The hard seltzer market may be seemingly oversaturated, but brands who have never before dabbled in the world of alcohol are taking advantage of an already loyal customer base and legacy base product (aka soda) to enter and hopefully disrupt the market.
This is the case for Mountain Dew, which sent people into a frenzy after announcing that it would be teaming up with the Boston Beer Company to release ‘HARD MTN DEW’, a flavored malt beverage that weighs in at 5% alcohol per serving. Mountain Dew is owned by PepsiCo, which hopes to see the new product hit stores and shelves by 2022. "For 80 years MTN DEW has challenged the status quo, bringing bold flavors and unmatched beverage innovation to millions of fans," PepsiCo Beverages North America CEO Kirk Tanner said in a company statement. "The Boston Beer Company partnership combines two recognized leaders in our respective industries to address the changing tastes of drinkers and we are thrilled at the opportunity to create HARD MTN DEW that maintains the bold, citrus flavor fans know and expect." The beverage will come in three flavors — black cherry, watermelon and original Mountain Dew flavor, all with zero sugar.
A 2,000 year-old fast-food joint discovered by archaeologists in Pompeii
- Visitors can take a tour of an ancient diner in Pompeii, Italy, this summer.
- The "thermopolium" is the first of 80 others found at the site in better-than-expected condition.
- The diner used to offer its Roman customers snails and beef, traces of which were found at the site.
The Telegraph reported that the opening date is set for August 12 for the "thermopolium," which is Latin for "hot-drink counter." It had once offered its Roman customers culinary treats including pork, fish, snails, and beef, traces of which were found at the site. Duck bone fragments were also found, as well as crushed fava beans, which were used to modify the taste of wine.
Pompeii was entombed in ash and pumice when the nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79, killing between 2,000 and 15,000 people. Since its ruins were unearthed in the 16th century, archaeologists have dug up around two-thirds of the site.
Domino's is trying to lure customers back from third-party delivery apps with $50 million worth of free pizza — and fewer fees
- Domino's is giving away $50 million worth of free food to customers who order online.
- The chain is promoting its standard delivery fee, over third-party apps that charge "hidden" fees.
- The promotion is running until November 21, 2021.
Domino's Pizza is giving away $50 million of free food to random customers that place a delivery order online from now until November 21, to promote its "straightforward delivery fee."
It's a shot at third-party delivery apps, which have largely benefitted from the pandemic, and the high fees for both restaurants and customers that often accompany the orders.
"Unlike many third-party food delivery apps, Domino's provides customers with one straightforward delivery fee, because we know that's what customers want and deserve," Domino's said.
The giveaways include pizza, boneless chicken, stuffed cheesy bread, pan pizzas, thin-crust pizzas, and chocolate lava crunch cake. Domino's says there's a 1 in 14 chance of winning, and more than 200,000 items have already been given away.
Third-party delivery apps have come under fire for charging restaurants high commissions amid the pandemic. Last year, for instance, three restaurant owners filed a lawsuit against Postmates, Grubhub, Doordash, and Uber Eats, accusing the platforms of overcharging restaurants for deliveries and making them pay for discounts given to customers.
Uber Eats, for example, charges a set 10% service fee, which sometimes is coupled with a delivery fee. DoorDash, meanwhile, has a sliding service charge depending on the restaurant. And there are a plethora of other competing delivery apps, too.
Why the McFlurry Machine Company Just Got Hit With a Restraining Order
In a victory for right-to-repair, a judge has sided with the company that makes it easier for McDonald’s to fix its ice cream machines.
