Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 04:23 PM
How low can you go? That may be the biggest question facing McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and other fast-food operators these days, in the US as well as around the world.
That's because cash-strapped consumers worldwide, struggling amid low-growth and slowing economies, are making business difficult for fast-food chains even though each brand is now emphasizing "value menus" and increasing low-priced offerings like never before. The QSR rivals are doing a lot of other things as well, including introducing higher-priced new menu items. But the most important competition, and the crux of their strategic dilemma, is found at the low end.
"That consumer that is getting hit hardest by the economy is locking in on a message that has a price, and when they see and hear 99 cents, Wendy's gets put in their consideration set," Emil Brolick, CEO of Wendy's, told the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 09:15 AM
Coca-Cola promises to reduce marketing to kids as part of global anti-obesity commitment.
Levi Strauss buys naming rights to planned new stadium of San Francisco 49ers.
Lay's reveals chip-flavor contest winner.
Abercrombie & Fitch draws fire for stocking only "skinny" sizes for women.
Activision Blizzard warns "World of Warcraft" is losing subscribers.
AT&T severely slashes Facebook Home phone prices.
BT enters British-sports broadcasting.
Claire's IPO will test market for debt-laden companies.
Ford takes over as title sponsor of Detroit's annual fireworks.
Google Maps will reportedly unveil new interface.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2013 02:24 PM
Thanks to the efforts of a handful of entrepreneurs, American fast food is moving from a form of nutritional epithet to add an entirely new dimension: a fledgling business model that uses the quick-serve platform to get better-for-you fare into the mouths of more willing consumers.
At the same time, not to be outdone, traditional fast-food chains are tacking heavily into more nutritional fare after several years of more or less playing at it. Taco Bell, for instance, has just announced its strategy to offer healthier menu options, while McDonald's is veering more deeply into wraps.
LYFE Kitchen is probably the best known of the cluster of promising better-for-you startups which also includes Clover, Veggie Grill, Tender Greens and Native Foods Cafe. New York Times Magazine writer Mark Bittman chronicled some of what these brands are doing.
"After the success of companies like Whole Foods [and] Annie's and Kashi, there's now a market for a a fast-food chain that's not only healthful itself, but vegetarian-friendly, sustainable and even humane," he wrote. "And, this being fast food: cheap.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 26, 2013 09:28 AM
Honda has the best brand image, according to a Kelly Blue Book study.
FDA abandons graphic cigarette warning labels in favor of new approach.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg launches $12 million ad campaign against the NRA.
Amazon is the most visited online retailer in Europe.
Boeing's Dreamliner completes first flight test since being grounded.
With 1 million users, Fitocracy users are more engaged than any social network besides Facebook.
GQ allows users to personalize its iPad app with MyGQ technology.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 25, 2013 05:38 PM
McDonald's has a problem. While the fast-food brand remains No. 1, it doesn’t even rank in the top 10 for the increasingly sought-out cohort of the 59 to 80 million people ages 23 to 36 in the U.S., widely known as millennials.
McDonald's is concerned enough to be specifically targeting this group, identified as highly valuing customization and choice with a major new product launch, McWrap. "They're 80 million [people] but they're influencing the next 80 million, both younger and older," said Gary Stibel, CEO at New England Consulting Group.
The McWrap, a.k.a. "Subway buster," comes in three varieties: sweet chili chicken, chicken and bacon and chicken and ranch, grilled or crispy—and depending on the chicken parts, ranges from 360 to 600 calories. According to an internal McDonald’s memo, it "affords us the platform for customization and variety that our millennial customer is expecting of us. Our customers are consistently telling us, particularly millennials, they expect variety, more choices, customization and their ability to be able to personalize their food experience."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on March 19, 2013 09:07 AM
Interbrand announces the 2013 Best Retail Brands report.
Coca-Cola honored with first Clio brand icon award.
Starbucks names new global CMO in former Sephora marketer Sharon Rothstein, as McDonald's passes Starbucks as most social brand.
Apple rumored to pull out the stops for the next iPhone to take on Samsung, which has replaced Nokia as top smartphone brand in China and confirmed it's developing a smartwatch to take on Apple's rumored wearable computer.
BlackBerry prepares to bring million-selling Z10 smartphone to U.S. on Friday with 100,000 apps.
Burger King hopes folks gobble up new turkey burger.
Carl's Jr. and Hardee's introduce Jim Beam bourbon burger.
Clorox introduces smart tube technology to packaging design.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on March 14, 2013 07:38 PM
McDonald's may have just tanked its apple walnut salad and Chicken Selects, but that doesn't mean the world's largest and most closely watched fast-food chain is giving up on better-for-you fare. Far from it.
The latest exhibit: McDonald's is launching a yolk-free-egg version of the classic Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich. The "Egg White Delight" will be available nationally on April 22 and register at 250 calories compared with 300 calories for the regular sandwich.
The new item will be made with a whole-grain muffin, Canadian bacon and, apparently just to make sure there's no hint of yellow in the sandwich, white cheddar cheese. McDonald's said the egg whites will be cooked on the grill with a spatula, according to the Associated Press. Customers can request egg whites on other sandwiches, but it wasn't clear whether extra pricing would apply.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 8, 2013 02:43 PM
Occasional coffee drinkers and Starbucks junkies alike all visit the Seattle-based brewer's shops for the same reason, and it's not a caffeine kick. The java giant is just as recognized for its lifestyle brand as it is its beverages, and that may be just the thing missing from competitors' offerings.
Despite the fact that Starbucks recently took a second-place post against McDonald's in a social hospitality survey, the company continues to be the most relevant coffee shop brand around—and they don't even try that hard. Continue reading...