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Food and Beverage

GOOD NEWS: It’s Hard Out There for a Protestor…So Feed Them

ICYMI: A few people have taken up protesting civil servants and the U.S. government because human rights are a thing.

From Los Angeles to Ferguson, Mo., to NYC, activists are taking up arms and exercising their First Amendment rights to say what is vexing them about the justice system. While you may or may not applaud them, a couple of people figured they are working up an appetite.

Enter into the fray John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.

These are two people very much in the public eye who tried to do something privately because it just seemed like the right thing to do — they hired food trucks for a free lunch (and most likely, a pat on the back).

No hashtag. No t-shirt. No TV cameras. Just will work for food. Nicely done.

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New York Cafe Owner: I Don’t Like Big Butts, and I Cannot Lie

bleekerAccording to its website, Bleecker Kitchen & Co. is “a neighborhood American restaurant with a seasonally inspired menu, which offers small and large plates at affordable prices.”

Sounds innocent enough, until you focus on that large plates description. 

You see, Bleecker Kitchen & Co. owner Joshua Berkowitz isn’t a fan of many things large. In fact, he is being sued for allegedly having a twisted sense of humor about people with the proverbial junk in the trunk.

(We dare you not to laugh and think about a certain someone when you hit the jump.)

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McDonald’s Going With a ‘Less Is More’ Strategy Now That Numbers Have Tumbled

via Andrey Armyagov /

via Andrey Armyagov /

McDonald’s is taking its menu in a different direction — one that’s a little more trim — in order to stanch the bleeding at its bottom line. For years, various groups have raised issues and questions about what goes into a McDonald’s meal. But with sales down (since October 2013) and the competition taking continuous nibbles out of the fast food giant’s consumer base, McD’s is putting some more significant measures in place.

To start, the menu is getting smaller. The company is ridding itself of all but one version of the Quarter Pounder with Cheese burger. There will only be one Snack Wrap left on the menu. And there will only be one chicken sandwich. There will also be fewer ingredients in their food. All of this is being tested in six markets.

And speaking of ingredients, McD’s has decided maybe it’s time to let people know what’s in their meals.

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TGI Friday’s Mistletoe Drone Fail, Cuts Photojournalist In the Face

tgifridaysDrones are the thing now. People want one for their backyard so they can spy on their neighbors. Filmmakers want them for their movies. Amazon wants them for deliveries. Skynet will take over humanity using cyborgs and drones.

Not to be left behind, TGI Fridays is using drones in its restaurants, sending mistletoe to people’s tables so they can kiss as part of its #Togethermas campaign. The drones, which started in the UK, landed at a restaurant in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn on December 4 and a local reporter went to the restaurant to check it out. This is basically why TGI Friday has these flying contraptions: introduce something kind of fun, kind of weird, very over-the-top and watch it get some media attention.

But the drone in Brooklyn promptly went out of control and cut a photographer’s face. Even better, the TGI Friday worker behind the controls blamed a reporter for causing the accident.

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STUDY: 84% of Vegans Return to Being Meatheads

vegetarian bacon

Just when herbivores — be they vegan or vegetarian — thought they had all this good mojo going into the holidays and didn’t have to make that hapless “I’ll start dieting” resolution, comes some bad news and buyer’s remorse.

According to the Humane Research Council, more than 84 percent of all veggie lovers relapse to the tune of a steak dinner. And then, Che Green, executive director of the HRC, provides the Captain Obvious moment of 2014:

“It’s obviously a negative for animals.”

Good one, Che.

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Girl Scout Cookies Are About to Go Digital

01_homeWhile it’s notoriously difficult to pass up a box (or six) of Thin Mints when an adorable troupe of Girl Scouts intercepts you on your way to the bank or the grocery store, at least you can use the “they gave me the puppy eyes and seemed so genuinely invested in their little business that I couldn’t say no” excuse. And if you haven’t run into a cookie stand of late but have a hankering serious enough to warrant ordering your cookies for delivery, that at least takes the deterring extra step of filling out a form or contacting your dealer niece. But what if all that stood between you and the wonder that is the Samoa was a click of your mouse while you’re curled up on the couch watching Grey’s Anatomy?

