Archive for Food

No, Budweiser is NOT getting rid of the Clydesdales

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I saw a headline Sunday that Anheuscher-Busch was not using their iconic Clydesdales in Christmas ads this year. I didn’t think much of it until a bunch of other stories said they were getting rid of them altogether. I did see a piece debunking that yesterday as well. Now that the story is well on the way to virality, I wanted to stand athwart the landslide of outraged comments and get it corrected (and I personally think most of the beers made by Anheuscher-Busch taste like I imagine Clydesdale urine must taste like, so don’t call me, a craft beer guy, a fanboy for writing this.)

Here’s what a Yahoo blog noted about the original report:

Rest easy, Budweiser Clydesdales — you aren’t being put out to pasture just yet.

Contrary to an earlier report, the iconic horses, who have been an essential part of the Budweiser brand for nearly a century, will in fact be appearing in the beer company’s holiday advertising this year.

Horse fans and beer drinkers alike were alarmed by a Wall Street Journal story published Sunday claiming that the magnificent beasts were being phased out of Bud’s 2014 holiday advertising in an effort to appeal to younger consumers.

“The company has decided that persuading 21- to 27-year-olds to grab a Bud is the best chance to stop the free-fall. After years of developing advertising and marketing that appeals to all ages, AB InBev plans to concentrate future Budweiser promotions exclusively on that age bracket,”
The Journal’s story claimed. “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.”

Here’s the truth:

However, a spokesman for the company told TheWrap on Monday that the horses will continue the tradition of appearing in the brewer’s holiday advertising.

“The story this morning may have left a wrong impression – the Budweiser Clydesdales will, in fact, be featured in next year’s Super Bowl advertising and are also a part of upcoming holiday responsible drinking advertising,” a spokesman for the company said in a statement. “The Clydesdales play a strong role for the brand, representing Budweiser quality and care for more than 80 years. As icons of the brand — and relevant symbols of integrity, perfection and team spirit for all generations — they are important to the brand and our campaigns.”

The revered horses will even be galloping into the digital age this year, with a piece of content that will run digitally, featuring real people along with the Clydesdales.

The moral of the story is a continued reminder to be wary of what you read on the internet. The secondary sources who picked up the WSJ piece had time to find out what the Wrap blog at Yahoo found out, but going for the clickbait headlines that get shared more ruled the day (some of this may fall on the people who shared them as well – especially if they didn’t read the actual articles.)

Natty Boh, PBR now owned by Russian company

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NBC reports:

Attention, hipsters. Pabst Brewing Company — and its signature Pabst Blue Ribbon, the ironic, iconic favorite of the young and the cool — has sold to a Russian beverage firm after a century and a half of American ownership, an investing firm announced Thursday. Oasis Beverages, the largest independent brewer in Russia, bought Pabst, which also produces Colt .45, Old Milwaukee and Lone Star beers, according to a statement by the American investment firmTSG Consumer Partners, which will hold a minority stake.

Pabst, which is based in Milwaukee, also makes National Bohemian, a.k.a. Natty Boh. Colt .45 was original owned by National Bohemian as  well. National Premium, another brand that used to be owned by Natty Boh back in the day, is being made by an independent local brewer in Maryland now.

Natty Boh is not brewed in Baltimore or in Maryland anymore, yet local publications still put it in the best local beer category in their voting for best local beers and it often wins, largely because Baltimore denizens, like many people nationally, have low standards and expectations for their beer quality. There are much better local Baltimore and Maryland craft beers that people should give a try if they haven’t already.

Even Governor Martin O’Malley made a bet with the governor of California before the 2012 Super Bowl that included Natty Boh beer until the Maryland Brewers Association busted his chops on it and he deleted the tweet and changed the bet to some actual local beer.

I doubt this move will have an impact on most people who drink Natty Boh, honestly, and to be nice I won’t go much further into detail on that other than saying almost 90% of Natty Boh sales are in the Baltimore area.

No word if the slogan will be changed from “From the Land of Pleasant Living” to something more in line with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Krispy Kreme to sell Ghostbusters doughnuts

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Variety

Krispy Kreme and Sony Pictures have collaborated on something fans loved from their childhoods, creating two kinds of marshmallow-filled doughnuts to celebrate the Blu-Ray release of the 30th anniversary edition of “Ghostbusters.”

The Ghostbusters doughnut will feature white icing, a green splat inspired by the film’s Psychomagnotheric Slime, and a “Ghostbusters” logo sugar piece. The Stay Puft Marshmallow option will be decorated with white icing, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man’s face and a sugar hat.

They will be sold September 29-October 31 and you can pre-order 5 dozen or more starting today.

Taco Bell testing a taco “shell” made of a biscuit

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Foodbeast has the details:

Their new Biscuit Taco touts a “warm, flakey, golden brown biscuit that happens to be shaped in the form of a taco.”

The biscuit tacos they are testing for their breakfast menu include:

  • Sausage, Egg and Cheese
  • Bacon, Egg, and Cheese
  • Sausage and Cheese
  • Egg and Cheese
  • Sausage and Gravy
  • Chicken with jalapeno honey sauce

They have already been tested in Atlanta and San Antonio and are currently being tested in Los Angeles and Orange County in California, according to Foodbeast.

Chick-Fil-A also testing chicken & waffles in Philly, Memphis, and Inland Empire

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I noted last week that Chick-Fil-A has been testing a new breakfast menu that includes chicken and waffles. The initial reports were the new menu items were available in Middle Georgia.

