Yum! Brands (YUM) – Get Yum! Brands Inc. Report Taco Bell used to use the tagline “think outside the bun” to highlight how its Mexican menu differed from the sandwiches offered by McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report, Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Wendy’s Company (The) Report, and Restaurant Brands International’s (QSR) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report Burger King.
The fast-food chain wanted customers to embrace the idea that they could get something different at Taco Bell and more recently the chain has experimented with the idea by literally using a piece of fried chicken as a taco. That’s an idea it borrowed from sister company KFC, which used two pieces of fried chicken as the bun on its famed (and often-ridiculed) KFC Double Down.
And while the Naked Chicken Chalupa and the Double Down were both successful, they’re biggest contribution may be that they changed the idea of how you might serve a sandwich (or sandwich-like product). That has led to the obvious — bread free bowls popping up everywhere from Chipotle (CMG) – Get Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Report to the odd pizza bowls offered by Marcos Pizza — and some less obvious attempts to use alternatives to bread to hold a sandwich.
That’s a concept that McDonald’s has embraced in a way that could (eventually) become a global sensation.
McDonald’s Has a New Take On Sandwich Buns
McDonald’s tend to be the most innovative outside the United States. It’s locations in Japan introduced a unique take on a sandwich bun back in 2000. The company has since introduced all sort of variants of its Gohan line which Sora News 24 explained.
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“It wasn’t until last year that they finally started offering rice burgers. Sort of a sandwich/rice ball hybrid, rice burgers replace the burger’s buns with two discs of rice, lightly grilled to give them some extra texture and consistency and brushed with a soy glaze,” the website reported.
The fast-food chain has rotated in a bunch of sandwich varieties using the rice buns. It currently offers the Gohan Chicken Garlic Bacon, Gohan Shrimp Spicy Flavor, and the Gohan Teriyaki.
In the past, it offered the Gohan Chiken Ninniku Kuro Kosho, which features the rice buns, a crisp breaded chicken breast patty sandwiched inside the rice along with a slice of cheddar cheese, lettuce, and, a garlic and black pepper sauce. McDonald’s has also at times offered the “Delicious Spicy Shrimp Rice Burger (Gohan Ebi Umakara Shitate). McDonald’s first-ever shellfish rice burger, this one is build around a shrimp cutlet, skips the cheese, and is graced by a sauce of garlic and akatogarashi, Japanese red pepper,” Sora News 24 reported.
Could McDonald’s Rice Buns Come to the U.S.?
While rice buns may not immediately seem like something that would fit U.S. tastes, it’s possible the chain could consider adapting the Gohan for its home market. The Japanese version contains wheat so it is not gluten-free. That could easily be changed as rice itself does not contain gluten (there’s likely wheat in the breading on the “bun.”
Americans have generally not responded well to gluten-free offerings at fast-food chains. That’s likely because most gluten-free buns are poor substitutes for the real thing. In this case, with some recipe changes, McDonald’s might be able to go gluten-free in a way that’s more natural than offering a gluten-free bun (which some chains have tried).
Healthy, however (or at least the vague appearance of being healthy) has not been a success for McDonald’s. The chain has dropped all of its salads and it’s McPlant planet-based burger option has largely been a failure in the U.S.
BofA Securities maintains Amazon.com at ‘buy’ with a price target of $154.00
Six people in critical condition, one still missing after Paris blast – prosecutor
© Reuters. French firefighters and rescue forces work after several buildings on fire following a gas explosion in the fifth arrondissement of Paris, France, June 21, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
PARIS (Reuters) – Six people remained in a critical condition and one person was believed still missing on Thursday, one day after a blast ripped through a street near Paris’ historic Latin Quarter, the city’s public prosecution office said. “These figures may still change,” prosecutor Maylis De Roeck told Reuters in a text message, adding that around 50 people had been injured in the blast, which set buildings ablaze and caused the front of one to collapse onto the street. Of two people initially believed missing, one has been found in hospital and is being taken care of, the prosecutor said, adding: “Searches are ongoing to find the second person.” Authorities have not yet said what caused the explosion, which witnesses said had followed a strong smell of gas at the site. The explosion led to scenes of chaos and destruction in the historic Rue Saint Jacques, which runs from the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral to the Sorbonne University, just as people were heading home from work. It also destroyed the facade of a building housing the Paris American Academy design school popular with foreign students. Florence Berthout, mayor of the Paris district where the blast occurred, said 12 students who should have been in the academy’s classrooms at the time had fortunately gone to visit an exhibition with their teacher.
“Otherwise the (death toll) could have been absolutely horrific,” Berthout told BFM TV. She said three children who had been passing by at the time were among the injured, although their lives were not in danger.
4 big analyst cuts: Alcoa & DigitalOcean shares drop on downgrades
Here is your Pro Recap of the biggest analyst cuts you may have missed since yesterday: downgrades at Alcoa, DigitalOcean, Teleflex, and Xcel Energy.InvestingPro subscribers got this news in rapid fire. Never be left in the dust again.Alcoa stock drops on Morgan Stanley downgrade Alcoa (NYSE:) shares fell more than 3% pre-market today after Morgan Stanley downgraded the company to Underweight from Equalweight and cut its price target to $33.00 from $43.00, as reported in real time on InvestingPro.The firm sees a significant decline in consensus estimates, and as negative earnings revisions materialize, it believes the stock will face downward pressure and underperform.The analyst’s estimates for EBITDA in Q2, 2023, and 2024 are substantially lower than the consensus. The stock is currently trading above its historical average. The firm said its downward revisions in earnings estimates and price target are attributed to the company’s high operating leverage to aluminum prices.DigitalOcean stock plunges on downgradePiper Sandler downgraded DigitalOcean (NYSE:) to Underweight from Neutral with a price target of $35.00. As a result, shares plunged more than 5% pre-market today.The company reported its last month, with revenue beating the consensus estimate, while EPS coming in worse than expected. Furthermore, the company provided a strong outlook, which was above the Street estimates.2 more downgradesTeleflex (NYSE:) shares fell more than 3% yesterday after Needham downgraded the company to Hold from Buy, noting that UroLift expectations may still be too high.According to Needham, their checks indicate that urologists are reducing their use of UroLift due to its retreatment rates, reimbursement cuts, and increasing use of competing procedures. This is also supported by their Google Trends data analysis, which indicates decreasing search interest in UroLift.BMO Capital downgraded Xcel Energy (NASDAQ:) to Market Perform from Outperform and cut its price target to $64.00 from $69.00 to reflect the lower-than-expected terms of the company’s regulatory settlement in Colorado.Amid whipsaw markets and a slew of critical headlines, seize on the right timing to protect your profits: Always be the first to know with InvestingPro.Start your free 7-day trial now.
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