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Monday News-Nugget Catch-Up for 2/1

Filed under Business, Design/Decor, Local Buying, LTO, Marketing, Menu, Nonbeef, Research

burgerville_yukon_and_white_bean_basil_burger1► It was one year ago that Burgerville launched its series of seasonal limited-time menu specials, a succession of products that has given both chains and indie burger joints a lesson in what menu creativity means. Fittingly, tomorrow (2/2) Burgerville brings back the Yukon & White Bean Basil Burger (at left) that kicked off the series in February 2009.

jack-deli-trioJack in the Box, meanwhile, hasn’t forgotten the line of grilled sandwiches it tested in Seattle/Tacoma, Wash., in October. The Grilled Deli Trio and Grilled Turkey Bacon Cheddar (at right) sandwiches are still out there, still testing, waiting to be called up for a rollout. Carl’s Jr. recent introduction of its Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger suggests there’s an audience for simple, quality grilled sandwiches. Go for it, Jack.

► Speaking of food-and-beverage creativity, Chicago-based researcher Mintel confirms there was precious little of it in 2009. The number of new food and drink products introduced by manufacturers last year was down nearly 30% from 2008. What did increase was the use of ethical and environmental claims about products that were launched. Another Mintel study finds that convenience continues to be more persuasive than value when young diners choose where to eat.

► And if you thought burgers’ mad popularity was waning, the New York Times tells us that Stephen Hanson’s multiconcept company B.R. Guest is converting what was Pino Luongo’s Tuscan Square into a giant Bill’s Bar & Burger. Think 8,000 square feet of dining room and seating for 563, making it the largest indie burger bar in the country. Burgers are far from over.