McDonald’s McFlurries are delicious, but the machine that makes them breaks down all the time. The problem is so frequent that someone built a bot to keep track of which machines are broken across all 14,000 McDonald's locations in the United States. The problems are less frequent recently, in part because an independent company called Kytch has made a device that helps McDonald’s franchise owners repair the ice cream machines and keep the McFlurries flowing. Taylor, the company the Mcflurry machine, had a monopoly on repairs of the ice cream machines before Kytch, and—according to a lawsuit filed by Kytch—it has tried to maintain that monopoly by telling McDonald's franchisees that using Kytch devices could cause "serious human injury." On July 30, however, Kytch won an important legal fight against Taylor, when a California judge issued a temporary restraining order against Taylor after Kytch claimed Taylor acquired a Kytch Solution Devices in an attempt to learn its secrets. “We are optimistic that the truth will prevail,” Kytch co-founder Melissa Nelson told Motherboard. “It’s disgusting that such lengths were taken to steal our trade secrets, destroy our business, and to stand in the way of modernizing kitchens. Kytch is just a small piece of the broader right-to-repair movement. But our case makes clear that it’s past time to end shady business practices that create hundreds of millions of dollars of unnecessary repair fees from ‘certified’ technicians.”
Yelp lets businesses list if they require proof of vaccination
Last year, Yelp added a COVID-19 section to its app to help businesses communicate to customers how they were operating through the early stages of the pandemic. With the delta variant complicating things, the company is introducing two new labels shops and restaurants can add to their listings.
Now, they can say if customers need proof of vaccination to enter their establishment and whether their staff is fully vaccinated. As a Yelp user, you’ll have the option to filter for shops and restaurants that include those labels. That said, they’re optional, and only the owner of the business can decide to add them.
Safety concerns raised over Impossible Burger GMO fake meat ingredient
Impossible Foods, the US-based fake meat maker that uses genetically engineered ingredients, has already managed to steer its fake meat Impossible Burger products past regulators in several countries, most notably the US and Canada, though not without challenge.
And they have other countries in their sights, including Australia and New Zealand, where they hope to have a product on the market within the next two years.
The Australia/New Zealand food regulator FSANZ has already approved the processing aid - GM soy leghemoglobin (SLH) - that Impossible will add (at 0.8% so it isn't labelled) to make its product look and feel as though it is bleeding, like real meat.
Friends of the Earth (FoE) Australia and GeneEthics' objection to the FSANZ approval, submitted in 2020, is available here.
The submission points out that SLH does not have a history of safe use in food. SLH in its natural state exists in the roots of soybeans and has thus far never been an integral part of the human diet.
In addition, Impossible Foods’ SLH is derived from a strain of GM Pichia pastoris yeast. Pichia pastoris does not have a history of safe use in food.
FSANZ has not assessed all the proteins potentially found in SLH for safety. FSANZ notes that not all batches of the soy leghemoglobin protein (LegH) expressed in Pichia pastoris “contained the same proteins, nor proteins at the same levels". FSANZ states that “The most common Pichia proteins present in the LegH Prep have been identified and characterised". Given that even trace amounts of protein have the potential to cause anaphylaxis, FoE/GeneEthics' submission says, "We consider it important that all the proteins produced be identified, characterised and compared with known allergens."
Furthermore, contrary to FSANZ’s assertion that none of the 17 proteins that it assessed are significantly similar to known toxins or allergens, Impossible Foods’ supporting documents (which for some reason have now been removed from FSANZ’s website) state that a number of the proteins produced show similarities to known toxins and allergens.
Referring to an analysis written for GMOScience by GMWatch editor Claire Robinson and Dr Michael Antoniou, FoE and GeneEthics also point out that the short (28-day) rat feeding study that Impossible Foods commissioned on SLH showed worrying effects in the rats, including signs of inflammation or kidney disease and possible signs of anemia.
Pizza Hut, Beyond Meat reveal meat alternative pepperoni pizza
The pizza company said the new item will be tested in nearly 70 locations across five US markets, for a limited time. The five cities chosen for the test are Albany, NY, Columbus and Macon, Ga., Jacksonville, Fla., and Houston. Beyond Pepperoni was co-developed by Beyond Meat and Pizza Hut’s culinary teams and is made from plant-based ingredients like peas and rice, with no GMOs, soy, gluten, hormones, antibiotics or cholesterol.
"Pizza Hut's new Beyond Pepperoni Pizza delivers the same iconic taste as our original pepperoni that fans know and love," said Georgeanne Erickson, chief brand officer of Pizza Hut. "With this new plant-based option, we're giving customers more choices and more reasons to love Pizza Hut."
The Beyond Pepperoni can be served on two different crusts, original stuffed crust or original pan.
"We know there is strong consumer demand for pepperoni, and we're thrilled to unveil a game-changing plant-based pepperoni topping as the next chapter in our innovation-focused partnership with Pizza Hut," said Dariush Ajami, chief innovation officer for Beyond Meat. "We're confident fans will love Beyond Pepperoni as it delivers the crisped edges and savory flavor profile of Pizza Hut's classic pepperoni with the added benefits of plant-based meat."
Beyond Meat and Pizza Hut developed two Italian Sausage pizzas in November 2020.
US study finds potential dog food link to canine heart disease
FDA research sheds light on ingredients in dog food that could be associated with canine dilated cardiomyopathy
According to a new report by Tufts University researchers published on Thursday, researchers compared traditional dog foods with those that the FDA associated with DCM, looking at more than 800 compounds. Currently, peas are at the top of the list of ingredients linked with compounds that might be related to DCM.
Diets reported to be associated with DCM are often labeled “grain-free” and usually contain certain ingredients, including peas and potatoes, which are used to replace other ingredients such as rice or corn. “I see this as a piece of the puzzle,” said Dr Lisa Freeman, a professor and board-certified veterinary nutritionist at Tufts University, NBC News reported. “This research helps us narrow down the targets to look at so we can focus on the most likely causes and get to an answer more quickly and prevent other dogs from being affected.”
Upon detailed analysis through a process called foodomics, researchers found that the ingredient most strongly linked to suspect compounds was peas. However, the FDA is not considering a ban on peas in dog foods yet. According to the agency, because “legumes and pulses have been used in pet foods for many years, [there is] no evidence to indicate they are inherently dangerous”.
Rather, the problem may be one of quantity, as the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine “indicates that pulse ingredients are used in many ‘grain-free’ diets in greater proportion than in most grain-containing formulas.”
If You Smell This at Home, You May Have a Venomous Snake, Experts Say
CERTAIN SNAKES CAN EMIT THIS ODOR THAT'S EASY TO MISTAKE AS SOMETHING BENIGN.
Recently, people have been reporting finding snakes in their homes and yards at an alarming rate, especially in southern states like Texas, Georgia, and Alabama.
In most cases, you won't know if you have a snake in your home until you see it, but some venomous snakes, like copperheads (which are found in 28 U.S. states), and rattlesnakes can smell like cucumbers, according to experts. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) says snakes can give off an odor that's produced by glands at the base of the snake's tail and can also be mixed with feces. "To some individuals this musk may smell somewhat like cucumbers," they note.
Bayer lost a third appeal against U.S. court verdicts that awarded damages to customers blaming their cancers on use of its glyphosate-based weedkillers, leaving the German drugs and pesticides group to pin hopes for legal relief on the U.S. Supreme Court. A California appeals court late on Monday upheld an $86 million verdict that found Bayer responsible for a couple's cancer after using Bayer's glyphosate-based Roundup against weeds, reported Reuters.
The Delta variant and renewed coronavirus-related advisories are putting a damper on summer dining prospects, according to executives and industry data. Recent consumer surveys show the variant prompted Americans to limit some activities including dining out, with Placer.ai finding dining visits were down 17% in the Los Angeles market after it instituted an indoor mask mandate for public spaces, reported The Wall Street Journal.
McDonald’s Pushes Diners to Use Trays as Food Bags Run Tight
Burger lovers will have to get used to eating off fast-food trays inside McDonald’s again.
McDonald’s Corp. is facing tight supplies of some of its paper to-go bags, the latest supply challenge affecting U.S. restaurants. The chain recently told restaurant owners that they needed to limit orders of bags from suppliers as usage is running ahead of already high numbers last year, McDonald’s said in an internal message.
Many customers are asking for their Big Macs, McNuggets and fries in bags even when they dine inside, driving the tightness, the chain said in the message. Workers who have spent months packing all orders to go during the pandemic aren’t used to serving meals on trays, contributing to the strain, the company said.