Industry News | December 22, 2008

The Top 10 Fast Food Stories of 2008

In an industry known for its cheap food, it was menu innovations that most interested quick-service insiders this year. Out of the more than 1,500 stories that ran on QSR magazine’s Web site, QSRmagazine.com, the most popular articles in 2008 often shared a common theme—the menu.

Among the top stories this year were culinary enhancements such as Jamba Juice’s breakfast debut, Domino’s introduction of its Baked Sandwiches line, and Zaxby’s addition of its Asian Salad.

Coverage of Jamba Juice’s dive into the breakfast daypart most intrigued readers, grabbing the No. 1 and No. 4 spots on QSR’s 2008 Top 10 Most Read List.

"We are thrilled that our breakfast launch in early 2008 was ranked the top-viewed story on QSRmagazine.com," says James White, CEO and president of Jamba Juice. The chain plans to introduce more breakfast offerings in the beginning of 2009, including slow-cooked Steel Cut Oatmeal.

The Web site, which began in May 1999, hosted more than 1 million visitors and garnered 2.6 million page views this year.

Not surprisingly, the election and economy were also big hits with readers. The 2008 Outlook, which examined the top challenges of foodservice executives, ranked No. 3 while a presidential candidate breakdown ranked No. 8.

The Top 10 Most Read List:

1. Jamba Rolls Out Breakfast Menu: details the beginning of the national rollout and accompanying marketing campaign for the chain’s breakfast menu including its Granola Toppers, Yogurt & Fruit Blends, and Chunky Smoothie.

2. The Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup: dives deep into the sweetener debate by interviewing journalists, scientists, and industry insiders.

3. 2008 Outlook: top industry leaders rank the most-pressing challenges of 2008.

4. Jamba Juice Launches Breakfast Nationwide: announces that all units began including the new breakfast menu.

5. Domino’s Launches Baked Sandwich Line: lists the new offerings that put the pizza chain in direct competition with sandwich concepts.

6. Confounded by Fast-Casual: tries to answer the question “what is a fast-casual?”

7. Fuddruckers Lightens Up: reports on the expanded lower-calorie add-ons available at the fast-casual.

8. A Vote for Quick-Serve: outlines the presidential candidates’ views on issues affecting the industry.

9. Subway Offers $5 Footlongs: kicks off the start of the $5 sandwich showdown that shaped 2008 pricing strategies.

10. Zaxby’s Adds Asian Salad to Menu Lineup: announces a new salad that includes Chicken Fingerz drizzled with a honey sesame glaze for a limited time last summer.

--Blair Chancey