Beverage orders have declined by 4% or 2 billion servings over the past five years, according to new data from The NPD Group. The decrease would have been greater except for the rise of iced/frozen coffees, specialty coffees and bottled water.
Most of the leakage is coming from carbonated diet and regular soft drinks, milk and brewed coffee, which together account for nearly 50% of beverage orders at foodservice but that have declined by 4 billion servings since 2010, NPD reports. Still, declining beverages continue to be purchased most frequently of all beverage categories. Consumers order a beverage at 70% of restaurant visits.
Denver-based Smashburger ha entered into an agreement to sell a 40% stake to Philippines-based restaurant company Jollibee Foods Corp. The Wall Street Journal reported that the price was $100 million.
Smashburger has 335 company- and franchise-owned fast-casual burger restaurants in 35 states and seven countries. Jollibee’s network of more than 3,000 company and franchised restaurants includes the Jollibee burger and chicken chain (with 30 U.S. locations), Burger King Philippines and other brands. In January, Jollibee Chairman Tony Tan-Caktiong told Reuters that he was interested in acquiring a U.S. QSR with sales of at least $1 billion.
In a statement, Tan-Caktiong explained the merger this way: “Smashburger is one of the fastest growing restaurant brands in the US and we are very excited to work side by side with the owners and management of Smashburger as we continue its growth. This acquisition will make JFC’s presence in the US more significant, going beyond the Filipino market and serving mainstream consumers in the $100 billion US burger market, a food segment which is estimated to be almost three times larger than the pizza, sandwich or coffee segment in terms of sales. This acquisition will make the US one of JFC’s most important markets and drivers of long term growth along with the Philippines, China and other Asian markets abroad.”
Continuing its strategy of developing local-market food favorites for its menus, McDonald’s has introduced Smoked Meat Poutine only in the Quebec province of Canada. Montreal-style smoked meat is a cured, smoked and steamed beef brisket that resembles pastrami. Jeff Petry of the Montreal Canadiens appears in TV spots. Meanwhile KFC is promoting Popcorn Chicken Poutine in Canada.
And the folks at GrubGrade report that Wendy’s is giving a tryout to a Sweet Thai Chili Chicken Sandwich. The build is a chicken patty with sweet Thai sauce, spring mix, mild green chiles, dill pickle slices and smokey chipotle sauce on a brioche bun. Phoenix; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Ft. Myers, Fla., are the test markets. Surprisingly, the item is now listed on Wendy’s online menu.