That’s right; Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., after barring online sales of their cookies for years, has officially approvedDigital Cookie,” an online platform that will allow Girl Scouts to sell and ship their wares via the internet superhighway. There will even be a mobile app; goodbye, skinny jeans. Read more

Three Tips For Budweiser In Its Efforts to Market to Millennials

bud tweetMillennials like beer. (So do older people.) But they’re not really feeling Budweiser these days. The iconic American brand has fallen to third most popular behind Bud Light and Coors Light. Moreover, craft beers are making inroads with young drinkers. That category makes up 15 percent of this demographic’s out-of-home beer purchasing.

According to numbers quoted by The Wall Street Journal, 44 percent of adults between the ages of 21 and 27 have never tasted Bud. In 1988, Bud sold 50 million barrels of beer. Last year, it was 16 million barrels.

This 21-to-27-year-old age group is where Bud will be focusing its future efforts.

“That means it won’t trot out the traditional Budweiser Clydesdales for this year’s holiday advertising. It means February’s Super Bowl ads will feature something more current than last year’s Fleetwood Mac. It means less baseball and more raves with DJ group Cash Cash,” said the WSJ. Uh-oh.

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YouTube Food and Lifestyle Personalities Share Branding Tips

YouTube Truvia Baking Contest Final“Mix, taste, frost, yum and done” – those were among the steps that a contestant used to bake brown sugar cupcakes. She was competing at an event this week to be a baking star sponsored by Truvia, a natural sweetener. Four YouTube food and lifestyle stars judged the desserts and offered insights on how they each rose to video fame.

While the baking techniques were straightforward, the path to becoming a YouTube sensation isn’t as clear cut. As moderator and YouTube beauty channel host Rachel Talbott noted, it takes time. As the judges concurred, it also takes resourcefulness and an ongoing, concerted effort to stand out from the crowd. The panelists included:

Byron Talbott: professionally trained chef, Byron Talbott channel
April Moore: online foodie, mom and lifestyle expert with 3 YouTube channels
Gaby Dalkin: cookbook author, food/lifestyle writer, What’s Gaby Cooking channel
Joanne Ozug: recipe developer behind Fifteen Spatulas channel

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TGI Friday’s Will Force Couples to Kiss with Mistletoe Drones

TGI Fridays Drone

Someone working for TGI Friday’s has been taking in too many science fiction movies. Either that, or stalking is no longer enough. or being a closet stalker just isn’t doing it for him, so it’s time to be a little daring. The proof in that Yorkshire pudding is found in Manchester, England.

TGI Friday’s is testing something that is certain to get people talking in the dining category…

Here’s the scene: you’re chowing on some cheese sticks and sipping an adult beverage when you hear this loud humming sound. It’s not that kind of party, so you ask your server what’s going on. She points up and there it is — a drone hovering overhead with a dangling twig of mistletoe just in time to creep you out during the holidays.

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Pizza Hut Is Getting Fancy and Fit for November 19 Rebrand

CherryPepperBombshellPizza Hut has announced the date — November 19 — when they’re going to introduce to the world five new “drizzles” (balsamic vinaigrette among them), 10 new crusts (one with Asiago cheese) and six sauces (including honey sriracha). There’s also going to be a Skinny Slice that has 250 calories. There’s even going to be a new pizza box and logo. So the company is really going all out.

USA Today is calling it the biggest rebrand in Pizza Hut’s 56-year history. The company’s CMO Carrie Walsh tells the newspaper, “We’re redefining the category.”

But when you look at the top comment on the Pizza Hut Facebook page, it’s from a customer asking them to bring back the Bigfoot pizza.

Is the world ready for Pizza Hut with sriracha?

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