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McDonalds- Going With Chicken

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McDonald's beefs up chicken offerings
The fast-food chain looking at other products, rather than its iconic burger, to boost sales.
By Parija Bhatnagar, CNNMoney.com staff writer
January 16, 2006: 11:27 AM EST



NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - In a move away from its iconic burgers, McDonald's is looking to new chicken products, coffee and fresh foods such as salads and fruits to help spur sales in 2006 and beyond, the president of McDonald's North America, told a gathering Monday in New York.

Ralph Alvarez, speaking on the second day of the National Retail Federation's 94th annual convention, said current eating trends dictate how the No. 1 fast-food chain tweaks its options.


"Beef sales have been flat year over year, while chicken product sales are growing 8 to 10 percent a year," Ralph Alvarez, president of McDonalds North America, said.

"Beef sales have been flat year over year, while chicken product sales are growing 8 to 10 percent a year," he said. "As a brand we have to follow trends."

"Today, we're selling $2 billion in chicken, and that's significantly up from a few years ago," Alvarez said. "We believe this trend will continue so we're putting a stronger focus on chicken rather than beef but its not at the expense of beef, rather incremental to it."

He also said McDonald's (Research) will be developing more portable "on the go" products such as coffee and its breakfast McGriddle sandwiches.

Alvarez said the coffee category offered a big opportunity for the company.

"We believe we can kick it up a notch," he said. "We want to offer great coffee at a very good price and we want to enhance our coffee offerings."

McDonald's is expected to report December same-store sales Tuesday. Analysts expect the fast-food chain to report increased sales for the 33rd straight month, part of a turnaround that began in 2002.
 

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Jason said:
I wonder how Tyson will get the blame for consumers choice on this one?

If the packers did not fight with McDonalds so much on the beef safety issue, maybe they would not have this problem. Packers that have interests in both meats can play the game to make their highest profit margin product win. Pretty simple. Call it consumer choice if you want, Jason. Just like the coke example Tyson(coke) wins. When you give people 2 choices, they are going to chose one. Tyson makes more on their chicken than they do their beef. You just seem to cheer them on.
 

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I would rather get to the root of why do consumers choose chicken over beef.

I think it has been proven that it is price and doctors being anti red meat.

Attacking chicken looks desperate, ignoring consumer demands is arrogant. Neither is conducive to encouraging beef consumption.

By lying to consumers that all beef imported is tainted, it sends a message of don't trust the system in place to protect you. Anyone who says USDA and FDA are inept at enforcing safety standards then blames Tyson for shrinking beef demand is a fool.
 
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If consumers want beef, THEY'LL BUY BEEF!

Hardees, Wendys, and Burger King are just around the corner.


~SH~
 
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Anonymous

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Hopefully its not because McDonalds believes what their scientists are saying about the holes in the BSE safeguards and they are speculating their won't be much beef demand in the next 5-10 years :???: ......

One case of vCJD in North America and there won't be much of an industry for sometime to come.....
 

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Jason said:
I would rather get to the root of why do consumers choose chicken over beef.

I think it has been proven that it is price and doctors being anti red meat.

Attacking chicken looks desperate, ignoring consumer demands is arrogant. Neither is conducive to encouraging beef consumption.

By lying to consumers that all beef imported is tainted, it sends a message of don't trust the system in place to protect you. Anyone who says USDA and FDA are inept at enforcing safety standards then blames Tyson for shrinking beef demand is a fool.

I agree with most of your post here, Jason, except for the last.

"Anyone who says USDA and FDA are inept at enforcing safety standards then blames Tyson for shrinking beef demand is a fool."

I have already posted a study that shows the medical community has a real problem with the overuse of antibiotics in feed for poultry. It may make raising chickens cost less, and yes, lower priced chicken is part of beef's problem, but it also increases the risk that someone contract diseases associated with these "efficiencies". Tyson knows how to put out the spin. Absent bird flu or other disasterous avian diseases, if the beef industry went down the tubes, Tyson would just make a lot more money in chicken. It is already happening.

