McDonald’s Is Testing Out Breakfast Bowls and Kale
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The company has changed its tune on the leafy green vegetable
Does anyone even remember the last time McDonald’s acknowledged a new vegetable?
In addition to its relaunch of the Hamburglar (now a suburban father in addition to a petty thief, apparently), McDonald’s is turning to the popularity of kale to assist in its hopeful turnaround, the company has announced.
Never mind that earlier this year, a McDonald’s commercial specifically called out kale for its inability to compare with a Big Mac.
“You can’t get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa,” a voice taunts. “Nor will that ever be kale.”
It didn’t take long for McDonald’s to change its tune on kale, the leafy green that’s managed to carve out an important niche in the realm of halo foods. The company is testing out breakfast bowls with the option of kale in nine restaurants in Southern California on a trial basis. In Canada, meanwhile, the company is reportedly planning to introduce three kale salads.
It’s hard to tell how well this will go over for McDonald’s, but you can bet the marketing team at Taco Bell will have a field day with this one.
McDonald's Is Jumping On The Kale Bandwagon
LOS ANGELES, May 6 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp, which is testing a variety of new food products as part of its turnaround effort, on Wednesday said nine southern California restaurants are trying out breakfast bowls made with what is becoming a state dietary staple: kale.
One of the breakfast bowls is made with turkey sausage, egg white, kale and spinach and the other includes chorizo and egg. Both are priced around $4, McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb said.
Kale, touted as a nutrient-rich "superfood," over the last five years has been growing in popularity in the United States, both in grocery produce aisles and on restaurant menus.
McDonald's rivals Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and other quick-service chains such as Yum Brands Inc's Taco Bell over the past few years have helped popularize bowls, which are typically made with meat or another protein, rice or another starch and vegetables.
Separately, Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski said in a client note on Wednesday that McDonald's restaurants in Canada will soon begin offering three salads made with kale as an ingredient.
McDonald's declined to comment directly on Kalinowski's Canada kale news, saying that the company is constantly testing new products.
"We'll share news on our menu when the time is right," McComb said.
Adding kale to menus would be a significant departure from the norm at the world's biggest fast-food chain.
Earlier this year McDonald's aired a burger ad that advised: "All vegetarians, foodies and gastronauts kindly avert your eyes. You can't get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa." The ad then flashed to the lettuce on the burger and the announcer said: "Nor will that ever be kale."
McDonald's is reworking and trimming its large and complicated menu, which has slowed service and failed to keep pace with growing demand for fresher, less processed food.
The company irked critics of its advertising and food with Wednesday's announcement that it is bringing back its Hamburglar character, which has not been seen on television since 2002. The return of the Hamburglar, now a young suburban father, coincides with McDonald's limited-time sirloin one-third pound hamburger.
New McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook on Monday unveiled the first steps in the company's strategy to revive sales, lure back diners and transform the iconic fast-food chain into a "modern, progressive burger company."
That announcement got a cool reception from investors, who are hungry for detailed plans for fixing menus and service speeds.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Iceberg on the rise
Steakhouses — long a refuge for the wedge — are on the rise. The New York Times, an elite food institution as any, is publishing iceberg salad recipes and other pro-iceberg content. Bon Appétit's best new restaurant of the year, Turkey and the Wolf, serves an incredible iceberg wedge salad topped with everything bagel crunch, on a menu stuffed with '90s-nostalgia.
The return of the wedge — and iceberg more generally — is part of a wider culinary movement starting to pop up at trend-making restaurants across the US. Turkey and the Wolf isn't the only top new restaurant cashing in on a sense of customers' nostalgia for a certain type of American childhood.
Milk Bar is making cereal milk cool. "BraveTart," one of the top cookbooks of 2017, is packed with deep dives into homemade Middle America classics like Hostess Cupcakes. Celebrity chef's Wylie Dufresne's "wd
50: The Cookbook," published in October, has both a recipe for fried mayonnaise and an entire section dedicated to foie gras.
And, after Cheetos sold out its fine-dining pop-up, The Boston Globe was able to do an entire roundup of restaurants serving gussied-up junk food classics like Twinkies and Hot Pockets.
The restaurant industry has long praised chefs for their ability to "elevate" food, and labeled entire countries' cuisines as the "trend" of the year. Now, instead of the nebulous "New American" cuisine, or Mexican street food, or Asian fusion, American nostalgia is in — and it's being treated in a similar manner.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that chefs and food media are turning to Middle America nostalgia at a time when flyover states have become an obsession of the coastal elite. Other cultures' food has been "elevated" and exoticized for years by chefs who jack up prices on foreign street food classics and culinary staples.
Now, as many people living in cities find themselves grappling with a new political reality, Middle America has become the exotic culture to adapt and sell at inflated prices.
Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit
Courtesy of McDonald's
Sinking your teeth into the BEC biscuit is delightful. The eggs taste like they were made in a fast-food joint (which, they were), but they're fluffy enough to make you forget. The bacon was crispy enough, too. Overall, it's a solid choice.
