August is not a huge month for limited-time product launches in the QSR segment - making up just 8 percent of all LTO launches throughout the year, according to Technomic research - but there were still plenty of introductions this month worth highlighting, led by chicken innovations.
This trend follows recent foodservice market research firm Mintel that shows a resurgence of chicken items on restaurant menus. Chicken may be benefitting from the beef industry's rising prices, mad cow disease reports in California and bad press over "pink slime."
Also debuting this month were smoothies, summer-themed doughnuts, topping-heavy burgers and more. August launch examples include:
Wienerschnitzel's Der Chicken Dippers are bite-sized crispy chicken served with a choice of three dipping sauces: sweet and tangy BBQ, spicy Buffalo wing and creamy ranch.
Culver's new all-natural, antibiotic-free chicken tenders are available in original and Buffalo style and are cooked to order with a choice of sweet and sour, BBQ, honey mustard or ranch dipping sauce.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen's six Signature Sauces — Bayou Buffalo, Barbeque, Sweet Heat, Mardi Gras Mustard, Buttermilk Ranch, and Blackened Ranch — launched to complement its Handcrafted Tenders.
Burger King announced a new raspberry smoothie to go along with its strawberry banana and tropical mango flavors.
The Dairy Queen system is rolling out Orange Julius Premium Fresh Fruit Smoothies and Julius Originals. It also introduced a new M&M Brownie Blizzard at the beginning of the month.
Krispy Kreme locations in the U.S. and Canada are now offering items inspired by county fair season, including Cotton Candy donuts, Caramel Apple Cake donuts and a Cotton Candy Chiller are now available. A new Caramel Latte also is now available at the chain.
Green Burrito introduced the Charbroiled Chicken and Steak Torta Sandwiches.
Arby's also launched a new sandwich line. The turkey roasters are available in three varieties: Grand Turkey Club; Turkey 'n Cheddar Classic; and Turkey Classic.
Cousins Subs now has Midwestern-themed options on its menu: the Wisconsin Steak and Brat and the Wisconsin Cheesy Chicken.
Checkers and Rally's new Fry Lover's Burger is made with a 100-percent beef patty, then topped with Checkers & Rally's seasoned fries, a slice of American cheese, pickles, ketchup, mayo and mustard, and served on a toasted sesame seed bun.
Carl's Jr. and Hardee's introduced a new Memphis BBQ burger, pairing saucy pulled pork with a classic charbroiled beef patty. The two meats are topped with crispy onion strings, American cheese and Memphis-style BBQ sauce and served on a sesame seed bun.
Finally, Sonic Drive-In has added new flatmelt sandwiches and breakfast burrito varieties to its menu for a limited time.
Check out some of the new items here.
Read more about food and beverage launches.