Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry - © 2023 McDonlalds

Fast Food Week: Quick Service Restaurant and Snacks News

New and returning menu item announcements dominate this issue of Fast Food Week. Followed by spring and summer bevs. New and returning sauces are petitioning the judges for an honourable mention.

Sweet Heat - © 2023 Arby'sA collab between Arby’s and King’s Hawaiian. My own tastes run more strongly
toward the sweet-spicy flavour profile, rather than the ‘atomic’, ‘blazin’,
or whatever profile championed by manufacturers these days.

Taco Bell asking for fan votes

They’re at it again. Taco Bell is running another of its contests in which customers vote on one of two discontinued menu items, to determine which comes back for a limited time later this year. This time, the choice is between: the The Beefy Crunch Burrito and the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. Vote or your fave via the TB mobile app. The winner will be announced April 13.

Arby’s, King’s Hawaiian partner for ‘Sweet Heat’

The sweet-and-spicy flavour profile is becoming a new fad, if not a true trend, across the Fast Food landscape. At least for the start Arby’s is offering three menu items: a S-S Chicken Sandwich; a S-S Beef ‘N Brisket Sandwich; and S-S The sandwiches are pretty standard fare featuring the new S-S sauce. The Loaded Fries are also topped with S-S sauce and garnished with spicy sauce and are also topped with warm cheddar cheese sauce, diced crispy chicken nuggets and chopped bacon.

Little Caesar’s upgrades Pretzel Crust pie

An anonymous blogger at FoodBeast reports: “Pepperoni Pretzel Crust Pizza features a a large, round, buttery-flavored, soft pretzel crust pizza topped with creamy Cheddar cheese sauce, Mozzarella and Muenster cheeses, pepperoni, and a four-cheese blend.” The main upgrade is that some of the Mozz of the former version has been changed out for Cheddar.

Pretzel Crust Pizza - © 2023 Little Caesar's

“The [original] Pretzel Crust Pizza from 2014 was pretty salty as a whole, but this time around I found it pretty moderate in terms of salt and therefore more enjoyable for it (except for the end crust, which was plenty salty and then some). It felt like the cheese sauce in particular was much less salty, which also made it feel richer.”

Del Taco Sauces by/buy the case

The Tex-Mex chain is now offering is signature-flavour sauces by the case. $Mild, Del Inferno, and Del Scorcho — by the case. That means, for $135, you could stock-in 2,400 packets of DT’s Mild, Del Inferno, and Del Scorcho sauces. Visit the website for info on more DT hot sauce flavours, and the official DTs merchandise collection.

Heinz and Absolut partner on Tomato Vodka Sauce

Tomato Vodka Sauce has been a ‘thing’ in fine dining circles for a few years, now. “We knew there was incredible demand for Penne Alla Vodka — partly fueled by the social media hype when a celebrity shared the recipe online,” said Tad Greenough, Brand Creative Director of Absolut.

Vodka Tomato Sauce - © 2023 Heinz

“We then thought we could bring the best of two worlds together — the best tomatoes and the best vodka. Now that would be something!” The new sauce debuts officially on April 1. But you can get info and order online now.

OREO ‘Blackout Cake’ Flavour

This is about as Chocolatey as you can get! Featuring alternating layers of layers of Chocolate Cake and Dark Chocolate Cake flavor cremes on OREO signature Chocolate wafers. The obscenely decadent treat is a limited-time release, starting sometime this month (April, 2023). No self-respecting OREO lover will want to miss this amazing opportunity!

McDonald’s intros Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry

The Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry features McD’s signature creamy vanilla soft serve, strawberry-flavored clusters and crispy, buttery shortbread cookies. It’s coming to the U.S. for a very limited time starting April 12. After that, you’ll have to go to Singapore for one. That’s the only other place it’s available.

Starbuck’s new CEO to go incognito

Starbuck’s new CEO Laxman Narasimhan says says he’ll will work a shift as a barista at randomly chosen U.S. locations each month. A study conducted by Harvard Business School in 2018 revealed that only 6 percent of top CEOs’ time is spent with front-line employees, while 72 percent is spent in meetings. Narasimhan says that not enough time spent in the stores to, “to gain reliable information on what is really going on in the company and in the industry.”

And that’s the skinny….

… On what’s going to be making us all a little fatter this spring through summer. See you back here in 7 for the next blockbuster edition of Fast Food Week!

Maggie J.