Rapper Travis Scott with his signature McDonald’s order
Source: Jerritt Clark, courtesy of McDonald’s
Just eight days after McDonald’s kicked off its collaboration with rapper Travis Scott, the fast-food giant is reporting some ingredient shortages tied to the promotion.
The meal comes with a Quarter Pounder burger with cheese, bacon and shredded lettuce, Sprite soda and fries dipped in BBQ sauce, for just $6. Travis Scott, who uses the nickname “Cactus Jack,” is also selling McDonald’s themed items, like a pillow shaped like a McNugget, on his website.
McDonald’s said that some of its restaurants have temporarily sold out of some of the ingredients in the meal. As a result, it’s temporarily controlling the supply of its Quarter Pounder beef, bacon, slivered onions and shredded lettuce to make sure restaurants nationwide can still serve the meal. Rather than locations placing orders with the supply chain based on demand, McDonald’s is sending those ingredients to restaurants based on internal calculations.
“We’re working closely with our suppliers, distributors and franchisees to resupply impacted restaurants as quickly as possible,” McDonald’s USA said in a statement to CNBC. “Stay tuned and don’t worry, we’ve got more surprises from Cactus Jack coming soon.”
Supply issues for McDonald’s are rare. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the company has said that it has not experienced a supply chain break in any of its markets. Wendy’s, on the other hand, briefly experienced shortages of its signature fresh beef this spring as national production of the meat fell due to closed meat processing plants. Since 2018, McDonald’s Quarter Pounders have also been made with fresh beef, a change that required it to overhaul its supply chain.
Kraft Heinz targets $2 billion in cost cuts over 5 years, sees long-term organic net sales growth of 1% to 2%
Characters at the Berkshire Hathaway company Kraft Heinz booth pose with a reporter at the shareholder shopping day as part of the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, May 5, 2017.
Rick Wilking | Reuters
Kraft Heinz on Tuesday told investors it would cut $2 billion in costs through 2024 as part of its turnaround plan.
The company is also expecting long-term organic sales growth of 1% to 2% and adjusted earnings per share growth of 4% to 6%. CEO Miguel Patricio said during investor presentations that the cost savings will fuel its investment back into Kraft Heinz. The Oscar Mayer owner said the targets reflect its confidence in its ongoing recovery.
Shares of Kraft Heinz rose 2% in premarket trading on the announcement.
“We are committed to returning Kraft Heinz to consistent growth on both the top and bottom lines,” CFO Paulo Basilio said in a statement.
In recent years, Kraft Heinz has struggled as consumers shopped more around the perimeter of the grocery store in search of fresh foods. The sales downturn led the food giant to report billions of dollars in write-downs on some of its brands, including Cool Whip, Oscar Mayer, Kraft and Maxwell House, and to reshuffle its leadership.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has lifted sales for the company, helping it during its comeback. Kraft Heinz updated its third-quarter outlook on Tuesday, saying it now expects organic sales growth in the mid-single digits.
The company will announce its quarterly results in October.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.
The 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Eric Liebowitz | NBCUniversal
New York City will host this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, though the celebration will “not be the same parade we’re used to,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday.
“It will be a different kind of event. They’re reinventing the event for this moment in history, and you’ll be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online. Not a live parade but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving Day,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing.
Macy’s, which modified its Fourth of July fireworks show this year to protect New Yorkers from the coronavirus, had previously said it plans to do the same for this year’s Thanksgiving celebration.
De Blasio said the company will release more details on the plan later in the day. Macy’s declined to provide CNBC further details.
“In this case, it’s really important to keep these traditions continuing. To make sure that history is unbroken,” he said.
This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.
PepsiCo’s latest drink, Driftwell
Doctors and dentists are reporting more cases of cracked teeth and insomnia as the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on the nation’s stress levels.
PepsiCo‘s latest drink Driftwell is pitching itself as a way to combat the problem.
