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The Crumb for October 27th, 2017

Lori Bailey / October 27th 2017

Today’s Crumb dropped into a bucket full o' candy.


Happy Friday! Help yourself to peanut butter on toast (with or without the help of the Food Network) and settle in to this past week’s food news.

Frappy holidays

Since the advent of Starbucks’ infamous Unicorn Frappuccino, the wacky LTO seems to have become a fixture in the company’s repertoire. (See also their post-Unicorn antidote, the Midnight Mocha Frappucino, or the fantastical Mermaid Frappucino that debuted in Mexico.) And, with Halloween nearly upon us, the timing couldn’t be better for another sensational seasonal release. This one in particular seems like it's meant to feed social media rather than human mouths; the Zombie Frappuccino looks, well, striking, but probably not particularly appetizing to anyone over the age of 13. Meanwhile, across the globe, Starbucks’ international branches are serving up decidedly different takes on the freaky frap. Two flavors dubbed “Mr. & Mrs. Vampire” have swooped down upon stores across the UK, Norway, Sweden, and Singapore. And, in Japan, the Halloween Mystery Frappuccino will befuddle customers just long enough to distract them from the impending arrival of holiday cups.

HC’s two cents: The sheer variety among Starbucks’ slew of seasonal LTO’s—including flavors, color palettes, and messaging—highlights their tailored approaches to these different markets.


Shop, stop, and top off

When anything one could possibly want is just a few clicks away, it’s getting harder to justify a run to the store. That is, unless these stores can promise elevated shopping experiences… complete with satisfying sips and bites. Such is the aim of an increasing number of retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Polo Ralph Lauren, Neiman Marcus, Barnes & Noble, and Chanel. These and many others are discovering the potential of in-store restaurants and cafes to drive traffic, increase the amount of time shoppers spend in the space, and ultimately boost sales. Not to mention that people tend to feel more comfortable when they’ve been fed and watered. As both physical retailers and food establishments grapple with the implications of online ordering and delivery, forming complementary partnerships makes a ton of business sense—and makes a strong case for customers to get off the couch. If you feed them, they will come.


More bang for your buck

Fans of the $1 McChicken, rejoice: the McDonald's value menu will be making a triumphant return next year. This iteration features a range of items priced in $1, $2, and $3 tiers. Having struggled in the past to identify a discount menu system that worked both for budget-conscious customers and franchisee operators, the fast food chain is hoping that they’ve got the formula right this time. McDonald’s has recently done a lot of development on their more premium offerings, and they’ve seen restaurant traffic increase over the past two quarters—a welcome change after years of decline. Now, as competitors beef up their discount offerings, Mickey D’s is hoping to hold the higher ground. Let the value menu battle commence.


And even more news to know:

KFC’s clever Twitter strategy goes viral

French butter shortage gets serious

Chipotle posts disappointing sales, slows its roll

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