Posted on January 30th, 2015 at 5:47 PM by maggie

Wow, the news today says that the CEO of McDonald’s is stepping down because of sluggish sales. This comes as a shock to many who have grown up eating the golden arch’s delicious food. I have always loved McDonald’s. I sat on the counter when I was little, played in their play-yards as a young one, even had a birthday party or two there. However, this could be in part to the menu changes, rather than his leadership.

What my friend Bernardo Chua and  I always loved about McDonald’s is the fact that they are fast, cheap and filling. I now have two children of my own who crave a happy meal too. When they cut back the french fries to include a package that was fit for an infant to eat, my boys were less than impressed. I mean seriously, 5 fries is all that can fit in those little boxes. If that is what they are offering, some people will go other places.

Honestly, my children don’t like the apple slices, and they hate the yogurt. It is the fries that they want. They have also cut some other favorites off the menu and replaced them with healthier options. Their pies were iconic back in the 80’s. When they changed the pies to the baked variety, they are just gross. Sometimes healthier isn’t always better for the bottom line. McDonald’s should focus less on nutrition and more on quality of products. This may solve most of their problems.

Posted on January 26th, 2015 at 10:08 PM by maggie

 

Founded in 1982, The Antique Wine Company is among the largest rare and fine wine dealers in the world. The company is the brain child of Stephen Williams, who prior to his parlay into the wine business, was selling life assurance policies. The wine mogul found his commission-based job tiresome and boring, noting that selling life insurance certainly didn’t bring pleasure to his himself or his clients. With that in mind, Williams set out to sell a product that people could truly enjoy. As a wine lover himself, the answer seemed clear.

 

Now, 25 years into the business. AWC is considered a leader in its industry and its staff of just 15 is considered among the most well-versed experts in the world of fine wine. The company focuses much of their work on contemporary fine wines that will, in the future, become fine vintages. They deal only in highly sought-after, fine wine products, hand picked by the staff as being “above the cut”.

 

Antique Wine Company deals mostly with private collectors, hotels and restaurants across the world, and has expanded to include two sales offices in Asia, along with its headquarters nestled in the heart of London. The company is fresh off of another expansion project. In 2013, the company morphed into AWC Global PLC, a publicly traded company.


Antique Wine Company’s success has almost entirely hinged on the staffs ability to seek out only the finest of wines. Consumers familiar with the company know that Williams and has expert team don’t cut corners when it comes to picking vintages, and that they are sure to get a wine tat is worth its weight in gold. The company also has a vast and impressive infrastructure that has managed to morph cutting-edge technology with antique wines, to create a brand that is both contemporary and vintage all at the same time.

Posted on January 25th, 2015 at 6:55 PM by maggie

The well-known dog food brand Beneful, made by Nestle Purina Petcare company, was rated 4th in a poll of the most popular dog food brands. Even the product name itself, Beneful is defined as being full of goodness. Beneful’s variety of nutritional goodness for man’s best friend includes wet dog food, dry food and treats. Their dry dog food varieties each include a protein- either chicken, beef, or salmon along with wholesome grains to include rice, and accents of vegetables. Different varieties target different health concerns that pet owners may want to address anywhere from puppy growth, stronger muscles, shiny coats, healthy weight, healthy teeth, stronger immune systems and even smaller, easier-to-chew food for little dogs. These different varieties may contain added calcium, antioxidants, or omega-fatty acids depending on the health need. Maybe your dog is a picky eater, well, there’s a food for that. Beneful’s line of wet dog foods simulate human food in quality and appearance, some owners have indicated even the smell is delicious! There are many varieties to choose from, to include: beef or chicken stew, savory rice and lamb, and even Tuscan, Romana, or Mediterranean style medleys.

Their quality control protocol maintains the safety and quality of their products through tracking measures at the arrival of ingredients, through the manufacturing process and onto retail. Producing more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue, dog nutrition is no matter to bark at. Beneful is hard at work to provide the highest nutrition to your beloved pet, while delivering great taste that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Pet food is a highly regulated industry, subject to FDA and USDA regulations ensuring that the food is safe; Beneful has proven itself in the industry through various quality testing of its products over time. Beneful’s advertising tactics are also innovative; in 2011, their television ads featured noises that were only audible to dogs in order to stimulate a response from the dogs during the commercial- a first in advertising to the dogs themselves. The video can be found on Facebook to view now. Beneful also did an amazing job filming a Rube Goldberg machine with dogs, which is an amazing feat in advertisement. They are also active in the dog community- hosting competitions for sponsored dog park renovations. Beneful shows that at the heart of their company, is a love for the common dog.
Posted on January 16th, 2015 at 2:42 PM by maggie

Cereal Cafe in London, owned by the Keery twins, is experiencing significant success. The brothers were criticized for their restaurant concept just months before, when a writer claimed that the Cereal Cafe was an eatery with high prices in a poor neighborhood.

