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As Value Crunch Eases, Taco Bell, Wendy's are Making Hot Product News

Posted by Dale Buss on June 25, 2013 10:35 AM

American consumers do seem to be loosening their pocketbooks a little when it comes to the time-honored tradition of eating at quick-serve restaurants. But QSR brands are taking no chances as they continue to roll out new products aimed at gaining at least a temporarily greater share of stomach.

The major chains spent much of the last few years padding their "value menus" and searching for price points that financially stretched Americans would determine they can afford. Wendy's latest gambit was to launch a long-awaited Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, and Taco Bell now is dropping hints about the next flavor of its Doritos Locos Tacos, which will be the third installment in the popular sub-franchise.Continue reading...

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In the News: Kraft Foods, Taco Bell, Hostess and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 24, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

Kraft Foods plans major second-half investment in brand building.

Taco Bell hints at next Doritos Locos Tacos flavor via social media.

Hostess brand snacks will be back on shelves July 15. 

Boston Market adds ribs to permanent menu.

Carrefour explores sale of China and Taiwan businesses.

Darden Restaurants see major sales turnaround.

Five Guys and Shake Shack bring burger war to London.

GM barnstorms Texas in major campaign for launch of new pickups and intensifies efforts to make Chevrolet a global brand.

Google sees Glass used during a surgery.Continue reading...

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Taco Bell Reinterprets Meat as 'Power Protein' for Calorie-Conscious Millennials

Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2013 06:42 PM

"Meat" may be out in some quarters, but protein certainly is in. Taco Bell is testing a new "Power Protein" menu this summer in another move signaling its interest in offering healthier fare.

The preponderance of beef and chicken on Taco Bell's menu has been one of its main attractions for young males (along with low prices) for decades, but the Yum! Brands chain now is offering a new interpretation that it presumes is more in keeping with the times.

Millennials are seeking items that have more protein but also less fat, Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed told reporters this week, according to Advertising Age, adding that the new items are a step to become a better and more relevant Taco Bell to that core demographic.Continue reading...

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In the News: Facebook, Tesla, Dish Network and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2013 09:24 AM

In the News

Facebook hits 1 million active advertisers and Zuckerberg talks partnerships with Samsung.

Tesla recalls some Model S cars for seat-mount defect. 

Dish Network drops pursuit of Sprint Nextel, clearing way for SoftBank.

Alcatel-Lucent plans to streamline.

Amazon rolls out Facebook social gift card

Chevrolet returns to Oscars with user-generated ad.

Dell sees Carl Icahn raise stake in company.

Johnny Rockets is acquired.

Lifestyle Lift changes national marketing practices after probe.Continue reading...

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McDonald's Will Test Late Night Menu That Brings 'Day Parts' Together

Posted by Dale Buss on June 6, 2013 03:22 PM

It used to be that Taco Bell was about the only fast-food brand concerned with hitting all the "day parts" in the business. But with customers and profits harder to come by these days, McDonald's has been making noise lately about emphasizing opportunities during the graveyard shift and maybe even extending its breakfast availability.

In the latest such wrinkle, McDonald's reportedly is testing an "After Midnight" menu between midnight and 4 a.m. at some of its 24-hour locations that offer patrons the chance to order either dinner items, breakfast selections—or both—from a menu of favorites from each day part.

"Our customers want convenience around the clock," McDonald's said in a statement about the move, according to USA Today, though the chain didn't offer specifics. Millennials, especially, want convenience 24/7 and they want to be able to eat pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want, convention or otherwise.Continue reading...

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In the News: P&G, Apple, Verizon and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 6, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

P&G makes race to succeed Lafley clearer with executive moves.

Apple plans to sell audio ads on rumored iRadio.

Verizon sees US government track phone records of its customers, report says.

Chili's is pleased with rollout of pizza and flatbreads.

Disney puts seven Radio Disney stations up for sale.

Edmunds.com launches price guarantee for online shoppers.

GM rejoins S&P 500 as US Treasury plans to sell more shares.

General Mills gets OK reception for potentially "controversial" ad for Cheerios.

Kimpton Hotels holds pet photo contest.

McDonald's experiments with breakfast and dinner after midnight.Continue reading...

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In the News: Apple, Toyota, Allegiant Air and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 5, 2013 09:03 AM

In the News

Apple faces a limited ban on product sales in wake of court victory by Samsung.

Toyota recalls nearly a quarter-million Prius and Lexus hybrids.

Allegiant Air emerges as most profitable airline in America.

Amazon plans major expansion of grocery delivery, report says, while it is attacked by French culture minister as "destroyer of bookshops" and reaches deal with Viacom to stream kids' shows.

Bloomberg begins fund to invest in startups.

Carl's Jr and Hardee's go after McDonald's disaffected Angus customers.

Chrysler challenge of federal recall effort on Jeeps is unusual.

Delta plans to reduce operations at Memphis hub.Continue reading...

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In the News: PepsiCo, Discovery, Sergio Garcia and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 23, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

PepsiCo rethinks soda pricing strategy in the US.

Discovery plans to launch online video network.

Sergio Garcia catches serious heat from sponsors AdidasTaylorMade after Woods "chicken" comment.

Borders customers are stuck with their gift cards, judge rules.

ESPN layoffs show network's vulnerability.

Equal sweetens its look.

Ford plans to exit manufacturing in Australia as it launches new marketing campaign for Europe.

GE weighs selling off large parts of financing arm.Continue reading...

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