Meet Wendy's new burgers

Published on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wendy’s has introduced its new line of Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburgers, a product launch it has tested for nearly a year and a major move sources say is needed to spark sales.

The cheeseburgers, named for the brand’s founder and longtime spokesman Dave Thomas, feature thicker beef patties, toasted and buttered buns, and upgraded ingredients like crinkle-cut pickles and red onions. At a downtown Chicago location, the burger was selling for $3.99 for a single, $5.19 for a double and $6.59 for a triple.

Wendy’s first began its test of the menu item with advertising in Las Vegas in November 2010. During the test time, competitors like McDonald’s — which rolled out its Angus Third Pounder burgers in July 2009 — and regional chains like Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Smashburger have each made waves with “better burgers.”

Domino’s Pizza introduces Artisan Pizza line

Domino’s Pizza has introduced an Artisan Pizza line that includes three varieties of pies.
The new pizzas — Spinach & Feta, Italian Sausage & Pepper Trio, and Tuscan Salami & Roasted Veggie — were a company response to customers’ changing tastes, Domino’s spokesman Chris Brandon said. The pies sell for $7.99 each, a price that will be in effect for at least two months, he said. The cost after the debut campaign ends has not yet been set.

Domino’s re-launch of its core product in December 2009 positioned it to roll out the new line.

“The [Artisan Pizza] launch would have been difficult to do if we didn’t make this statement two years ago as a brand,” Brandon said. Domino’s chief executive Patrick Doyle said the menu line is the first to fully showcase the quality of the brand’s ingredients and craftsmanship.

“Consumers really need to see and taste these pizzas to believe them,” Doyle said. To emphasize that individual craftsmanship, store managers will sign customers’ pizza boxes. “The campaign is a playful way to demonstrate that we can be gourmet,” Domino’s chief marketing officer, Russell Weiner, said. “This pizza needs no gimmicks — just consumers to simply try it.”A national TV campaign features celebrity chef and former Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani.

Taco Bell testing a new Dorito-flavored taco shell

Taco Bell is testing a new taco featuring a shell made from nacho cheese-flavored Doritos, a product that is quickly becoming a media star as the chain’s parent company hints of plans to “reinvent the taco” next year.In a third-quarter call to analysts this week, Yum! Brands Inc. chairman and chief executive David Novak said the company is focusing efforts on turning around disappointing sales at Taco Bell, the company’s largest and most profitable chain in the United States.

Novak promised “market-tested, category-breakthrough innovation” to re-energize the Taco Bell brand by the end of the first quarter next year.

Company officials were shy to confirm whether the new Doritos Locos Taco is part of that so-called innovation.

“We’re excited about the positive consumer response to Doritos Locos Tacos, which is currently in test markets in Bakersfield, Fresno and Toledo,” said Rob Poetsch, a spokesman for the chain. “It’s highly innovative because it combines two classic favorites that people love. When we know it’s perfect, we’ll bring it to market.”Still, news of the Doritos Locos Taco is sweeping the internet and the product was featured in a spot on Good Morning America. The product test has been rolled out to 33 units in Toledo, 58 units in Bakersfield and 24 locations in Fresno.

It is being described as the mythical creation of some dorm room junk-food-crazed daydream.The new item is a taco with ground beef, cheese, lettuce and tomato and sour cream. But instead of the usual crispy corn tortilla, the shell is made from dayglo-orange-colored nacho cheese Doritos.

A Facebook page that appears to have been created by fans representing the “taco shells made from Doritos movement,” or TSMFD, features photo-shopped images of Einstein dreaming up the bright-orange Doritos shell; David Hasselhoff with a Doritos shell replacing the hanky in this suit pocket; and Emeril “Lacheesey” Lagasse caught in mid-“Bam!” with a shell in his hand.

Same-store sales for the 5,600-unit Taco Bell were down 2 percent for the third quarter, an improvement over the 5-percent decline in the second quarter, but “not an acceptable result,” said Novak.

Burger King offering new line of burgers

Burger King rolled out a new line of three limited-time offer burgers called BK Toppers in Deluxe, Mushroom and Swiss, and Western BBQ varieties.

“We are always looking for ways to evolve our menu to better meet the needs of our guests with real, inspired food that tastes great,” said Alex Macedo, Burger King senior vice president for North America marketing.“With our new line of savory, fire-grilled BK Toppers, we are giving our guests top-quality burgers with more beef that are freshly prepared with premium ingredients at a great value,” Macedo added.

Television and radio commercials began Friday to promote the items, focusing on the brand’s food-centric marketing strategy.

The burgers are 3.2 ounces each and sell for $1.99 each. They will be available until Dec. 31. The varieties include:

Deluxe: American cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles and Stacker sauce 
Mushroom and Swiss: Mushrooms, Swiss cheese and Griller sauce 
Western BBQ: Onion rings, American cheese and Sweet Baby Ray’s Spicy BBQ sauce

Burger King rolled out a California burger just a few weeks ago, but the Miami-based brand is also diversifying its menu offerings to reach a wider demographic. It recently debuted oatmeal and sundaes in an attempt to broaden its customer base beyond its young, male target demographic.


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