brand battle

With Its New Big King, Brazen Burger King Mounts New Assault on McDonald's

Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 05:56 PM

Even with its recent travails, McDonald's could count on staying ahead of every conceivable fast-food rival. But is that still the case? Burger King seems to be nicking away at the idea.

Neither No. 2 Burger King nor No. 3 Wendy's can possibly at this point match McDonald's revenues or 69 million visitors a day. But in its own way, the traditional biggest challenger, Burger King, is taking it to the leader unlike ever before, in terms of products, innovations, marketing and branding.

Burger King has been the aggressor in the war for market share in a stagnant fast-food market in the US and across much of the rest of the world. For example, Burger King has just introduced a new Big King sandwich that—made of two beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions and served on a sesame-seed bun— sure seems like a knockoff of McDonald's reigning Big Mac. And that came just a few months after Burger King brazenly unveiled a limited-time summer menu that included a BBQ Rib sandwich, a boneless rib pattie just like McDonald's limited-time McRib sandwich.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: NHL, Boston Market, Burberry and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on November 27, 2013 09:23 AM

In the News

NHL makes NFL play with more unscripted programming, outdoor games—and concussion lawsuits.

Boston Market expects to see biggest Thanksgiving sales yet.

Burberry appeals China ban on trademark pattern.

Atlanta Braves see council approve $300 million, move to suburbs. 

BlackBerry rolls out BBM social network.

Burger King expands presence in France.

Facebook tries to find balance with onslaught of sponsored posts.

Instagram is now publishing a new ad almost every day.

L'Oreal names new global CMO.

Louis Vuitton stunt in Moscow's Red Square doesn't go over well.Continue reading...

chew on this

FDA Seeks to Vanquish Trans-Fats by Giving Them 'Non-GRAS' Status

Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2013 07:47 PM

Brands have been fleeing artery-clogging trans fats since a FDA labeling requirement for the stuff in 2006, but now the federal agency likely will finish off hold-out trans-fat products with a preliminary ruling this week that the primary source of the fats are no longer "GRAS."

GRAS means "generally recognized as safe," and it is the sine qua non for any ingredient that is going into a regulated food and beverage sold in the United States. The new FDA ruling made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils—the primary diet source of artificial trans fat in processed foods—no longer are GRAS for use in food. As Advertising Age noted, the next step is to find out from food makers how long it would take them to reformulate foods that contain extra trans fats if the ruling is finalized.

Trans fats have some inimitable qualities that help in food taste and texture, manufacturers say, including helping crisp french fries. Holdout brands have ranged from Pillsbury Grand! cinnamon rolls to Marie Callender pies from ConAgra to Diamond Foods' Pop Secret pocorn. So even though General Mills said that more than 90 percent of its US retail products already are retailed as zero grams trans fat, it called the ruling a "major development."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: BlackBerry, Kellogg, American Airlines and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 4, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

BlackBerry sale to Fairfax falls apart as $1 billion in funding is secured, CEO Thorsten Heins steps down and shares plunge.

Kellogg plans to trim 7% of workforce by 2017 as part of global restructuring.

American Airlines and US Airways merger cleared in US, but only with broad divestitures.

AB InBev sees strong growth for Budweiser in Russia.

Alcatel-Lucent seeks to raise $2 billion for turnaround plan.

Apple's gold iPhone 5s continues flying off shelves, while Apple CEO Tim Cook backs LGBT anti-discrimination bill.

Billabong sells Canadian retail chain West 49.

Chevron pumps up spending to boost production.

Dr Pepper finds formula to Facebook success.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Target, Angie's List, Burger King and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2013 09:33 AM

In the News

Target launches own pre-paid mobile brand. 

Angie's List cuts prices and pursues new members.

Burger King "changes name" in social media posts.

Audi plans to boost booming European subcompact market with Q1, report says.

BMW puts South Africa expansion plans on hold after labor strikes.

BP wins partial reprieve from oil-spill payments.

Budweiser fails to maintain buzz with its iconic packaging, report says.

Chrysler cuts Viper output amid slow sales.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are assailed by Oxfam over "land grabbing" in supply chains.

Filippo Berio launches largest-ever ad campaign.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Concession on Healthier Fare Also May Be Way To Jump-Start US Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2013 10:52 AM

McDonald's biggest nod toward better-for-you food is already placating some critics, and there's another benefit: Helping kids and their parents eat healthier fare at its restaurants may boost chain sales results that have become tepid lately in the US market.

In cooperation with a Bill Clinton-backed nonprofit, McDonald's has announced a sweeping new commitment to better-for-you eating that includes promoting only water, milk and juice rather than soft drinks for Happy Meals on its menu boards and in advertising, emphasizing nutrition in its packaging and advertising for kids, and offering side salads and fruit to accompany its value meals. 

"We think we can influence the purchase of fruits and veggies," McDonald's CEO Don Thompson told the Wall Street Journal. "We have a leadership role and we can be part of a solution. The average person eats at McDonald's three times a month."Continue reading...

brands under fire

Fast Food Workers Organize Nationwide Protests to Fight for More Pay, Unions

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 29, 2013 12:03 PM

Fast-food workers in 50 US cities plan to walk off their jobs today in the latest—and largest—demonstration to pressure employers to allow workers to organize, and increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour. 

While a movement has been building since last year, employers have witnessed a resurgence in the demands for greater pay and unionized benefits, with a multi-city protest organized at the end of July. 

"The workers are responding to total failure on behalf of the federal government to raise the minimum wage to keep up with inflation and the cost of living," Tsedeye Gebreselassie, attorney at the National Employment Law Project, told Reuters. 

Employees of McDonald’s, Wendy's, Burger King and other QSR companies will be joined in protest by retail employees from stores such as Macy's, Sears, and Dollar Tree.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Verizon Wireless, Coca-Cola, Renault and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 29, 2013 09:28 AM

In the News

Verizon Wireless may soon buy out Vodafone stake.

Coca-Cola sees public-health battle over soda consumption flare in Mexico.

Renault sees operating chief quit amid speculation he may head for Detroit.

Amazon adds to server-market woes with its push to the cloud.

American Airlines and US Airways open to deal on antitrust concerns.

BlackBerry sees "savior" keyboard-equipped Q10 fall flat.

Carrefour's cost-cutting begins to bear fruit.

Chrysler strikes deal with Rush to promote its SRT performance brand.

Cinnabon outlines growth strategy.

GM tries to revive sales by boosting mileage of 2014 Chevrolet Malibu.Continue reading...

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