A report from the Los Angeles Times indicates that the breakfast items are being tested in 12 stores in the Inland Empire in California:

Chick-fil-A has started testing a new breakfast menu at select locations around the country, including its 12 restaurants in the Inland Empire. Known for its fried chicken cutlet sandwiches, the Atlanta-based chain is looking to expand its morning offerings to include new “better for you” selections as well as a few new savory items, the company said in a release.

[…]

For a mix of sweet and savory, Chick-fil-A has introduced Chicken & Waffles for breakfast with a fried boneless breast of chicken alongside a warm Belgian-style waffle with a caramelized sugar crunch and the maple syrup baked on the inside (440 calories, 9 grams of fat). There’s also new Cinnamon Swirls, the chain’s version of mini cinnamon rolls, served warm with cream cheese icing (310 calories, 17 grams of fat).

Other locations:

The new breakfast items will be available for a limited time in the Inland Empire as well as Philadelphia, Middle Georgia and Memphis, Tenn.

 

Low-calorie Coca-Cola Life debuts in Fresh Market Stores

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AJC.com

Grocer The Fresh Market said on Monday that Coca-Cola’s new lower-calorie soda Coca-Cola Life has hit shelves in select locations of the chain’s stores in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Based in Greensboro, N.C., The Fresh Market is the exclusive retail partner for the launch of the beverage through mid-October, the company said Monday.

[…]

Coca-Cola Life, introduced in 2013 in Argentina and Chile, ditches high fructose corn syrup for sugar and the sweetener stevia. It’s Atlanta-based Coke’s way to attract consumers who want the full-bodied taste of regular Coke without all the calories. A 330-ml can of Coca-Cola Life, for instance, contains 89 calories. A similar size can of regular Coke has around 140 calories.

The product will go on sale nationally in October 2014. No word on whether Fresh Market will be expanding it to their other states before then. Pepsi’s answer to Coca-Cola Life is Pepsi Next.

Report: Burger King in talks to buy Tim Horton’s to avoid US taxes

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Business Insider:

The Wall Street Journal’s Liz Hoffman and Dana Mattioli report Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Horton’s to pull off a “tax inversion” that would allow it to avoid U.S. taxes.

The new holding company would be based in Canada, the pair report.

“One of the people said a deal between the two companies could be struck soon, though additional details on timing couldn’t be learned,” they write. “Together the restaurant companies have a market value of about $18 billion.”

The deal would create the world’s third-largest fast food enterprise.

While this is mainly for the tax implications, would it mean more Tim Horton’s in the US? (There are a small number in the US including some on military installations.)

Nanny State: NYC might ban free Happy Meal toys

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Think Progress reports:

On the heels of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (I) infamous failed attempt to ban large sodas, New York City officials are trying their hand at nutrition policy again. This time, they’ve set their sights on a more specific target: the free toys that come with high-calorie kids’ meals at fast food restaurants.

New York City Councilman Ben Kallos (D) has introduced a “Health Happy Meals” measure that would ban toys in kids’ meals that fall short of strict dietary guidelines. In order for restaurants to give away free toys with kids’ food, they’ll have to offer meals that don’t contain more than 500 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium.

“It is difficult enough for parents to give their children healthy food without the fast food industry spending hundreds of million dollars per year advertising to children, and nearly half of that on toys,” Kallos said in a statement announcing his new bill. “If restaurants are going to incentivize children, they should incentivize them to eat healthy.”

Kallos also pointed out that an estimated one fourth of U.S. children’s meals come from restaurants or fast food places, and “those calories could be healthy calories.” Under his measure, restaurants that fail to comply with the toy ban would be fined.

A previous attempt in New York didn’t pass. Even if this were to pass, it has been noted that McDonald’s got around a similar ban in San Francisco by charging ten cents for the toys.

Chick-fil-a adds chicken and waffles to breakfast menu

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Chick Fil A has added several items to its breakfast menu for a limited time, but only in middle Georgia. This potentially means they are market testing the items there.

AJC.com reports that the  items include:

  • maple waffles- “baked with real maple syrup inside and a caramelized sugar crunch (300 calories)”
  • multigrain oatmeal with fresh fruit- “steel cut oatmeal is slow-cooked and has flax, whole wheat and buckwheat ” (140 calories)
  • cinnamon swirls- “cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing (310 calories)”
  • egg white chicken grill- “toasted whole wheat English muffin with grilled chicken, egg whites and American cheese” (300 calories)”
  • greek yogurt parfait- “honey-flavored greek yogurt topped with fresh berries and your choice of Harvest Nut granola or chocolate cookie crumbs (110 calories)”
  • chicken and waffle- “pressure cooked in 100 percent peanut oil served with the maple waffle  (440 calories)”

Nanny State: Mexico bans soda ads – is the US next?

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The Daily Beast reports on a BBC story:

After surpassing the U.S. as the most obese country in the world in 2013, Mexico is taking action against ads for high-calorie food and soft drinks. Ads featuring those items will be banned on TV between 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, and between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on weekends. The ads will also be restricted in movie theaters. Mexicans, who have the highest rate of diabetes in the world, are also the world’s largest consumers of sugary drinks, with an average of 43 gallons per person a year. The ban comes a year after the government added taxes to high-calorie foods and sugary drinks to combat obesity.

The U.S. has already messed around with print and television ads for different classes of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, so with the current emphasis by liberal nanny-staters, including First Lady Michelle Obama, on obesity I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in the U.S.

Howard County Executive (and candidate for Maryland Lt. Governor) Ken Ulman would probably be all for it after the county enacted a ban on sugary drinks that resulted in vendors not being allowed to sell anything but diet soda at a recent Fourth of July event. Luckily, sanity prevailed and Mike Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary drinks in NYC was struck down in court. DC considered a similar ban.