Thanks to cutthroat competition, the quick-service restaurant segment is constantly busy launching new menu and marketing ideas. QSRweb's 2012 readership reflects the interest in these two business components specifically, with a particular focus on the emerging single-serve coffee trend embraced by Tim Hortons and Dunkin' Donuts. There also seems to be a steady eye on what Taco Bell and Burger King are doing.
The most read stories of 2012 are as follows.
QSRweb predicted sauces to be an ancillary trend for 2013 and KFC may be a major reason for the increased interest. In October, the chain launched Dip'ems, or chicken tenders, along with six sauces, three of which are new — Creamy Buffalo, Orange Ginger and Bacon Ranch.
Burger King's partnership with Legoland in June boosted the chain's Crown program, which was created to promote children's creativity and family-friendly experiences.
During Tim Hortons' second quarter earnings call, executives discussed the chain's impending foray into the single-serve coffee market through a partnership with Kraft's Tassimo system. The Tassimo T Discs were launched at locations throughout the U.S. and Canada in November.
In August, Burger King launched a Family Food promotion inspired by the TV game show Family Feud. Every game piece offered a chance for guests to instantly win an assortment of prizes by correctly choosing the most popular answer based on a survey of 100 people.
After a photo of a Burger King employee standing in lettuce bins went viral, the company jumped into immediate damage control. The growth of social media necessitates having such a plan.
and No. 8. Dunkin' Donuts introduces Hot Cocoa K-Cups
Since Dunkin' Donuts originally introduced its K-Cup line in 2011, it has had much success with the offering's incremental sales. In the past year, the brand has rolled out limited-time extensions of the line, including pumpkin in September and hot cocoa in November.
In February, Taco Bell unveiled its new Cantina Bell menu with a new website introducing Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia, who conceptualized the new menu. The menu has since been credited for contributing to Taco Bell's successful year (in addition to the Doritos Locos Taco), and for taking market share away from some of its fast casual competitors.
QSRweb took a mid-year look at some of the biggest culinary trends to emerge in 2012, including bites, spicy flavors, kids' meals and specialty beverages.
What do you think were this year's interesting or noteworthy stories from QSRweb? Sound off in the comments below!
Read more about trends and statistics.