Savory Social Media Listening
Listening Dates: July 1, 2019 – September 30, 2019
Wingstop Celebrates 25 Years with a 6-Pack
As part of a celebration for its 25th anniversary, Wingstop began its 25 Days of Flavor promotion, where they rolled out six (!) new limited time wing flavors in the lead up to National Chicken Wing Day in late July. Introduced weekly in pairs, the new flavor combinations included Lemon Garlic and Dragon’s Breath (Atomic + Spicy Korean BBQ), Bayou BBQ and Mango Volcano, as well as Hot Lemon and Atomic BBQ. During the promotion, sides, dips, and beverages weren’t ignored, with Wingstop offering Harissa Ranch Dip, Atomic Ranch Dip, and Lemon Parmesan Fries, which could all be washed down with their exclusive Coca-Cola Freestyle flavor, Sprite Triple Chillin’.
New Cheez-Its in the House
Everyone loves the iconic wine and cheese duo, but what if there were a more convenient way to experience this delectable pairing? Good news, now there is (while supplies last)! Cheez-It and House Wine have joined forces and created a dual-sided box with wine on one side and Cheez-Its on the other.
House Wine’s winemaker Hal Landvoigt took the idea even further, producing a list of suggested wine and Cheez-It pairings. For example, when eating White Cheddar Cheez-Its, he would recommend a rosé. If you are a Cheddar Jack fan, that will pair well with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Another new and noteworthy Cheez-It combination is Pizza Hut’s Cheez-It pizza. Although this may not sound like a slam-dunk to many, even initial skeptics are raving about it. This limited-time menu item is essentially four giant, cheese-stuffed Cheez-its. The crusts are infused with Cheez-It flavor and filled with either cheese or pepperoni and cheese, along with a side of marinara sauce. Due to the high success of this item, there has been talk of releasing a revamped Stuffed-Cheez It Pizza in 2020 with new fillings or even different Cheez-It flavored crusts! While nothing like your traditional pizza, this snack and pizza fusion is a must-try!
What’s Everyone Clucking About?
In August, Popeyes introduced a limited time chicken sandwich to run through September. Given Popeyes’ popularity as an acclaimed fried chicken purveyor, it’s no small wonder that this coveted sandwich sold out within two weeks of its debut. The beauty lays in the design: a buttered brioche bun with a layer of mayo, a crispy, juicy fried chicken filet, and two tangy pickle slices. Simple, delicious, and enough to start a national feeding frenzy. But for now, it’s gone, and if you’re waiting on Popeyes to bring this sandwich back, there’s no telling how long that wait will be. In the meantime, the restaurant is suggesting you BYOBun so you can enjoy a DIY version of their instant classic.
Come for the Comfort Food
Want a little caviar with that Bojangles biscuit? You got it! Sort of. For a limited time over the summer, Bojangles introduced both a pimento cheese biscuit and a version of its Cajun filet biscuit that was topped with pimento cheese. Sometimes called the “caviar of the south,” pimento cheese is typically a tangy blend of cheddar, mayonnaise and red pepper, typically a pimiento. According to Bojangles, their version is made of “three types of cheese, diced pimentos, creamy mayonnaise and that one-of-a-kind Bojangles’ flavor”, and is all set to deliver “melty, cheddary goodness…with a peppery kick.” You can order pimento cheese with just about anything else on the menu, so feel free to go wild while this option is still available.
In the mood for something a bit sweeter? Fear not, McDonald’s has you covered. The food chain recently introduced three different Blueberry McGriddles breakfast sandwiches for anyone looking to combine sweet and savory into one great early-morning combination. The flavors include sausage, egg, and cheese; bacon, egg and cheese, and just plain sausage, all served up between two blueberry buns. Top with syrup and serve – yum!
Meatless Meat is Going Mainstream
Although Tim Horton’s is dialing back on its Beyond Meat options, the hype around plant-based meat alternatives continues as more brands move into the space to try to meet consumer demand. In August, meal-kit service Blue Apron launched a partnership with Beyond Meat, becoming the first of its kind to add a meat substitute to its menu. Vegetarians and the environmentally conscious alike can now enjoy popular recipes like Caramelized Onion & Cheddar Beyond Burgers with Garlic Green Beans (Yum!).
And while most fast-food chains have historically been more carnivore-friendly, KFC and Subway are both venturing into Beyond Meat options. KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken caused an hours-long line when tested in Atlanta, and Subway is testing its Beyond Meatball Marinara sub in select stores. While the hype for plant-based proteins continues, it remains to be seen whether this is indicative of long-term success for Beyond Meat and its competitors. Some backlash has occurred regarding the health benefits of plant-based meats, with the CEOs of both Whole Foods and Chipotle criticizing the highly processed ingredients of these products.
The Many Sides of Chili Sauce
Chili sauce is taking over the topping/sauce game right now and we are here for it. This sweet and spicy sauce may have gotten its start in Asian and Thai cuisine, but it is finding its way onto pizza, salads, avocado toast, eggs, hotdogs and burgers for the perfect sweet/savory pairing. But the flavor profile is not the only thing people like about it – the spicy chilis also help with weight management! The spice of the chilis boosts your metabolism and helps burn more calories post-meal. So next time you decide to go for a higher calorie option, try pairing it with sweet chili sauce – or just throw some sauce on there ‘cause it’s trendy…we won’t tell!
Beer + Meat: A Union Sanctioned by Oktoberfest
When thinking of Oktoberfest, two things usually come to mind: beer and meat (along with dirndls, lederhosen, and giant pretzels, of course). While beer and meat are generally consumed as two separate entities, brewing companies such as New Belgium are now partnering up with meat companies such as Niman Ranch, resulting in the Fat Tire BBQ Collection. This collection contains five unique products that use the “gentle sweetness and fresh hop bitterness” of beer to enhance the taste of their meats and BBQ sauces. Some products in the Fat Tire BBQ Collection include Spicy Cheddar Beer Bratwurst and Pulled Pork with Amber Ale Barbecue Sauce.
Even fast-food restaurants such as Arby’s are hopping on this trend with beer-inspired sandwiches for their 2019 Meatoberfest menu. These sandwiches are served on toasted pretzel buns and are packed with various beer-infused elements, such as beer braised beef, beer cheese sauce, and beer pub mustard.
The options are endless when it comes to combining beer with BBQ, and these unique fusions are a must-try for all meat and beer lovers alike.