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Our newsletter, Biscuits, aims to provide you with the most interesting and relevant bits of information from our food and beverage blog during the previous month.
Broccoli is a famously “hated” food, disliked by kids everywhere, and even many adults. Former president George H. W. Bush wasn’t shy about announcing his aversion to the vegetable, going so far as to ban it from being served aboard Air Force One and in the White House (at least on his plate).
“I do not like broccoli,” the 41st president said. “I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”
Interestingly enough, broccoli didn’t even crack the top 10 on a list of the most disliked foods in America according to a study by The Journal of Psychology. More than 75,000 people participated in the survey, which found that texture played a key role in how disliked a food might be (soggy foods did not fare well).
The “most hated foods” list includes the following, with no surprises at number one:
8. Brussels sprouts
2. Lima beans
Most burger chains don’t observe National Hamburger Month. We’re not sure why they choose to let May come and go without celebrating their signature offering, but they do. The good news is that White Castle isn’t one of those burger chains.
White Castle is not only marking the arrival of National Hamburger Month with its “Slider-bration” promotion, it’s rolling back the price of its signature mini-burger to a mere 25 cents. But the price won’t be available at all 400 of the chain’s restaurants – at least not all at the same time. Instead, Slider-brations will pop up at individual locations on a seemingly random basis, with the price available for just two hours before the deal moves to another restaurant.
The promo is backed by a comprehensive digital marketing effort that includes a microsite at Sliderbration.com. On the site, fans can sign up to receive text message alerts that notify them when a Slider-bration will be taking place within a 50-mile radius of their area.
Sadly, there are no White Castle restaurants within 50 miles of Harrisburg, PA, so we’ll have to satisfy our burger cravings with full-priced options at other restaurants. Not nearly as fun, but it’ll have to do.
By their own estimation (and by using actual sales data), Taco Bell sold 375 million Doritos Locos Tacos in 2012. For the math-impaired, that’s one million of the Dorito-shelled snacks sold every day. Despite a current lawsuit by an Arizona prison inmate who claims the restaurant stole the idea from him, the Yum! Brands-owned chain is testing an idea for an even crazier taco.
The idea ditches the taco shell in favor of a waffle, which is stuffed with sausage and eggs and comes with a side of maple syrup. The almost-comical idea is, of course, a breakfast offering … at least for now.
The still unnamed Waffle Taco is being tested at select Taco Bell locations in Orange County, California. If all goes well (relatively speaking), the unusual morning meal could be available nationwide by the end of the year.
Is the Waffle Taco a good idea? Only eventual sales figures can answer that, but the idea definitely reminds us of the classic “Taco Town” Saturday Night Live spoof from a few years ago.
MARKETING LESSON: Taco Bell is off and running when it comes to new and unusual menu items. Try to keep up.
Celebrities get paid all the time to endorse products via their well-followed Twitter accounts. It’s pretty good work if you can get it. All you need to do is build up a base of a few million Twitter followers and then copy and paste a tweet. That’s it. Not bad for 20 seconds of work that your publicist will likely do for you.
How much those celebrities command for their 140-character endorsements varies based on the clout of the star. Kim Kardashian reportedly makes $10,000 per tweet. Then again, she also has more than 17 million followers. Right behind her is Charlie Sheen (9.5 million followers), who earns $9,500 per tweet. Check a more detailed list of celebrity tweet rates here.
The thing about paid tweets, however, is that some fans don’t take too kindly to their favorite star suddenly breaking character in order to shill a product. Take the recent example of comedian Michael Ian Black. When Black was paid by Dos Equis to tweet a link to the beer brand’s “Most Interesting Person” app (see above), his fans lashed out.
Is there anything more relaxing than a good movie on DVD and delivery pizza? There probably is, but right now we can’t think of anything. Domino’s Pizza in Brazil recently tapped into the power of movie night by partnering with 10 video rental stores in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
But instead of running a typical “rent two movies, get some breadsticks free” promo, the pizza chain created heat-sensitive, pizza-scented DVDs. We’ll explain …
Hundreds of discs of new releases were printed with scented, thermal ink primed to react to the heat of a DVD player. When the movie ended and the disc was ejected, the smell of pizza filled the room. The discs were also printed to look like mini pizzas, with the message: “Did you enjoy the movie? The next one will be even better with a hot and delicious Domino’s Pizza.”
Sure, it would have been better to target the consumer before the movie ended, but for the pure ingenuity of the effort, we give it two thumbs up.
MARKETING LESSON: Crossover marketing works, and it works even better when you use things that smell like pizza.