Dunkin’ Donuts to use fewer ingredients in egg patty for breakfast sandwiches

McDonald’s all-day breakfast has fast food competitors feeling the pressure to boost morning business.

Amid slumping sales, Dunkin’ Donuts has announced it will be revamping its egg patty to include more, well, egg.

On its website, Dunkin' Donuts provides nutrition info for each breakfast sandwich and makes it seem like each contains a single cooked egg. But the “fried egg” listed for the sandwiches is actually a composite that mixes together 12 ingredients including egg whites, water, egg yolks and modified corn starch.

On Thursday, company executives announced that the chain has been testing a new patty that contains a much higher concentration of eggs, with less water and fillers.

The new egg patty will have 100 calories, 8 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein. That’s compared with 45 calories, 2 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein for the current egg, according to Dunkin’. The new patty will still be shaped to look like a single fried egg.

“The yolk is much fuller, it looks much more yellow,” said Dunkin’ Brands CEO Nigel Travis in a phone interview Thursday.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which is trying to step up the quality of a range of food items, said it has been testing the new egg formula for several months and that the new version should start rolling out at franchise locations across the country in mid-August.

Other foods Dunkin’ plans to tweak include its bacon and bagels. The changes come after the company conducted research to determine how stepped-up food quality might go over with customers.

“One of the key findings in our consumer research indicates that great tasting, authentic products matter more than ever, especially to younger consumers,” Travis told analysts during a conference call.

Dunkin’ isn’t the only big chain scrambling to step up the quality of its food as it faces more competition from smaller players that advertise organic ingredients and offer lower-calories options. Several chains including Subway, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Panera have promised to simplify their recipes and phase out artificial ingredients or meats raised with antibiotics over the next several years.

In its second quarter, Dunkin’ said sales rose just .5 percent across established locations. The company, which has over 8,500 U.S. locations, told investors that new higher priced menu items has helped offset an overall decline in customer visits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.