MTN DEW Spark - © 2022 Mountain Dew

Fast Food Week: Quick Service Restaurant And Snacks News!

Yup! It’s us! We’re back on our regular schedule with Fast Food Week after the year-end Holidays upheaval. (But it was kind of a nice upheaval, wasn’t it?) Anyway… This past week saw, among other things, a continuation of the New Year’s cavalcade of new plant-based product releases…

Plant-bvased Chipotle Bowl - © 2022 ChipotleChipotle has launched its new smoky Plant-based Chorizo chain wide.
The new meat substitute is also available in new bowls.

KFC launches plant-based ‘Fried Chicken’

After quiet, careful consideration, and test marketing exercises in a number of U.S. cities, KFC is finally launching its long-anticipated plant-based ‘Fried Chicken’. That’s large pieces of plant protein (from Beyond Meat), breaded and fried like conventional KFC.

KFC Plant-based Fried Chicken - © 2022 KFC

The Colonel’s boys and girls say the tests were resoundingly successful, so now they’re going to make it available for a limited time starting this  coming Monday. You’ll be able to get 6- and 12-piece orders of chicken alone, or get ’em as part of a Combo, with Secret Recipe Fries and a medium Fountain Drink.

Chipotle rolls out plant-based ‘Chorizo’ U.S. wide

Reviewers insist the new meat alternative, “captures the deep, rich flavor of chorizo, without compromise.” It’s made from a blend of veggie protein, smoked Spanish paprika, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle peppers, olive oil, and tomatoes. It’s not Chipotle’s first plant-protein menu item, but it may just turn out to be the most popular.

Starbuck’s doing ‘Meatless Mondays’

Starbucks is offering $2 off the café chain’s Impossible Breakfast Sandwich every Monday this month, across the U.S., for Starbuck’s Rewards members. The sandwich features a plant-based sausage patty, a fried egg, and a slice of aged cheddar on an ‘artisanal sesame ciabatta bun’.

Starbucks Impossible Breakfast Sandwich - © Starbucks

Go on into the Starbucks near you, or order via the Starbucks app or Starbucks Delivers on the Uber Eats app.

Taco Bell loads up a taco deal

The Bell is offering a Taco Lover’s Pass good for one taco a day, over any 30-consecutive-day period. The deal is, it’s just $10. Choose one of seven tacos, including the Crunchy Taco, Crunchy Taco Supreme, Soft Taco, Soft Taco Supreme, Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Doritos Locos Tacos, and the Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme. At participating locations.

Little Caesar’s ups price and Pepperoni

Caesar’s has increased the price of its Classic (and Hot ‘n Ready) Pepperoni Pizza from $5 to $5.50. But it’s also increased the amount of Pepperoni you get by 33 percent!

Little Caesars Pepperoni Upgrade - © 2022 Little Caesars

Caesar’s is also offering a Classic Pepperoni Meal Deal, which includes a Classic Pepperoni pie, an order of Crazy Bread and Crazy Sauce, and a 2-liter bottle of soda.

Joe is back at White Castle

More precisely, the ‘Joes’: the Sloppy Joe and Smoky Joe Sliders. And they;re accompanied by a new brother: the Spicy Joe Slicer. The latter is loaded with a sweet-and-tangy sauce, a slice of jalapeno cheese and jalapeno crisps. You can also get Sloppy Fries – an order of crinkle cut fries topped with cheese and Sloppy Joe Sauce. Available now through February 29, while supplies last.

Pizza Hut partners with Book It! for charity

Book It! is a reading and educational program that has reached out to more than 65 million kids across the U.S. since 1984. And this is the first I’ve heard of it?

Pizza Hut - Book It - © 2022 Pizza Hut

It’s about time they partnered with a major corporate supporter! The Hut is offering a special Book It! bundle now through January 18, including 2 large, 1-topping pizzas and an order of breadsticks. $1 from each bundle ordered goes to to First Book, a non-profit organization dedicated to educational equity.

Lays lays on new Layers

Frito Lay, in its official announcement, describes the new munchies as, “multi-dimensional, one-of-a-kind potato bites with layers of delicious crispiness.” So, they’re made from potato paste (like Pringles) and shaped by extrusion or die-stamping. No problem with that; just saying. One reviewer says they look like spud-based Funyuns with an added squiggle through the centre of the ring. Lays Layers are initially available in Three Cheese and Sour Cream and Onion flavours.

Krispy Kreme frosts its minis

KK is offering Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Minis for the first time. Double the chocolate, double the yum!

KK Frosted Chocolate Minis - © 2022 Krispy Kreme

Yes, there’s a ‘plain’ Choc Glazed Choc. But there are also Peanut Butter Kreme, Cookies ‘n Kreme, and a Cake Batter Kreme dunkers. Available now, at participating KK locations.

Mountain Dew strikes a spark across America

Mountain Dew Spark is a raspberry-lemonade of Mountain Dew soda. It was sort-of market tested last year, in convenience stores and at Speedway Gas marts. I guess folks loved the stuff, because it’s now being made available across the U.S. as a permanent addition to the product line, along with a new Zero Sugar version. It isn’t everywhere (yet) but you can find the nearest source to you through the product locator.

And that’s the skinny…

… On what’s going to be making some of us a little fatter over the coming days and weeks – plant-based or not. See you back here in 7 for our next regular edition of Fast Food Week!

~ Maggie J.