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Au Bon Pain debuts cupcakes

Bakery-cafe chain Au Bon Pain has joined a number of restaurants that are offering cupcakes on winter menus.

The Boston-based company began offering cupcakes in three flavors — French vanilla, double chocolate and red velvet — last week across its 220-unit chain. The cupcakes are priced at $2.99, or two for $5, in most markets.

The new offering was announced Friday on Facebook and Twitter.

Ed Frechette, Au Bon Pain’s senior vice president for marketing, said Monday that based on early sales the company is considering making the cupcakes a permanent addition to the menu.

“Red velvet is the best selling by far,” he added.

Given the popularity of cupcake-centric concepts like Sprinkles and Crumbs, a growing number of independents and chains are offering cupcakes. For example, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is offering holiday cupcakes in So Very Vanilla, ChocoLOT and Freckled Lemonade flavors, priced at $1.99 individually or three for $5.29.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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