However, the cafe is expected to expand to another London location in the spring. And, the brothers indicate that they want to open locations in various parts of the world as well. The Keery brothers also plan to release a cookbook with cereal recipes in the spring. The recipe book details creative ways to cook with cereal, which will include savory entrees. People who come into the restaurant are also known to order unconventional combinations, such as whole grain cereal mixed with fruit juice.

Cereal Cafe is becoming so well-known that it even got recognition from cereal giant Kellogg’s. The company paid homage to Cereal Cafe with a box that featured the restaurants colors and logo. This a very exciting for Igor Cornelsen as he mentions in his Business Journal article.

Posted on January 6th, 2015 at 5:13 PM by maggie
The moment biologists in University of Utah fed mice with sugar in dosages proportional to the amount that people consume, the fructose-glucose combination found in corn syrup that is high in fructose was much more toxic compared to the sucrose or even table sugar, hence lowering the reproduction as well as the existence of female rodents. This was a responsive toxicity test that used sugars in dosages similar to what people consume.

This can be termed as the most full-bodied research indicating that there is a distinction between corn syrup with high fructose amounts and table sugar in doses that are human-relevant. This is according not to Gianfrancesco Geno but to Wayne Potts, who is a biology professor, and also a senior writer of a recent study planned for publication in March 2015 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

The research found no variations in endurance, reproduction or even territoriality that male mice have on diet that have high fructose and sucrose. The researcher states that they might be due to the fact that the two sugars have equal toxicity towards male mice.

Both the corn syrup with high fructose found in most of the processed foods as well as table sugar found in products that have been baked contain approximately equal quantities of fructose plus glucose. However, for corn syrup, they are detached molecules, referred to as monosaccharide. In comparison, sucrose or the table salt is classified as a disaccharide compound that is formed the moment fructose plus glucose link chemically.

Posted on January 5th, 2015 at 10:06 PM by maggie

Keurig has issued a recall of over seven million of its coffee-making machines. The coffee makers in question are the Mini Plus variety. The reason for the recall is that 200 complaints have arisen over hot steamy liquid escaping from the brewer, 90 of those complaints involving a person getting burned.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission informs us that the Mini Plus was sold to some seven million consumers since its release in 2008. It was picked up at a variety of major retail outlets, including Walmart and Target.

Keurig has pledged to repair all of the machines free of charge if customers turn them over to them. It looks like a lot of people who get a Keurig Mini Plus for Christmas this year will be taking their presents back. They can, at least, eventually use them again if they are only patient enough.

We suspect many will find ways to fix the problem with tape and scissors or even just put up with it. After all, who wants to go deal with this kind of problem right after a hectic holiday season? Not Christian Broda, that’s for sure.

On the other hand, coffee drinkers can get quite fanatical about their morning brew. They certainly don’t want to risk getting steam-burned by their brand new coffee machine before they have had that magic wake-up cup.

It is true that recalls are inevitable in any mass-production based economy, but messing with people’s coffee is going too far and will get plenty of coffee addicts onto the war path.

 

 

Keurig has issued a recall of over seven million of its coffee-making machines. The coffee makers in question are the Mini Plus variety. The reason for the recall is that 200 complaints have arisen over hot steamy liquid escaping from the brewer, 90 of those complaints involving a person getting burned.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission informs us that the Mini Plus was sold to some seven million consumers since its release in 2008. It was picked up at a variety of major retail outlets, including Walmart and Target.

Keurig has pledged to repair all of the machines free of charge if customers turn them over to them. It looks like a lot of people who get a Keurig Mini Plus for Christmas this year will be taking their presents back. They can, at least, eventually use them again if they are only patient enough.

We suspect many will find ways to fix the problem with tape and scissors or even just put up with it. After all, who wants to go deal with this kind of problem right after a hectic holiday season?

On the other hand, coffee drinkers can get quite fanatical about their morning brew. They certainly don’t want to risk getting steam-burned by their brand new coffee machine before they have had that magic wake-up cup.