From Scornin' It To Lovin' It: McDonald's Tests Out Kale On Its Menu
Just a few months ago McDonald's was showing no love for kale.
In a TV ad promoting the beefiness of the Big Mac, the chain poked fun at the leafy green and other vegetarian fare: "You can't get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa," a low voice quips as the camera focuses on a juicy burger. "Nor will it ever be kale."
But the chain is now showing it some affection. McDonald's has announced that it's testing a new breakfast bowl that blends kale and spinach with turkey sausage and egg whites. McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb says the bowls are "freshly prepared."
From Cartoon Chubster To Handsome Hipster: McDonald's Revamps Hamburglar
For now, the company is testing the $4 kale bowls in nine locations in Southern California.
Is It Time To Cool It On Kale Already?
So, why kale now? Well, the company promised earlier this month that it was on the path to becoming a "modern, progressive burger company." And there have been a string of significant changes to the menu from sourcing chickens raised without antibiotics to adding clementines to Kids Meals while in season. "We're always innovating on McDonald's food and drinks," one company spokesperson recently told BloombergBusiness.
But to a lot of observers, the company's flirtation with kale looks like a move to revive its sales, which have been sliding in the U.S., as we've reported.
"I think it is a bit of an about-face, but I think it's a measured about-face," says David Just, a professor of behavioral economics at Cornell University.
McDonald's is in a tricky spot, Just says. The chain does not want to alienate its hamburger-and-fries lovers. "You don't want to offend your main customer, right?" says Just.
Kale is not only loaded with nutrients, but it's become a emblem of a healthy lifestyle that's increasingly appealing to Americans ready to move away from processed, high-calorie food. Peet Sneekes/Flickr hide caption
Kale is not only loaded with nutrients, but it's become a emblem of a healthy lifestyle that's increasingly appealing to Americans ready to move away from processed, high-calorie food.
But, at the same time, he says, "They've got to recognize there are a lot of people who really don't see themselves as the mainline McDonald's customer at this point, and don't want that style of food."
McDonald's introduction of kale, then, could be an olive branch to the growing ranks of health-conscious eaters. And, as a buzz-worthy strategy for shaking up the menu, kale is a good bet.
The leafy green is not only loaded with nutrients, but it's become a emblem of a healthy lifestyle that's increasingly appealing to Americans who are ready to move away from processed, calorie-dense food.
A few years back, the Eat More Kale movement helped to amplify the rising tide of kale love among farmers-market goers. Think about it: No other green – not mustard greens or spinach — seems to have anything close to the star power of kale.
Now, it's unlikely that kale will ever be a top-seller at McDonald's. And that's OK, according to Columbia University's Drew Ramsey, a psychiatrist who launched National Kale Day several years back.
"At the end of the day, if kale is at McDonald's, more people are going to be exposed to it and more people are going to try it," Ramsay says. "And that's a good thing for health."
Ramsey has noticed that as people discover kale they're often pleasantly surprised: It's a little sweet and it's affordable. And it's his hope that people who try it while eating out will then start buying it to eat at home.
"Kale should be a staple of the diet," Ramsey says.
And, it seems, McDonald's will soon find out if the better-for-you halo that hovers over kale can bring a healthy glow to the Golden Arches.
Why McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Was Years in the Making
Los Angeles and San Diego locations are getting a test run for a couple of new breakfast bowls, each checking in at $4.39. One aims to satisfy the health-conscious and includes egg whites, turkey sausage, spinach, and kale. The other is geared more toward Tex-Mex fans, featuring scrambled eggs, chorizo, a hash brown, salsa, and Pico de Gallo. The former is 250 calories, and the latter is a bit more of an indulgence at 460 calories.
In addition to the new bowls, McDonald's reportedly is adding Chobani Greek yogurt to its morning parfaits, which cuts the calories from 150 to 110. The Greek yogurt also is making its way into mango, pineapple, and strawberry-banana smoothies.
McDonald's has been testing all sorts of new items across the country lately, including mozzarella sticks and sweet potato fries, and last year the company made the switch to cage-free eggs and real butter. It appears all of the tinkering has helped stop a years-long downturn for the Golden Arches, though the big savior is all-day breakfast. Not only has the new service boosted sales at U.S. locations, it's taking a toll on the chain's fast food competition.
There's no word on if and when the new breakfast dishes will reach McDonald's locations beyond LA and San Diego. Eater has reached out for more information.
Starting this week, McDonald's ( MCD ) is testing two different low-carb breakfast bowls in 800 restaurants in Los Angeles and San Diego.
The egg white and turkey sausage bowl with spinach and kale has 250 calories and 27 grams of protein. The scrambled egg and chorizo bowl with a hash brown, salsa and Pico de Gallo has 460 calories and 26 grams of protein. They each cost $4.39.
McDonald's is also incorporating Chobani Greek Yogurt into its Fruit N' Yogurt Parfaits. The Chobani parfaits are 110 calories, compared to the non-Chobani parfaits, which are 150.
