time --- or roughly from the early 1980s to the late 1990s --- many Dunkin’ Donuts ads featured a chap named Fred the Baker. At the time, perhaps only the Maytag repairman, Jell-O’s Bill Cosby, and Mr. Whipple, poet laureate of squeezable toilet paper, could match Fred in terms of pitchman longevity. Keep in mind that in those days, Dunkin’ was primarily known for donuts, and much of its sales were rung up before 10:30 a.m.

As the 1990s were ending, Dunkin’ decided that its future was as much in coffee as it was in baked goods, and as Fred ads were phased out, it began offering new products that not only appealed to young people but also to people looking for a treat in the afternoon and early evening.

That strategy yielded results. In 2006, Dunkin’s parent company, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., which also operates the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, was purchased by a consortium of private equity firms for $2.425 billion. Dunkin’ Donuts has been on an expansionist tear ever since, expanding westward and south in the US and to overseas markets as well.

In 2013, Dunkin’ Donuts opened 371 net new restaurants in the US and 138 net new restaurants outside the US, including restaurants in Greater London and Ho Chi Minh City, the company has said.

So as Dunkin’ Donuts rolls out its spring ice tea line-up, John Costello, president of global marketing and innovation at Dunkin’ Brands, had this to say: “Our freshly brewed Iced Tea has become a favorite choice with our guests for fresh and flavorful refreshment that perfectly complements our all-day snacks and bakery sandwiches. We’re excited to now offer Iced Green Tea and fun new Iced Tea flavors to give our guests more beverage options and continue to enhance our leadership in this increasingly popular beverage category.”