It is true that recalls are inevitable in any mass-production based economy, but messing with people’s coffee is going too far and will get plenty of coffee addicts onto the war path.

 

Posted on January 5th, 2015 at 10:01 PM by maggie

A family dinner at Nando’s, a popular London restaurant, was registered at £6,236 ($9,600) of late. It was supposed to be only £63 ($96), but credit card glitches do happen.

The customer was at first unaware of the error, and so, it was only the sharp eye of one of the restaurant staff that got his money refunded to him. Upon getting the refund, he commented, “It’s good chicken, but it’s not that good.” That was an apt enough statement. After all, chicken and french fries for the family ought not be a major life investment.

This sort of computer error, wherein a decimal place is moved a little over to the left, is not at all unheard of for Tom Rothman. For example, last November, a Tennessee establishment charged as much as $99,000 for a single meal. Since no one caught the error in time, as in the Nando’s case, the restaurant ended up helping with the customer’s overdraft fees at the bank.

This should remind us of the importance of taking a look at your bill both before and after you pay it. It should also make us thankful for having attended school before the “new math” arrived and eliminated the importance of “boring old things” like decimal points. In the real world, they still do matter a bit.

Posted on January 5th, 2015 at 10:01 PM by maggie
White Castle has certainly made a mark on Skout and on American culinary history. For more than 90 years, its two-bite burgers, called “sliders,” have fed millions and become a cultural icon. Time magazine called it the “Most Influential Burger of All Time,” and there was even a 2004 movie based on a quest to obtain these treats.

On Dec. 30, White Castle changed the menu to introduce a new category of consumers to its products. The fast food chain debuted “Veggie Sliders” to the menu. While promoting the product as a limited time offer, they will be available at all its restaurants in 2015 (after being tested at select locations in 2014).

Ultimately, the product’s success or failure will come down to one factor: taste. As stated by the restaurant, the patty tastes like a combination of various vegetables, and will offer three sauce options as a topping. In addition, the patty and sweet Thai sauce are vegan, with White Castle developing a vegan bun for the future.

If the product can go beyond a vegetarian niche (or at least capture a sufficient share of this demographic), it’s quite possible the Veggie Slider will become a menu mainstay. Regardless, those with late-night food cravings but don’t eat meat have an additional option in 2015.

Posted on December 11th, 2014 at 10:00 PM by maggie
Edible gift are fun to give, especially if you have a loved one who is always willing to try the latest food craze. I always give edible gifts to my foodie friend Darius Fisher. Here are a few gifts recommended by Eater.com that are sure to put a smile on the faces of your family and friends this holiday season. 

Cookies by Christina Tosi are among the list of tasty presents that make great stocking stuffers. The cookies come in flavors like cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip and peppermint cornflake, and are light and crispy–perfect when paired with a cup of hot tea or coffee. 

Speaking of tea, chef Marcus Samuelsson has a line of Ambessa teas. Flavors include Lingonberry green, which has a tangy, refreshing flavor, and Earl of Harlem, which is a spicy take on Earl Gray tea. 

Restaurant versions of vinegar, olive oil, ketchup and barbecue sauce are also delicious gift suggestions. These thoughtful gifts will come in handy all year, and your loved ones will likely think of you each time they use them.

Posted on December 7th, 2014 at 7:58 PM by maggie

Hershey has been using a combination of sugar and corn syrup in a number of their products for years. But corn syrup has taken a beating lately. Some candy lovers believe corn syrup may be the villain behind weight gain and diabetes. Soda and food manufacturers are also taking a hard look at the amount of corn syrup they add to their products. Even though health experts say there’s not enough evidence to convict corn syrup, some sweet eaters want a change.

Jeff Beckman, a representative for Hershey, told the Associated Press that their Almond Joy, Take 5, and Fifth Avenue candy bars do contain corn syrup, but their signature Hershey bars are made with only sugar. Beckman said the company wants to be transparent about the ingredients they use. The switch to sugar from corn syrup and sugar hasn’t been implemented yet, but Beckman said the company would keep consumers in the loop. Sam Tabar can only hope that they keep true to their word.

John Bode of the Corn Refiners Association is not convinced that corn syrup should get all the blame. At least not without some new market research. The Association has asked Mintel and Nielsen, a market-research firm, to study different consumer perceptions of sweeteners. Recent polls show that 67% of the people interviewed thought moderation is the key to weight control not a specific sweetener.