What Sweetener Does Dunkin Donuts Use In Their Sweetened Ice Tea?

Greetings, caffeinated beings! Let me start off by saying that I – a mother of three little aliens (ages 5, 8, and 12) – not only frequent Dunkin but owe a significant portion of my sanity to their coffee.

Yes, I may or may not have an unhealthy emotional attachment to their java. But hey, who’s judging?

Now, today, we’re answering one of life’s most pressing questions: What sweetener does Dunkin use in their sweetened ice tea? Pause for effect.

You might be thinking that there are more pressing questions in life, like world hunger or how to successfully parent a teenager. However, knowing what you put into your body and the body of your caffeinated companions is essential.

Let’s unravel the mystery of Dunkin’s sweetened ice tea, one sip at a time.

Brief Background on Dunkin Donuts

Did you know that Dunkin Donuts was created by a guy named Bill Rosenberg in 1950 in Quincy, Massachusetts? Me neither. But hey, I’m here to share my coffee-driven research with all of you.

Dunkin Donuts rapidly expanded and is now present in 36 countries. What started as a simple donut bakery has evolved into a lifeline for many, providing not only donuts and munchkins but also a variety of beverages, especially for us coffeeholics.

The Popularity of Sweetened Ice Tea

Sweetened ice tea’s popularity can be traced back to 1904 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. A tea plantation owner named Richard Blechynden decided that no one would drink his hot tea in the sweltering Missouri heat, and so he served it cold! Genius!

Sweetened ice tea has since gained popularity worldwide, with many delicious variations. And, yes, of course, our BFF Dunkin has its own recipe.

Some people claim that sweetened ice tea provides health benefits (cheers to antioxidants), while others are wondering if a little too much sweetener might be harmful. Let’s dive deeper into this sugary love affair.

Different Types of Sweeteners: An Overview

Sweeteners can be classified into two types: natural and artificial. Below is a brief outline of some common sweeteners in both categories.

Natural sweeteners

  1. Sugarcane: Derived from the sugarcane plant and, well, pretty much your regular granulated sugar.
  2. Honey: Produced by bees, it contains antioxidants and is, in my opinion, delicious.
  3. Stevia: Extracted from the leaves of the Stevia plant, it’s a no-calorie natural sweetener.

Artificial sweeteners

  1. Aspartame: A low-calorie sweetener that’s about 200 times sweeter than sugar.
  2. Sucralose: A no-calorie sweetener, often found in Splenda, and 600 times sweeter than sugar.
  3. Saccharin: One of the oldest artificial sweeteners, which is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar.

There are ongoing debates about the health benefits and concerns of different sweeteners, but I’ll leave that to the experts to discuss.

Now, let’s get back to our original question and find out which sweetener Dunkin uses in their sweetened ice tea.

Dunkin Donuts Sweetened Ice Tea: Ingredients

After endless research, countless cups of coffee, and an ungodly amount of munchkins, I present you with the ingredients of Dunkin’s sweetened ice tea:

  • Actual tea (shocker, I know)
  • A simple syrup made with granulated sugar
  • Water and a little bit of lemon, depending on your choice

Why Dunkin Donuts Chose This Sweetener

Dunkin Donuts opted for granulated sugar as their sweetener of choice in their sweetened ice tea for various reasons:

Taste preferences of consumers

Granulated sugar is commonly used in recipes and is the default sweetener most people are familiar with. Hence, Dunkin decided it would be the best choice for ensuring mass appeal and general satisfaction.


Compared to other sweeteners like honey or stevia, granulated sugar is a more cost-effective option, making it a financially sound decision for Dunkin Donuts.

Comparative benefits over other sweetener options

While artificial sweeteners may reduce caloric intake, using all-natural sugar caters to those who prefer more natural ingredients in their beverages.

Impact of This Sweetener on Nutrition Facts

The sweetener used by Dunkin Donuts in their sweetened ice tea affects the nutritional content of the beverage:

Calorie count in Dunkin Donuts sweetened ice tea

A medium-sized sweetened ice tea at Dunkin Donuts contains around 180 calories, which can vary depending on the customization of your order.

Sugar content and overall carbs

Using granulated sugar in their sweetened ice tea results in a higher sugar content of about 45 grams and 46 grams of total carbohydrates per medium-sized serving.

Recommended daily intake consideration

Considering the recommended daily sugar intake is no more than 25 grams for women and 37.5 grams for men, Dunkin’s sweetened ice tea may exceed that limit.

Comparison with Competitors

When comparing Dunkin Donuts’ sweetened ice tea with competitors and other alternatives, consider the following:

Starbucks sweetened Ice Tea

Starbucks uses its liquid cane sugar to sweeten its iced tea, making it similar in taste to Dunkin’s sweetened ice tea.

Other possible homemade or commercial alternatives

Homemade iced tea offers opportunities to use alternative sweeteners, like honey or stevia, for a unique taste or potential health benefits.

Preference factors between competitors

Choosing between Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks or other alternatives will ultimately come down to personal taste preferences and ingredient concerns.

Customer Reactions and Reviews

Dunkin’s sweetened ice tea has been met with various responses from customers:

Personal experiences and taste opinions

Some customers enjoy the sweetened ice tea and find it a refreshing and satisfying option, while others may consider it too sweet or prefer other iced tea variations.

Concerns regarding the sweetener used

Health-conscious customers may be wary of the sugar content in Dunkin Donuts’ sweetened ice tea, leading them to opt for unsweetened alternatives or other sweeteners.

Frequency of consumption and alternatives considered

How often one chooses to indulge in Dunkin’s sweetened ice tea may depend on several factors such as taste preferences, health concerns, or trying other available options.


In conclusion, Dunkin Donuts uses granulated sugar as the sweetener in their sweetened ice tea, providing a familiar and universally appealing taste. Being informed about the sweeteners used in beverages, like Dunkin’s sweetened ice tea, allows us to make healthier and more informed choices regarding our daily intake.

As a proud caffeine-dependent parent of three, I’ll continue to feed my coffee addiction while enlightening you all on the great mysteries of the caffeinated world.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

Recent Posts