Sonic enjoyed 22 years of same-store sales growth before the recession and some related missteps led to declines in 2009 and 2010, but the chain is on the path to recovery, says CEO Clifford Hudson. New products such as the Quarter Pound Coney and improved burgers and ice cream offerings are helping the drive-in differentiate its brand and regain its footing with value-conscious consumers, he says.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group was named 2010 Company of the Year at the Beverage Forum, hosted by Beverage World magazine and Beverage Marketing. The company shows "what can be achieved when the right brands and the right people are combined with an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to innovation," said event co-chair Kevin Francella.
Friendly's has invited comedian Conan O'Brien to visit its new Friendly's Express in Brookline, Mass., when he visits Boston on June 4 and 5. He will be offered a "Cone-an," featuring four scoops of vanilla topped with a scoop of orange sherbet.
While food safety efforts have focused on a deadly E. coli strain known as E. coli O157:H7, six less-common strains received little attention. Now they are being recognized as serious threats to food safety, with one responsible for tainting romaine lettuce in an outbreak that has sickened at least 26 people.
Greek yogurt, Icelandic yogurt, goat's milk yogurt and yogurt made from coconut milk are among the offerings now available in the U.S. "There's been a big increase in the number of yogurts and the different cultures available," says an industry expert.