Pepsi employees came up with an idea for a beverage to help consumers de-stress and relax before bed as part of an internal competition started last year by CEO Ramon Laguarta. The concept won, and the food and beverage giant went to work to make it a reality. Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities at Pepsi’s North American beverages unit, said it is the fastest new product to ever come out of the company. Driftwell will be available nationwide on e-commerce sites in December and in grocery stores by the first quarter of 2021.
“I think we’re launching this at a time when there’s more consumer interest than there previously was, given everything that’s going on from a macro perspective,” Silver said.
The enhanced water drink contains 200 grams of L-theanine, an amino acid that’s found in green and black teas and some mushrooms. A few studies have suggested that the ingredient can improve sleep quality and can help reduce the physical reaction of stress.
“From a scientific and regulatory perspective, we feel really good about making that claim around L-theanine. Specifically, we have safety in clinical data to prove that it works,” Silver said.
Driftwell also contains 10% of the recommended daily value of magnesium. The drink comes in 7.5-ounce mini cans and just one flavor: blackberry lavender. According to Silver, it’s the perfect size for hydrating before bedtime without requiring another trip to the bathroom.
Functional water beverages were a $2.97 billion market last year in the U.S., according to data from Euromonitor International, which forecasts that their popularity will boost sales nearly 5% this year. Relaxation drinks are a much smaller category, although their popularity in Japan suggests they could become a part of Americans’ everyday routines.
“It’s a nascent category, and it’s one frankly that we think we can build from a [liquid refreshment beverage] perspective,” Silver said.
Smaller companies are making their own relaxation drinks by adding CBD to sparkling water and touting them as a sleep aid or a way to unwind, although little research has been done to back up those claims. The Food and Drug Administration still prohibits adding the cannabis compound to food and drinks, and large corporations like Pepsi have avoided any potential regulatory snafus by sidestepping the ingredient for now.
Shares of Pepsi, which have a market value of $188 billion, are down less than 1% so far this year, as of Friday’s close.
Two people with scooters wear masks walk down 46th Street which has been temporarily converted to “Restaurant Row” for outdoor dining during the fourth phase of the coronavirus pandemic reopening on September 06, 2020 in New York, New York.
Roy Rochlin | Getty Images
Dining out raises the risk of contracting Covid-19 more than other activities, such as shopping or going to a salon, according to a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The findings come as many states consider the safest ways to reopen businesses, especially restaurants. On Wednesday, for example, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that limited indoor dining will be allowed in New York City starting Sept. 30.
The CDC report included 314 people who had Covid-19 symptoms and were subsequently tested for the virus; about half tested positive.
Researchers then asked all participants about their social activities during the two weeks prior to their Covid-19 test. The participants lived in states with varying levels of reopening guidelines: California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.
Both groups generally reported similar activities, such as going to church, gyms and stores, with one exception: going out to eat or having drinks at a bar or coffee shop.
Those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, “were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results,” the study authors wrote. And those who were diagnosed without any known exposure to the virus were more likely to report having visited a bar or coffee shop in the previous two weeks.
The increased risk makes sense; it’s easy to wear a mask in stores or in places of worship, but it’s nearly impossible to do so while eating and drinking, said Dr. Todd Rice, a co-author of the report and an associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
In addition to being maskless, individuals are often close together when eating at a restaurant, sitting across the table from one another.
“If people are going to eat out, they need to be thoughtful about how they’re going to do it,” said Rice, who lives in Nashville where restaurants are operating at 50 percent capacity.
He said he has absolutely gone out to eat within the past six months, but takes several precautions.
“Even if I’m sitting at a table and the food hasn’t arrived yet, I still wear a mask. I won’t sit at a table that’s next to somebody else,” Rice said, adding that he also asks to be seated outside.
One limitation of the report is that the researchers did not ask participants whether they ate or drank indoors or outdoors.
Infectious disease experts maintain that outdoor spaces are safer than indoor areas, which have less ventilation. The CDC’s guidelines for dining out indicate that drive-thrus, delivery, take-out and curbside pick-up carry the lowest risk for Covid-19 transmission.