Panera Bread

Starbucks Twice as Good as McDonald's in Media Impact

Media measurement technology firm General Sentiment released its newest brand analysis, the Fall 2010 Fast Food Industry Report. The report highlights the brands that made the most significant media impact online between September and November. Despite declining nearly 20 percent since the summer, Starbucks still topped General Sentiment’s Impact Value rankings, more than doubling the totals of second and third place brands McDonald’s and Burger King.

2010 in Review

Reporting by Blair Chancey, Sam Oches, Daniel P. Smith, Robin Van Tan, Barney Wolf & Lori Zanteson

1. BK Sold to Brazilian Investors

Becoming the decade’s biggest restaurant buyout, No. 3 burger chain Burger King Corp. was acquired by 3G Capital, a New York firm backed by Brazilian investors, for $3.3 billion in September. —BC

2. The Food Truck Obsession

Panera Opens Second Nonprofit Cafe, Plans Third

The Panera Bread Foundation opened its second non-profit community café—called Panera Cares—in Dearborn, Michigan, and shared plans to open a third in Portland, Oregon, in early 2011. This expansion is the result of the concept's success in Clayton, Missouri, where the first non-profit community café—called Saint Louis Bread Co. Cares—opened in May.

Snacks That Last

The problem with snacks nowadays is that they no longer know their proper place. 

Based on the results of a survey conducted by market research firm Technomic earlier this year, these uppity, stopgap appetite-tamers are muscling in on what used to be mealtime turf. Indeed, more than two out of five consumers told the company that they often either skip one meal each day or replace one meal per day with snacks. That, for those of you watching at home, is an awful lot of lost meal occasions.

Rich Get a Taste for Fast Food

Wealthy consumers are checking their income levels at the fast food door and flocking to quick serves.

According to a recent study by American Express Business Insights, ultra-affluent consumers increased quick-serve spending by 24 percent in the second quarter of 2010, as compared to the same quarter last year. Ultra-affluent customers are defined as those who charge more than $7,000 per month on their cards.

The 30-Day Challenge

Sharon Olson, president of Olson Communications, tests her will and waistline in a month-long experiment in which she only eats food from the top quick serves in the nation.

The Bistro Solution

Several years ago, Marriott executives determined they were letting revenue walk out the front doors of their Courtyard hotels, which are tailored to frequent business travelers, or “FBTs.” At the time, Courtyard’s breakfast offering was the full-service buffet, familiar to almost anyone who has ever stayed in an American hotel, and their lunch and dinner offerings were negligible.

Rolling in Dough

There’s something about the smell and taste of freshly baked bread that triggers powerful, positive emotional responses in most of us.

Psychologists have noted that the aroma of baked bread evokes happy childhood memories, comfort, and even tender feelings of being loved. One recent survey found the fragrance of freshly baked bread is a favorite smell of both men and women.

This lesson is not lost on supermarkets, which for years have used the distinct aroma of bread baking from in-store bakeries to lure customers to buy more items.

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