McDonald's is also using Chobani in its McCafe smoothies, which are flavored with mango pineapple and strawberry banana.
McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb said the regional roll-out is customized to California tastes, where both Mexican food and kale are popular.
McDonald's also recently launched another local breakfast item in Ohio, a chicken-pancake sandwich combo called the Chicken McGriddle.
McDonald's has unveiled Tex-Mex-style breakfast bowls.
Betting on breakfast has paid off for McDonald's. The company started offering all-day breakfast last year, and CEO Steve Easterbrook said that's the main reason that same-store sales jumped 5.7% in the fourth quarter in the U.S.
The more traditional nationwide breakfast menu features the good-old fashioned Egg McMuffin (300 calories,) the Hash Brown (150 calories,) and the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes, which tips the scales at a formidable 1,050 calories.
McDonald's New Kale Salad is Worse for You Than a Big Mac
For a while there, it looked like the obesity epidemic had gained escape velocity with no solution in sight. Thank goodness fast food companies got their acts together and started providing us with healthy options like wraps and salads. Of course, one of the healthiest foods du jour is kale, so it&aposs no wonder McDonald&aposs has tried to cash in on the leafy superfood&aposs status with its own kale caesar salad that is very healthy𠅊s long as you think a Double Big Mac is healthy. Yes, McDonald&aposs newest salad has even more calories, fat and sodium than their signature multi-tiered burger.
The lettuce and baby kale salad is currently in a testing phase in Canada and, as the CBC points out, it hardly qualifies as a healthy option. The Double Big Mac tops out at 680 calories, 38 grams of fat and 1340 mg of sodium. The salad (with the accompanying asiago dressing) boasts 730 calories, 53 grams of fat and 1400 mg of sodium. So much for a light lunch. This is yet another misdirect in fast food&aposs attempt to trick consumers into perceived healthy eating. Even McDonald&aposs supposedly nutritious Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, the CBC also notes, contains almost as much sugar as a can of Coke. It still looks like the healthiest fast-food option is not eating fast food at all.
5 Ingredient Egg-Free Shakshuka Breakfast Bowls
Holy moly oly! It has been a crazy past two days of traveling to San Francisco. I’m out here right now touring the Stitch Fix headquarters and facilities to see how such an amazing and ever-growing company is run! It’s insanity. This company started about 5 years ago and has expanded by so much and even has a mens line that just came out. But all that info is for another blog post next week when I have some cool photos to show you. So for now…let’s talk about my travel experience on Tuesday.
What the f*ck is wrong with people. Let’s just start with that. I’m not sure where people were raised or if they just do not care about hygiene, but where I’m from, you’re polite, you’re not totally disgusting, and you’re aware of the world around. But in airplanes, that just doesn’t seem to be the case. Exhibit A: While flying on Tuesday afternoon, I noticed a rather pungent smell. Like vinegar. But you know when something smells awful on a flight, you know it’s just most likely McDonald’s…because it’s poison. Well, I smelled this vinegar-type smell and automatically thought sandwich, someone is just grubbing down on a sandwich. And I moved on to listening to the podcast Serial and minding my own business. But when I felt a bump on my elbow that was on the arm rest, I glanced down to find A BARE FOOT! And no, it was not a f*cking pedicured well-to-do foot. It was a vinegar-smelling, callused-line, toenail-broken foot. That touched me. That sandwich vinegar smell that I was smelling was a human being. And believe me, I’m not saying my feet smell any better, but I’m sure AF not taking off my shoes and putting my feet up where someone else is sitting. Because I’m not disgusting. And I use my brain.
That being said, I’m also not a person who would make a scene about it. I don’t want to make a person feel embarrassed by screaming YOURESODISGUSTINGIHATEYOUSOMUCH or by poking his foot and asking what is wrong with him. So I went about my business…snapchatting my disgusting experience like any polite person would do…and prayed for the flight to land. Then once I arrived in the SF airport, I noticed a woman walking barefoot carrying her flip flops. At this point, I’ve been in 2 airports in uncomfortable booties and I’m not taking my swollen feet out of my shoes on or off the airplane. You know where I took my shoes off? In my hotel room, by myself. Like a normal person would do. I just seriously still can’t believe this dude. And from what I could tell, he wasn’t even drunk. Just a sober dude, being disgusting. I can’t effing even.
On a lighter note, the weather has been wonderful in San Francisco. Of course, it’s a live circus out there…I did see a guy get punched and knocked out last night. What an interesting place. BUT. speaking of wonderful (2 sentences ago), you MUST try this recipe. I recently cut out eggs from my diet (still eating them once in a while, if I’m out to breakfast or traveling) just because my skin seems to break out when I eat them. SO that leaves me needing to get creative in the morning. Luckily, Mina has an amazing Moroccan shakshuka sauce that makes meal prep easier than ever. And this meal is so stupid easy. Make it in big batches and take it on the go! It’s delightful!