Plus innovation at Bar Louie, Carl’s Jr. & Hardee’s, Condado Tacos, Frutta Bowls, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, The Habit Burger Grill, Insomnia Cookies, Little Caesars, Mici Handcrafted Italian, MOD Pizza, Nekter Juice Bar, Panda Express, Pret A Manger, Randy’s Donuts, Saladworks, Shake Shack, and Velvet Taco
McDonald’s has brought back its Blueberry & Cream Pie for the first time since 2017. It’s only available in around 6,800 locations, which of course is more locations than most chains even dream of having.
In other big chain news, Starbucks has new energy drinks and Pizza Hut has new spicy pizza.
Sister chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are offering new bacon dishes, Bar Louie is offering a burger with bourbon jam (as well as bacon), and Shake Shack is offering a new Buffalo chicken sandwich with a hot sauce that you can also get on fries. Condado Tacos has a taco named Kevin, and MOD Pizza has a pizza name Callie.
Little Caesars, ahead of the latest Batman movie, has a Calzony that looks a bit like the Bat Signal, and Randy’s Donuts has teamed up with Pepsi Cola for a pastry stuffed with Bavarian cream and pop rocks meant to evoke the feeling of drinking a soda, I guess.
Nekter Juice Bar offers smoothies with a new “Metabolism Boost”, The Habit Burger Grill offers a shake with breakfast cereal, Frutta Bowls offers new cocoa options, and Saladworks works with braised beef.
Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh is offering a new orange chicken harissa while Panda Express, known for its orange chicken, is testing two new plant-based protein dishes at its innovation center in Pasadena, California.
Pret A Manger released a meatless meatball sandwich, Velvet Taco’s Weekly Taco Feature evokes a pork and shrimp eggroll, and Insomnia Cookies kicks off the Valentine’s Day season with all red velvet.
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary