TIME food and drink

This Company Is Making Millions By Giving You 5 Fewer Chips Per Bag

Lay's-New Flavor
Using images provided by Frito-Lay, this composite image shows the four finalists for its 2014 "Do Us a Flavor" contest in the U.S. Associated Press

Lay's flavored bags contain slightly fewer chips than regular bags, and the savings add up

The truth is out: yes, some bags of Lay’s potato chips do in fact contain fewer chips. It’s intentional, and it’s saving the company millions.

Lay’s regular packs are 10 oz., but the company’s bags of flavored chips are 9.5 oz, yet both sell for $4.29, according to the Associated Press. The difference is equivalent to roughly 5-6 chips. And while that gap is saving consumers about 75 greasy calories, the biggest benefits are to Lay’s parent company, PepsiCo, which raised its full-year earnings forecast Wednesday in part because of these flavored bags, whose interesting tastes were crowdsourced by potato chip-loving Americans.

Just how much is Lay’s making? Cutting half an ounce from a bag while leaving its price unchanged correlates roughly to a 21 cents-per-bag saving. Lay’s potato chips bring in over $1 billion annually in retail sales, equivalent to over 200 million bags, if the average price per bag is somewhere around $4. At 21 cents saved per bag, the total amount saved is therefore upwards of $50 million—quite a lot for Lay’s considering the tiny amount of chips on which consumers miss out.

The fewer chips strategy is a tack-on to PepsiCo’s larger effort to cut costs through productivity increases, a plan announced in 2012 that’s expected to save PepsiCo $1 billion annually through 2019. Overall this quarter, PepsiCo saw a 5% rise in worldwide on global organic snack revenue, and even a 2% global increase in global beverage sales. The two upward sales and general cost cutting are vital for PepsiCo’s ongoing battle against investor Nelson Peltz, a stakeholder who’s launched a campaign urging PepsiCo to split its snack business from its sluggish beverage business.

In the coming months, the reduced flavored bags will continue to benefit sales volume for Frito-Lay North America, according to PepsiCo CFO Hugh Johnston.

 

 

TIME Companies

This Is the Scandal McDonald’s Is Dealing With Now

Firms cut ties to Shanghai-based supplier after allegations revive memories of 2012 scandal

+ READ ARTICLE

fortunelogo-blue
This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

McDonald’s Corp and Yum Brands Inc are embroiled in a new scandal over food safety in China after one of its suppliers came under investigation for allegedly selling expired beef and chicken.

The episode threatens to throw a wrench in the pair’s efforts to get over a similar scandal in 2012, when they were accused of selling chicken products with excessive amounts of antibiotics.

Yum is the parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and is the biggest operator of fast-food restaurants in China, having first opened KFC there in 1987, while McDonald’s has recently been lost second place, in terms of stores, to Taiwan-based Dicos.

Yum had said only last week that like-for-like sales in China had risen 15% in the second quarter, and that KFC sales had risen 21%, a badly-needed boost in view of falling sales in the U.S. at KFC and Pizza Hut.

For the rest of the story, go to Fortune.com.

TIME Companies

How Chick-fil-A Totally Crushed KFC, Popeyes

Chick-fil-A Is a Growing Threat in Fast Food Market
A U.S. flag flies outside a Chick-fil-A Inc. restaurant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in March 2014. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wall Street is paying closer attention to Chick-fil-A, which has discreetly surpassed fast food giants despite its limited presence and tainted reputation

Investors are eyeing the privately-held Chick-fil-A, a rising fast food chain that’s quietly emerged as a competitive threat against publicly-traded giants like McDonald’s and KFC.

Unbeknownst to many, Chick-fil-A has dethroned Colonel Sanders to claim the greatest market share in the American limited-service chicken segment, according to a new report from Janney Capital Markets (JCM). Its rise to chicken champion actually occurred in 2012 when Chick-fil-A won 25.1% market share, slightly more than KFC’s 24.4%, a remarkable growth story shadowed by controversy over Chick-fil-A’s owner’s social views and other strange reports.

Here’s a time-lapse chart with data from JCM showing how Chick-fil-A has gobbled up market share from KFC, Popeyes and other chicken chains like Zaxby’s and Bojangles’ Famous between 1999 and 2013:

On the surface, Chick-fil-A pales in comparison to its competitors: it has only 1,700 stores, a small handful compared to KFC’s 4,491 stores, and because it’s a private company its financials are undisclosed, making it impossible to know precisely its earnings. Yet the report estimates that Chick-fil-A posts an average annual growth rate of 12.7% — huge when compared to KFC’s 1% — thanks to its strong sales and store expansion.

But it’s not Chick-fil-A’s newfound dominance over KFC or Popeyes that interests investors—it’s that Chick-fil-A could soon overpower McDonald’s. While the golden arches have dominated the American fast food market, McDonald’s reported declining U.S. sales in recent months, a trend that might allow Chick-fil-A to steal McDonald’s growth opportunities over the next 10 years, according to the report.

McDonald’s is projected to add between $1 and $10.3 billion to its U.S. sales between 2014 and 2023, while Chick-fil-A is projected to add between $6.3 and $9.0 billion, indicating that Chick-fil-A is nowhere near done growing, especially as it expands northward to compete with McDonald’s stores.

“Chick-fil-A should get more attention from the Street in coming years, in part because it represents a growing competitive threat to other sizable quick-service chains, perhaps most notably McDonald’s,” the report states. “It is entirely possible that [Chick-fil-A's sales growth] will be similar to—or worst-case, from McDonald’s perspective—greater than the systemwide sales that McDonald’s can add to its domestic business over that same time.”

 

 

TIME food and drink

These Maps Show Why Half the World Prefers Kind of Gross Coffee

Half World Prefers Instant Coffee to Fresh Coffee
Instant coffee and fresh coffee beans from Eastern Cape, South Africa. Neil Overy—Getty Images

As in instant coffee, the clumpy powder that dissolves in water

For fresh coffee-loving Westerners — a love so deep it’s worth a legal war — it may come as a shock that the other half of the world prefers what Americans can barely fathom: instant coffee. (And no, coffee pods don’t count.)

Preferences for fresh coffee and instant coffee largely dominate the Western and Eastern Hemispheres, respectively, according to a new report by Euromonitor International. The split is closely aligned to the coffee-tea preference split, and not coincidentally: regions like the Asia-Pacific where tea is the dominant hot drink are emerging coffee markets, where the affordable, do-it-yourself nature of instant coffee is only just beginning to induct tea-drinkers into the coffee-drinking lifestyle. Moreover, instant coffee pre-mixed with cream and sugar appeal to Asian palates more than fresh, bitter coffee.

Here’s a map showing which countries prefer instant or fresh coffee, roughly split by an imaginary line dividing the West and the East:

Instant Coffee vs Fresh Coffee Map
Euromonitor International

And for comparison, here’s a map showing which countries prefer coffee or tea, with roughly the same split:

Coffee Tea Preference Map
Euromonitor International

There are, however, some exceptions to the rule of tea drinkers preferring instant coffee (and likewise, coffee drinkers preferring fresh coffee). In tea-dominant India, fresh coffee has seen an explosion of popularity among young people with the rise of specialist coffee shop culture. The coffee powder is readily available in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for half of instant coffee’s global retail volume. In coffee-dominant Mexico, instant coffee is positioned as a “utilitarian beverage,” marketed as a cheaper and more convenient drink than fresh coffee.

In fact, instant coffee isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Several of the top growth markets for coffee, such as China, prefer instant coffee. Even in regions like the UK, which prefers instant coffee, the rising popularity of fresh coffee — the choice throughout most of Western Europe — hasn’t yet supplanted instant coffee, which has remained relevant by a diverse array of products and strong brand positioning.

Top Coffee Growth Markets, 2013-2018
Euromonitor International

Nescafé and Jacobs are the most popular instant coffee brands worldwide.

TIME Fast Food

Pizza Hut Is Now Selling Giant Cookies Cut Like Pizza

Pizza Hut's Cookie Pizza
Pizza Hut's Cookie Pizza Pizza Hut/Yum!

A new dessert item

Pizza Hut’s menu just got a little sweeter. The pizza chain will begin delivering giant chocolate chip cookies sliced up like their famous pies on Monday.

Pizza Hut teased the new menu item on its Facebook page Sunday night.

The cookie, formally named the “Ultimate Hershey’s Chocolate Chip Cookie” will cost $4.99 with a pizza and $5.99 alone, the Chicago Tribune reports, and serves about 8. On Wenesday, 10% of each cookie’s sale will go to the World Food Programme during a nation-wide “bake sale.”

“Millennials tell us it’s what they want,” Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut, told USA Today of the new pizza cookie. “They like to cap off a great pizza with a great dessert.”

TIME food and drink

Here’s Exactly What’s in Those Hot Dogs You Ate This Weekend

You celebrated America's independence by eating a fleshy tube filled with "lower-grade muscle trimmings," and worse

Happy Independence Day weekend! Did you happen to catch the most important event? No, not fireworks. Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Begun in 1972 and held in the same Coney Island, N.Y. location since then, the contest pits approximately 20 competitive eaters against each other, for glory (and processed meats).

The contest itself has garnered around 1 – 1.5 million viewers on ESPN since 2004, and the media furor around the event itself is nothing short of magnificent.

But in all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that the contest itself revolves around the hot dog, that humble, All-American treat. Have you ever wondered how the sausage gets made? (Pun entirely intended.)

If you have, don’t fret! Gizmodo has an impressively comprehensive article on the process behind the processed meat.

The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (NHDSC) notes that hot dogs, whether regular, turkey, pork or beef, begin with “trimmings.” A purposely-vague word, trimmings come in lots of shapes and sizes.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): “The raw meat materials used for precooked-cooked products are lower-grade muscle trimmings, fatty tissues, head meat, animal feet, animal skin, blood, liver and other edible slaughter by-products.”

Yum!

Yum indeed! The rest of the steps—pre-cooking, meat emulsifying, batter extrusion, and casing—are similarly…gory. Bon appétit!

TIME food and drink

America’s Best Hot Dogs

America's Best Hot Dogs
America's Best Hot Dogs Gina Weathersby—Kiwi Street Studios

From classic franks to artisan wieners with toppings like kimchi, here are the nation's best hot dogs.

Senate Restaurant

Cincinnati, Ohio

Chef Daniel Wright has received national accolades for his playful takes on pub food, including a regularly changing menu of hot dogs like the Croque Madame (Black Forest ham, poached egg, béchamel) and the Lindsey Lohan (goat cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula and balsamic vinegar).

Hot Doug’s

Chicago

At Doug Sohn’s hot dog temple, the specialty sausages are named after celebrities: the Anna Kendrick, for instance, is a spicy dog. Purists stick to The Dog, a Chicago-style dog with trimmings like celery salt, along with a side of duck-fat fries (only available on Friday and Saturday). The lines often stretch down around the block, and real dogs are allowed on the outdoor patio.

Crif Dogs

New York City

Childhood pals Brian Shebairo and Chris Antista differentiate themselves in the city’s crowded hot dog market by deep-frying their franks to a crisp snap before serving them in a choice of more than a dozen mad scientist combinations that include a bacon wrap and toppings such as avocado, cream cheese and a fried egg.

Dirty Franks

Columbus, Ohio

The franks served here are Vienna all-beef wieners; beyond that, Dirty Franks has made sure to create an option for just about everyone. There are more than 20 styles to choose from, including toppings like brisket, corn relish and Sriracha-cream cheese. Vegetarians are covered, too: The same treatments are offered for Tofurky pups.

Frank

Austin, Texas

Geoff Peveto and Christian Helms pair beer and cocktails with an artisan wiener menu that includes everything from Vienna beef hot dogs to house-made specialties like the Jackalope, a smoked antelope, rabbit and pork sausage. Bun choices include gluten-free, pretzel or a tortilla wrap.

READ THE FULL LIST HERE.

MORE: 30 Best Takes on Fried Chicken in the U.S.

MORE: 25 Best Burgers in the U.S.

MORE: 30 Top Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.

TIME

10 Stunning Pies (Other than Apple) for the Fourth of July

Marilyn Batali's Blackberry Pie
Marilyn Batali's Blackberry Pie Quentin Bacon

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

Apple pie might be the ultimate American dessert, but we contend that it’s better in the fall. Here are 10 bright and tangy summer fruit pies to make for July 4th.

1. Marilyn Batali’s Blackberry Pie
This exquisite pie is made with Mario Batali’s “favorite fruit in life.”

2. Peach-Raspberry Pie
Serve this excellent summer pie with whipped cream or a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

3. Deep-Dish Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
What’s the secret to perfectly flaky crust? Add some lard to the dough.

4. Passion Fruit Ice Cream Pie with a Ginger Crust
This over-the-top dessert is topped with a mix of dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar.

5. Coconut-Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Caramel
Bobby Flay’s spectacularly creamy custard pie is topped with silky blackberry caramel.

6. Deep-Dish Peach Streusel Pie with Ginger
Andrew Zimmern upgrades the classic peach pie by adding ground and candied ginger.

7. Stone Fruit Pie with Almond Streusel
Any combination of stone fruits (apricots, peaches, plums, cherries or nectarines) is perfect for this delicious pie.

8. Berry Ice Cream Pie
Blueberries and strawberry ice cream star in this terrific, fast dessert.

9. Cherry Hand Pies
Save on time by using puff pastry to make these fantastic pies.

10. Yogurt and Apricot Pie with Crunchy Granola Crust
Healthful ingredients in this pie include low-fat Greek yogurt, oats and almonds.

MORE: 19 New Ways to Eat Pie

MORE: 11 Best Custard and Cream Pies

MORE: 10 Ways to Use Leftover Pie Dough

TIME

10 Ways to Make Ribs for the Fourth of July

Grilled Short Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
Grilled Short Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce Christina Holmes

This articleoriginally appeared on Food & Wine.

The Fourth of July is right around the corner! Get some grilling practice this weekend with these ten incredible recipes for ribs.

1. Molasses-Smoked Baby Back Ribs
What’s Tim Byres’s secret to delicious ribs? Rubbing them with a seasoned beer-based mop before cooking them in a foil packet ensures the meat is flavorful and moist.

2. Sir Winston’s Favorite Short Ribs
This savory-sweet Korean-style ribs recipe is quick and easy to make after marinating overnight.

3. Cumin-and-Coriander Grilled Lamb Ribs
“Lamb ribs are the most inexpensive and unsung part of the lamb,” says Tom Mylan, who flavors them with Middle Eastern seasonings.

4. Ribs with Hot-Pepper-Jelly Glaze
This recipe calls for three types of ribs, but it’s just as fantastic with one.

5. Grilled Short Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
An easy blackberry sauce flavored with adobo chiles takes these ribs to another level.

6. Vadouvan-Spiced Lamb Ribs
Vadouvan, a French curry-esque spice blend, adds terrific flavor to these tender ribs.

7. Spiced Pork Ribs
These smoky, Mexican-style ribs feature a super-simple rub.

8. Grilled Apple-Marinated Short Ribs
Instead of braising, these ribs are marinated overnight in a mix of apple juice, lemon juice and soy sauce so they’re sweet, salty and tangy.

9. Grilled Short Ribs with Anchovy Vinaigrette
These thinly sliced short ribs are perfect for quick grilling.

10. Cumin-Glazed Ribs with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa
Susan Feniger’s sweet ribs are delicious with a grapefruity IPA.

MORE: 11 People You Always See When You Throw a BBQ

MORE: 19 Best BBQ Cities

MORE: 8 Things that Will Make Eating and Drinking on Your Camping Trip So Much Better

TIME

Celebrity Chefs’ Fourth of July Recipes

Lemongrass Pork Patties with Quick Cucumber Kimchi. A121002_FW_BillKim_4thJuly_July2013
John Kernick

Triple Pork Burgers with Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Bill Kim’s thin, triple-stacked burgers, loaded with ginger, lemongrass, cilantro and basil, are inspired by a lemongrass pork sausage he likes to serve.

Pug Burger

This delectable blue cheese burger is one of chef David Lentz’s most popular recipes.

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Although Jacques Pépin cuts a small, seedless watermelon into rounds with a melon baller (adding the trimmings to the salad, too, so as not to waste them), you can also chop the watermelon into cubes.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Okra Salad

Marcus Samuelsson drew on African staples like yams and okra to create this completely original recipe of roasted sweet potatoes tossed with red potatoes, wilted spinach and sautéed okra. Toasted mustard seeds and a caper vinaigrette give this delicious salad a nutty, tangy flavor.

One-Pot Sticky Chicken Wings

Sweet, spicy, gooey and crispy, Andrew Zimmern’s wings are glazed with an addictive sauce that he can’t get enough of.

READ THE FULL LIST HERE.

MORE: More 4th of July Recipes

MORE: Best 4th of July Desserts

MORE: Refreshing 4th of July Drinks

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser