Taco Bell Potatorito - © Taco Bell

Fast Food Week: Industry News Roundup

It’s that day again! We’re looking at the past week’s Fast Food industry announcements, launches and newsy bits. We’ve got some truly savoury new sandwiches from an array of purveyors plus a couple of big stories involving Fast Food Week regulars, Starbucks and Chipotle’s. And the news there is not good…

Smoked Italian Porchetta Sandwich - © ArbysArby’s new Smoked Italian Porchetta Sandwich. I can’t wait to try it!

Starbucks writes off Teavana investment

Starbucks bought the Teavana chain of tea shops for (US)$620 million just five years ago, thinking that would cement its market share in the Tea sector. But there have been changes in the landscape since then. Teavana was primarily a mall food court chain and malls have been hemorrhaging foot traffic in recent years. Teavana simply failed to perform, profits-wise, and Starbucks cut its losses. All 376 Teavana shops will be shuttered.

Chipotle’s under Federal investigation over food poisonings

Chipotle’s has been served with a Federal subpoena over the string of food borne illness outbreaks at a number of its stores over the past two years. The latest saw more than  a hundred Chipotle’s patrons laid low by Norovirus after eating at a Virginia location. The Federal investigation will be conducted by the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the US Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations. We’re told this sort of investigation is a pretty rare event. We hope so.

Coke is fiddling with perfection, again…

Coca Cola has announced Coke Zero will be replaced with Coca Cola Zero Sugar. It’s billed as the new, improved Coke Zero. But those who’ve tried it say it tastes nothing like Coke Zero. Which, they point out, tasted at least a bit like regular Coke and Diet Coke. Nevertheless, Coke calls it their “best tasting zero-sugar Coca Cola yet.” We’ll see…

Taco Bell’s new menu item du jour : Potatorito

Taco Bell has launched another new menu item. It’s called the Peefy Potatorito and it goes together like this: On a warmed Flour Tortilla, they place Taco Bell’s signature Ground beef mixture. They add Shredded Cheddar and Crispy Fried Potatoes, and top with Chipotle Cheese Sauce. And it’s only a buck. It’ll fill you up, for sure!

KFC’s new menu item du jour : Smoky Mountain Fried Chicken

KFC has already floated a couple of regionally-inspired Chicken Flavours: Nashville Hot and Georgia Gold Chicken. Folks loved ’em. Now, in an apparent attempt to cover two regions in one swoop, they’re bringing in Smoky Mountain Fried Chicken, a tip of the fray basket to Tennesee and the Carolinas, which reside wither side of the Smokies. KFC says it’s blended Tennessee Tomato-style BBQ sauce and Carolina-style Vinegar-based sauce into something yummy. We’ll see…

Arby’s gets fancy with new Italian Porchetta Sandwiches

It’s a traditional Italian fast food and it’s coming to Arby’s in all its glory. If you didn’t know, Porchetta is a Pork Loin rubbed in Herbs and Spices, wrapped in a Pork Belly and roasted low and slow until tender and juicy. Then, you slice it thin and, if you’re Arby’s, you pile it on a long, Sub/Hoagie Roll and top with melted Provolone, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Banana Peppers, Red Wine Vinaigrette, and Garlic Aioli. And they call it the Smoked Italian Porchetta Sandwich. Or, you can try the Mount Italy Sandwich which is truly a mountain of a sandwich, with everything the previous sandwich has plus Ham, Salami, and Pepperoni with Italian Seasoning. I can’t wait!

And that’s it for this week!

Now, get out there and try all the salivation-worthy new menu items tat have hit the market in the past seven days!

~ Maggie J.