Yum! Brands apparently is thinking about food safety as it watches Chipotle Mexican Grill’s efforts to rebound from several food-safety incidents and after having dealt with its own safety scandals at KFC in China and at Taco Bell here in recent years. McDonald’s reported a net loss in Japan for 2014 after food-safety scares there.
That may explain why Yum! Brands filed federal trademark registrations on Aug. 9, 2016, for the phrase, “Yum! Food Safety Trust in Every Bite…” and the shorter “Trust in Every Bite…” which could be used with its KFC, Pizza Hut and/or Taco Bell concepts. It’s also possible that the phrase will only be used internally for training materials. The Louisville, Ky.-based company did not return a BurgerBusiness.com call seeking comment on its intended uses of these phrases.
Food-safety problems are shaking consumer confidence in foodservice and supermarket food quality. A Daymon Worldwide study conducted in 2015 found one-third of the 1,000 respondents saying they were more concerned about the safety of the food they eat than they were just one year earlier. And 40% said they no longer enjoy the foods they eat because of food-safety concerns.
YouGov BrandIndex reports that consumer purchase consideration for chicken chains (including Chick-Fil-A, KFC, Church’s, Boston Market and others) has been rising since March 2016, while the second-place burger category has tailed off slightly.
The researcher report, “In the mature dining sector, where every percentage point carries great significance, the chicken QSR group inched up from 18% of fast food eaters who report considering the brands in that category the next time they’re out for fast food to 19%. In early April, chicken QSR’s eclipsed the hamburger group, which has been on a slight downward trend over the same time period. The hamburger group currently stands at 18%.”
Even with Chipotle excluded, the Mexican category is last among the four with 9% of consumers considering a purchase. Pizza stands at about 14%.
It’s worth noting, however, that when asked about value, burgers score best, ahead of pizza and chicken (essentially tied for second place) and nearly double the 6% of the Mexican segment.
Shake Shack has cracked the $7 ceiling with its latest LTO. The Roker Burger, created in collaboration with Al Roker of NBC’s “Today Show,” is priced at an eye-opening $7.49. That easily eclipses the $6.89 price for the Bacon Cheddar Shack LTO earlier this year. But at least $1 from every Roker sold goes to No Kid Hungry and the effort to eradicate childhood hunger in this country.
The build on the Roker Burger: a 100% all-natural Angus burger with Niman Ranch BBQ pulled pork, double American cheese, “red-eye mayo”(a Momofuku-created blend of coffee and sriracha) and pickles. The very-limited offer ends this Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.
Back to chicken news: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews added a new item to its upper-price-tier Finest line. The Bee’s Knees Finest Chicken sandwich (below) combines a tempura-fried chicken breast glazed with Angry Orchard honey, spicy jalapeňo relish, citrus-marinated tomato and onion with shredded romaine lettuce on a Belgian waffle bun. The burger is priced at $12.99.
This is Red Robin’s second attempt to regain customer traffic with a goofy burger bun. In March it introduced the Red Ramen Burger, a beef burger between ramen-patty buns. Didn’t go over big.
Red Robin also announced the $6.99 Cheese Lover’s Menu that BurgerBusiness.com reported on Aug. 9.
A new starter/dessert at Red Robin is S’mored Sweet Potato Fries: sweet potato fries topped with toasted marshmallows, hot fudge and a dash of sea salt.
Finally, while it looks to ensure the quality and safety of its food, Yum’s KFC unit has developed a fried-chicken-scented tanning product it calls Extra Crispy Sunscreen. Only 3,000 bottles of the SPF 30 sunscreen were available and were offered yesterday only via online requests. Needless to say, they were snapped up quickly.
“Our Extra Crispy Sunscreen is a fun way to leverage that delicious aroma and let our fans live the Extra Crispy lifestyle for themselves,” said Kevin Hochman, CMO for KFC U.S. in a released statement. ‘Nuf said.