Posts tagged with "McDonald’s"

Beyond Meat stock falls following conclusion of the McDonald’s McPlant test

August  1, 2022

Shares of  Beyond Meat—the Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes—fell 6% in morning trading on Thursday, July 28, after J.P. Morgan revealed that  McDonald’s  had ended its U.S. test of the McPlant burger, which uses Beyond’s meatless patties, reports CNBC.

The fast-food giant confirmed to CNBC on Thursday that the McPlant test had concluded as planned. Neither McDonald’s nor Beyond Meat has announced any plans for additional testing or a nationwide launch.

 Indeed, Beyond’s stock has fallen 53% this year—dragging its market value down to $2.06 billion. Wall Street has become skeptical about the company’s long-term growth opportunities as grocery sales lag.

 Moreover, buzzy partnerships with restaurant giants like Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands and McDonald’s haven’t progressed to many permanent nationwide menu offerings yet.

 McDonald’s first tested the meat-free burger in eight restaurants in the United States in November to try to get an idea of how the menu item would impact its kitchens. In mid-February, it rolled the McPlant out to roughly 600 locations to learn more about consumer demand for the menu item.

 Analyst research reported lackluster demand for the Beyond burger. BTIG analyst Peter Saleh wrote in a June note that franchisees told him that McPlant sales were disappointing, coming in at or below the low end of projections.

 J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman wrote in his note on Thursday that some McDonald’s restaurant employees told him that the burger didn’t sell well enough, potentially putting a nationwide launch in jeopardy.

“Consensus contemplates 21% growth for BYND’s total top line this year, followed by another 25% next year. These rates will not be easy to hit, in our view, without [McDonald’s] in the United States,” Goldman wrote.

 McDonald’s and Beyond  announced a three-year partnership in early 2021. The burger chain already has started selling McPlant burgers in some international markets, including Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. 

 In May, Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said that the McPlant is selling well in the U.K. and Austria.

 Beyond is expected to report its second-quarter earnings after the bell on August 4.

 Research contact: @CNBC

Stolen Olympic gold medal found in discarded McDonald’s bag

July 12, 2022

If you came across a fast food bag on the ground, you probably wouldn’t pick it up and look inside. But, if you were to check it out, you’d expect to find maybe some ketchup packets, a half-eaten burger, and some napkins. This was far from the case for a California woman decided to take a peek inside a McDonald’s bag she saw on the pavement outside of her Anaheim, California-based office, reports Delish.

Assuming the plastic bag was merely litter, the woman, 50-year-old Maria Carrillo, picked it up and was surprised by how heavy it was. When she opened the bag, she discovered a gold medal engraved with the words Games of the  XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020, according to The Washington Post.

A bit skeptical about the authenticity of the gold medal, she phoned her husband, Noe Hernandez, who works as a barber. “Noe has a friend who works for the police department, and it turned out he was coming in for a haircut,” Carrillo told the Post. “As soon as [the officer] saw it, he told my husband it was real and that it had been stolen.”

It turns out that the Olympic gold medal belonged to Jordyn Poulter, the starting setter of the 2020 U.S. Women’s Volleyball Team. Poulter and her teammates took home the gold at last year’s Summer Olympics after defeating Brazil. The athlete, who had been showing the medal to friends the day it was stolen, accidentally left the medal in her car, which she forgot to lock.

“I’d forgotten to take it out of the car,” Poulter said. “When I saw it had been stolen, I felt instant regret. I also felt stupid for not locking the door. I thought my medal was long gone, I made peace with the fact that I’d probably never see it again.”

The Olympic gold medal has since been returned to Poulter, who says she’s “happy to have it back” and plans to send the medal to her parents for safekeeping.

Research contact: @DelishDotCom

Number of job postings requiring COVID-19 vaccination has nearly doubled since early July

August 16, 2021

Vaccination is increasingly a requirement to be hired, as employers ranging from accounting and software firms to schools and restaurants are asking applicants to get themselves inoculated against COVID-19, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The share of job postings stating that a new hire must be vaccinated has nearly doubled in the past month, according to the job search site Indeed.

The total number remains low, roughly 1,200 postings requiring a vaccination per million in the first week of August. But that is well up from about 600 in early July, and about 50 per million job postings in early February.

Many of the postings don’t explicitly name COVID-19 as the virus for which the vaccination is needed, said Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel, who wrote the report, but broader context of the job descriptions suggested most employers were referring to the coronavirus vaccine, as opposed to other shots.

Early this year, before COVID-19 vaccines were widely available in the United States, very few job postings outside of healthcare positions indicated a vaccination requirement, she said.

“While the number of postings requiring a vaccine is still low, it’s a trend that’s really taking off,” Konkel told the Journal. “I think a growing number of employers are trying to keep workers safe and do not want to shut down again this winter….They see vaccines as the way out of this pandemic.”

The increased number of job postings requiring vaccination comes at a time when the number of coronavirus cases is surging because of the fast-spreading Delta variant. Employers ranging from the federal government and State of California to McDonald’s and Walt Disney are saying that at least some of their workers must soon be vaccinated against COVID-19 to report to worksites—or, in some cases, face frequent testing or other requirements.

Consumer sentiment in the United States soured early this month as Americans grew more worried about the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, according to a University of Michigan survey released on Friday, August 13.

The university’s index of consumer sentiment fell sharply to 70.2 in the first half of August—down from 81.2 in July. Consumers reasoned that the economy’s performance would weaken in coming months, said Richard Curtin, the survey’s chief economist, adding, “the extraordinary surge in negative economic assessments also reflects an emotional response, mainly from dashed hopes that the pandemic would soon end.”

As evidence, the share of job postings, per million, in the education sector that required a vaccination rose to 2,166 in July from 33 in February, according to Indeed. In food service, the rate per million rose to 814 in July from 43 in February. The rate per million for accounting rose to 1,184 from 39, and in software development the rate increased to 438 from four.

Konkel told the Journal that there is no evidence in Indeed data that job searchers are looking specifically for positions that require or don’t require vaccinations. She said some job postings mention that the existing staff have been vaccinated or that the company is offering a small bonus to workers willing to be vaccinated.

“The labor market is tight enough that there will likely be employers who are willing to overlook vaccination status,” she said.

Research contact: @WSJ

Bulletin to stress eaters: Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s offer free ‘noshes’ on Election Day

November 4, 2020

More than 90 million Americans voted early or by mail this year. But, with the U.S. presidential election on track to have the highest voter turnout since William Howard Taft was elected in 1908 with a 65% turnout, that still leaves over 100 million who should be hitting the polls on November 3.

And for most Americans—whether they are going to the polls or watching the results vigilantly—that could mean a very stressful Election Day. However, Business Insider reports, help is on the way.

If stress eating is your thing, several food chains are offering freebies that will take away the pain—among them:

  • Krispy Kreme is giving customers free doughnuts. The chain also is handing out “I Voted” stickers, in case customers voted early or by mail.
  • McDonald’s is offering a free Apple Fritter, Blueberry Muffin, or Cinnamon Roll with the purchase of coffees starting on Election Day. The “post-Halloween” deal will last from November 3 through November 9.
  • Boston Market is giving away free sliders from 9 p.m. until close nationwide, with no additional purchase necessary. The chain launched its new late night menu in October.
  • McAlister’s Deli is doing a buy-one-get-one-free sandwich deal to celebrate National Sandwich Day, which also falls on November 3. Customers need to sign up for the chain’s rewards program to access the deal.
  • Chili’s $5 Presidente Margarita deal is ending on Election Day. Customers can use the hashtag #PresidenteForPrez for a chance to win free Chili’s for a year.

Taking advantage of one or more of these offers could give Americans something to “chew on,” besides the election results.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Starbucks does ‘plastic surgery’ to create environmentally friendly coffee cups

March 10, 2020

Starbucks has created a “greener” coffee cup by inserting a liner made out of biodegradable materials, rather than continuing to rely on the thin plastic liners added to most paper cups to keep liquids from seeping through.

Starting on Monday, March 9,, a new BioPBS-lined cup will be tested in select stores in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and London.

The company said in a press release that it is evaluating the new liners because the plastic in its cups has been difficult to separate from other components during the  recycling process.

Starbucks executives said they would ask baristas and customers whether the new cup keeps drinks hot and avoids leaks. They hope customers won’t notice any difference from the current cups.

While the company characterizes the new design as an “exciting step forward,” Starbucks will continue to evaluate additional NextGen Cup Challenge-winning concepts and cup technologies, as well as learn from other reusable and recyclable innovations to find the most sustainable solutions for its business, partners (employees) and customers.

Starbucks is one of many consumer companies working to address customer concerns that they generate too much waste. Public awareness over the environmental risks posed by plastic waste is at the highest level ever, according to a McKinsey & Co. report released last year.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s has pledged to procure much of its nonplastic packaging from recycled or sustainable sources by this year. What’s more, Yum Brands. last month said it would make all packaging at its Taco Bell division sustainable by 2025.

Starbucks and McDonald’s in 2018 committed $10 million to a partnership among consumer companies working to develop more sustainable cups. Starbucks also started its own internal research and set 2022 as a goal for a new cup for hot drinks

Starbucks

VaResearch contact: @Starbucks

You want fries with that? McDonald’s aims to personalize drive-thru menu boards

March 27, 2019

Chicago-based fast-food monolith McDonald’s announced on March 25 that, in its largest acquisition in 20 years, it will spend $300 million to acquire the Israeli company Dynamic Yield—a leader in personalization and decision logic technology, according to a report by Bloomberg.

With the new technology, McDonald’s envisions that it can change up the food it offers on its electronic menu boards, depending on factors such as the weather–coffee on cold days and McFlurries on hot days, for example—or the time of day, current restaurant traffic, trending items, or regional preferences.

What’s more, the menus will be able to instantly suggest and display additional items for a customer’s order based on his or her current selections.

“This will enable McDonald’s to be one of the first companies to integrate decision technology into the customer point-of-sale at a brick and mortar location,” the fast food chain stated in a press release.

McDonald’s tested this technology in several U.S. restaurants in 2018. Upon closing of the acquisition, McDonald’s will begin to roll it out at the chain’s drive-thru at restaurants in the United States in 2019; and then expand it to other top global markets.

McDonald’s also will begin work to integrate the technology into all of its digital customer experience touchpoints, such as self-order kiosks and McDonald’s Global Mobile App.    

“Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms,” said McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, adding, “With this acquisition, we’re expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we’ll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customers.”

Upon closing, McDonald’s will become sole owner; and will continue to invest in Dynamic Yield’s core personalization product and world-class teams. Dynamic Yield will remain a stand-alone company and employees will continue to operate out of offices around the world. Dynamic Yield also will continue to serve current clients and attract future prospects.

Research contact: @McDonald’s

As McDonald’s loses EU trademark, Burger King slyly advertises, ‘Like a Big Mac, but actually big.’

February 13, 2019

After McDonald’s lost its trademark for the Big Mac in the European Union on January 15, Burger King in Sweden revamped its menu in a snarky hat tip to the rival fast-food chain. Imitation, it turns out, is also the sincerest form of trolling, The Washington Post reported on February 11.

The trademark was ceded to Irish entrepreneur Pat McDonagh, whose fast-food chain, Supermac’s, won the landmark legal battle against McDonald’s. The Galway-based firm persuaded the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to cancel McDonald’s’ use of the “Big Mac” trademark, opening the way for Supermac to expand across Britain and continental Europe.

It also left the way clear for Burger King—maker of the grilled Whopper—to have some fun with its global competitor.

In early February, the Post reports, Swedish outposts of Burger King featured menus with names grounded in Big Mac comparisons, including: “The Kind of Like a Big Mac, but Juicier and Tastier” and “The Big Mac-ish but Flame-Grilled Of Course.

Other options were even more derogatory, the DC-based news outlet said—among them: “The Burger Big Mac Wished It Was” and “The Anything But a Big Mac.”

“It’s too much fun for us to stay away,” said Iwo Zakowski, CEO of Burger King’s Swedish operation, according to report by The Guardian.

Burger King’s marketing campaign was created by Stockholm-based ad agency INGO. The agency released a video of customers awkwardly navigating the newly renamed menu to announce the campaign.

And as for Supermac’s, “We’re delighted,” McDonagh told The Guardian, adding, “It’s a unique victory when you take on the Golden Arches and win.”

In a statement provided to The Washington Post, McDonald’s said it plans to appeal the EUIPO decision.

“We are disappointed in the EUIPO’s decision and believe this decision did not take into account the substantial evidence submitted by McDonald’s proving use of our BIG MAC mark throughout Europe. We intend to appeal the decision and are confident it will be overturned by the EUIPO Board of Appeals,” the statement said. “Notwithstanding today’s decision, McDonald’s owns full and enforceable trademark rights for the mark ‘BIG MAC’ throughout Europe.”

Research contact: taylor.telford@washpost.com

McDonald’s joins Starbucks in envisioning ‘the last straw’

July 18, 2018

The NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge—launched in March and convened by the Closed Loop Partners—announced on July 17 that McDonald’s is joining Starbucks as a founding member. Together, they have pledged to develop a global recyclable and/or compostable cup solution.

The challenge was started after ecologists realized that, in the USA alone, 500 million straws become unrecyclable waste each year.

McDonald’s is committing $5 million in partnership with Closed Loop Partners to help launch the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge—bringing the total contributed to $10 million. The Challenge kicks off in September and invites innovators, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and recyclers to submit their ideas for the next generation of recyclable and/or compostable cups. Awardees will receive acceleration funding of up to $1 million based on key milestones. Up to seven of the awardees will enter a six-month accelerator program to help scale their solutions. 

“McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good to make positive changes that impact our planet and the communities we serve,” said McDonald’s’, SVP and Chief Supply Chain Officer Marion Gross. “We are excited to join Starbucks and Closed Loop to help solve this pressing challenge as collaboration is key to finding a scalable, lasting global solution.”

“We are proud to come together with industry partners like McDonald’s to drive innovative, scalable solutions for cup waste,” said Colleen Chapman, VP of Global Social Impact focused on sustainability for Starbucks. “A better cup will benefit the entire industry and we invite others to join us as we move these efforts forward.”

NextGen builds on years of work in the industry and is a critical step in the development of a global end-to-end solution that will potentially allow the 600 billion cups globally to be diverted from landfills and given a second life.

NextGen is building a robust advisory council including leaders in environmental NGOs including WWF; human-centered design, academic leaders, the paper and plastic industry, recyclers, composters, and municipalities. This council will ensure that the work is grounded in the needs of the entire value chain and the cups make it from shelf to consumer and back through the recovery system to another high value use.

“There has never been a greater need to tackle the ways in which we source and recover materials. McDonald’s participation is a strong step forward in building momentum from major brands to come together and develop innovative approaches to materials waste,” says Erin Simon, director of Sustainability Research and Development (R&D) and Material Science at World Wildlife Fund–U.S. “Working together across the entire value chain of these major companies will allow us to create a comprehensive and lasting solution to this critical conservation challenge.”

“To date we have received more than 1,000 inquiries from companies and individuals interested in participating in the challenge and we anticipate some exciting and impactful proposals,” says Kate Daly, executive director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “In our experience investing in circular economy innovation, we find the most successful path to scaling a systems-changing solution is to bring together key players along the entire value chain in a pre-competitive collaboration. This is the type of partnership we need to foster innovative solutions without sacrificing profit. We are working with consortium members to build a robust shared set of technical, performance, and environmental criteria that we will announce later this summer.”

While NextGen intends to work on the entire cup system, including cups, lids and straws, its first challenge will focus on the fiber-based hot and cold cup, as this is the most significant challenge faced by the industry.

Research contact: @K8_Daly

Will Trump’s fitness be revealed by medical exam on Friday?

January 9, 2018

Only 40% of registered U.S. voters think that Trump is fit to be president, while 57% think he is not, based on findings of a poll by Quinnipiac University released in mid-November. But what will the doctors say on Friday when the POTUS gets his first physical exam since taking office?

Like all Americans, Trump has the right under HIPPA to protect his health information from public disclosure. However, the White House has promised that the physician to the president, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, will issue a public report on the exam, to be conducted at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The question of Trump’s mental and physical capabilities has come under increased, critical scrutiny since the release this month of  a book on the president’s first few months in the Oval Office by Michael Wolff. Indeed, White House top staff is quoted in Fire and Fury, citing incidents that indicate that the POTUS may not be mentally fit.

Trump hit back against the claims on January 9, describing himself as a “very stable genius.”  He then dispersed “an army of surrogates,” according to Bloomberg, “to forcefully denounce the book” on the Sunday morning political talk shows.

What’s more, the results that are offered to the American electorate may not provide much insight: Presidential medical reports are often short and to the point, featuring only such basic metrics as cholesterol levels, weight, and blood pressure, Bloomberg reports, as well as a smattering of idiosyncracies. After George W. Bush’s first physical exam, his physician said he smoked cigars and jogged 12 miles a week.

Most would guess that the president’s cholesterol could be off the charts, due to his affinity for the McDonald’s menu, including shakes, Big Macs and Filets-O-Fish.

Art Caplan, a professor of Bioethics at New York University told Bloomberg that the only way in which Jackson could legally and ethically release information about Trump’s mental state without the president’s consent is if he determined Trump posed a direct, imminent threat to another person, but that is an extremely difficult standard to meet.

“The standard is so tough to meet in a physical, I can’t imagine that happening,” Caplan said.

Research contact: @spettypi