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2016 top three fast food trends

2016 is well underway and thanks to an improved economy fast food chains are poised to have a strong year. To compete for those consumer dollars, we suggest watching for the following fast food trends this year:

  1. More descriptive menu item names
  2. Erosion of the middle pricing tier
  3. Bundling

Let's explore each trend in more detail:

  

1. More Descriptive Menu Item Names

Expect fast food chains to continue moving away from non-descriptive food names in favor of lengthy ones that remove ambiguity about what you're getting. Some recent examples: Arby's Crispy Fish Flatbread, the Del Taco Epic Grilled Chicken Avocado Burrito, Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad, and Burger King's Grilled Dogs.

del taco epic burrito
Del Taco Explicitly Named Burrito from their website

A notable exception to the trend is the king of the made-up names, Taco Bell. What's a Gordita? Well, now you might as well also ask about the Doritos Cheesy Gortida Crunch. Taco Bell has even gone as far as to combine names as they combine ingredients. Behold the Quesalupa, which is a Chalupa with cheese in the shell.

burger king grilled dogs

Rolling out today are Burger King's new Grilled Dogs. Two all-beef hot dog variants are offered. The Classic comes with ketchup, mustard, relish, and onions. The Chili Cheese comes with, well, chili and cheese. I tried them both.

burger king classic grilled dog

The Classic Grilled dog came loaded, just the way I like it. In the commercial (below) Snoop Dogg said that the buns were "all fluffy and whatnot." He is right, but it's not an extraordinary bun. However, it is sized right for the dog, holding onto the ingredients all the way through to the last bite. The all-beef hot dog tasted savory and meaty, but not over-the-top. It doesn't have the thick casing of a designer dog, but it does taste flame-grilled. The meat is sliced down the middle to help the grilling go all the way through. 

jitb double jack box

For this year's Super Bowl, Jack in the Box rolled out a Million Burger Giveaway that ran from 2/7 through 2/15, or one million burgers (whichever comes first.) I picked up my burger on Sunday 2/14 and since it was free opted for the Double Jack with Cheese.

del taco logo

Del Taco is first out of the gate with ads for seafood items to coincide with the start of the Catholic season of Lent, which begins Wednesday, February 10. Their new Beer Battered Shrimp is listed as being available for a limited time and will accompany additional new seafood items:

  • NEW Beer Battered Shrimp Taco: succulent shrimp coated with crispy beer batter and topped with crunchy cabbage, freshly chopped pico de gallo salsa and Del Taco’s secret sauce, wrapped in a flour tortilla and served with a fresh cut lime wedge

  • NEW Del Fuego Shrimp Taco: succulent shrimp coated with crispy beer batter, dripping with Del Taco’s new spicy Del Fuego sauce, crunchy cabbage and freshly chopped pico de gallo salsa, wrapped in a flour tortilla and served with a fresh cut lime wedge

  • NEW Epic Surf & Turf Burrito: combines the best ingredients from both the land and the sea with ten crispy Beer Battered Shrimp, 1.5 ounces of freshly grilled Carne Asada Steak, lime rice, crunchy cabbage, spicy Del Fuego sauce and freshly chopped pico de gallo salsa, wrapped in an oversized flour tortilla

  • Beer Battered Fish Taco: hand-cut Alaskan Pollock fillet in a crispy beer batter, crunchy cabbage, Del Taco’s secret sauce and hand-made pico de gallo salsa, wrapped in two warm corn tortillas and served with a fresh cut lime wedge

Text in the list above is from the Del Taco press release, I am not sure I'd ever call shrimp succulent but I'm not a seafood lover.

coupons

We're wrapping up our review of a year's worth of Carl's Jr. and Arby's coupons with a look at a couple other popular items at Arby's: the Beef 'n Cheddar and the French Dip & Swiss. These two popular fast food sandwiches are almost always featured in the mailer coupons I receive on a seemingly weekly basis. So let's take a look at how the two fared.

coupons

Arby's might be the single biggest generator of fast food mailer coupons, at least in my neighborhood. Every time I turn around there's another. What's more, the Arby's staff is kind enough to not even ask for the coupon. They are probably so used to giving discounts they just automatically hit the button. In any event, this week we'll attempt to wade through a roller coaster of coupon prices for the standard Roast Beef Classic sandwich. This is the base sandwich at Arby's with bread and meat (and optional Arby's sauce of course). 

arbys roast beef classic coupon

For the first quarter of 2015, you could get four Roast Beef Classic (RBC) sandwiches for $8.88. This coupon expired in April. $2.22 each is decent, and the rack rate is $2.99, but this sandwich is so simple it's often overshadowed by its fully-loaded siblings. As a result, the sandwich is sold more often in bundles than individually, almost slider-style. In that light, $2.22 seems a bit high.

What is Fast Food Source?

Providing fast food blogs, menus, locations and other information for over80 major chains

Since 2000, Fast Food Source has been the premier independent site dedicated to fast food lovers, offering fast food restaurant menus, and nutrition information, as well as fast food blogs, articles, forums, and fast food industry news. We offer fast food location information for over 50 cities and more than 80 fast food chains.

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