As I said before, if beef can not promote its product over chicken with the checkoff money, in whatever ingenious ways (like Tyson does with chicken) the competition does, it is captive advertising. MRJ has yet to show that the checkoff has been able to stem the tide of people substituting chicken for beef. Until that is done, the program can not be called a success to anyone but Tyson.
 

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McDonald's Sales Growth Higher Than Expected in Dec.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006


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McDonald's Testing Kiosk Ordering System
CHICAGO — McDonald's Corp. (MCD) Tuesday forecast fourth-quarter earnings slightly ahead of Wall Street estimates as strength in its European business helped push December same-store sales results beyond expectations.

McDonald's shares were up 53 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $35 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant company, expects to report earnings of 48 cents per share for the fourth quarter, including a combined 3-cents-a-share hit from asset impairment charges and the impact of the strengthening dollar.

The company did not give the breakdown between charges and foreign currency translation, but Prudential analyst Larry Miller said the impairment charges were 2 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of about 47 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates. Those estimates do not typically include one-time items such as charges.

In the fourth quarter of 2004, McDonald's earned 31 cents a share.

Sales at McDonald's hamburger restaurants open at least 13 months, a key retail measure known as same-store sales, rose 5 percent in December. The results were ahead of two Wall Street analysts' estimates calling for a rise of 3 percent to 3.7 percent.

(Story continues below)

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Same-store sales rose 4.4 percent in the United States, though analysts had expected a rise of about 6 percent. The company said sales of breakfast and chicken items as well as new gift cards were strong during the month.

In Europe, McDonald's No. 2 market, same-store sales rose 4.6 percent, helped by a Monopoly promotion in Germany as well as strength in France and Russia. Analysts had been expecting European sales to be about flat.

"Europe was a big surprise," Miller said in a note to clients. "The U.S. continues to perform and European sales are steadily improving, which could lead to better margins and upward EPS (earnings per share) revisions in 2006."

It was the seventh straight month of positive same-store sales results in Europe, which had lagged the United States in revitalizing sales over the last three years.

Same-store sales rose 5.9 percent in McDonald's Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa division.

On Monday, the company said it was expecting to make more changes to its business, including menu items.

"You will see a greater variety of freshly prepared foods, with a specific focus on the chicken category and breakfast," Ralph Alvarez, president of McDonald's North America, told the National Retail Federation's annual conference in New York.

McDonald's, which Alvarez said had fallen into the trap of focusing on getting bigger instead of getting better, has been working to revitalize its business, rebuilding and refurbishing its restaurants, adding new menu items and changing its advertising to target specific consumers.

"As a brand, we have to follow the trend," Alvarez said, referring to increasing demand for chicken items despite the fact that McDonald's got its start as a hamburger joint.

Alvarez also said the restaurant chain will expand its beverage offerings, and in March, it will begin putting nutritional information on all product packaging.

In order to respond to the hectic lives of its customers and the strong sales at its drive-thrus, he said McDonald's is working on on-the-go product packaging and putting side-by-side lanes at drive-thrus to speed up the flow of traffic.

Asked whether McDonald's would consider extending its breakfast hours, Alvarez said: "It's something that we hope to be able to do some day" but said it involves changing the set-up of its kitchens.

Alvarez said McDonald's will continue to use targeted advertising on billboards, in magazines and on television to reach its different customers, like mothers or teenagers.

"It's no longer about a 30-second commercial during prime time," he said.
 

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Stephen Byrnes, PhD, RNCP

http://www.powerhealth.net

This paper is a response to “High-Protein Diets--Are You Losing More Than Weight?” by Monique Gilbert. The article appeared in the American Naturopathic Medical Association’s quarterly publication MONITOR (vol.5, #4, 2001) and is posted at http://www.anma.com.

In the December issue of the Monitor, there was an unreferenced article by a self-styled “health advocate” named Monique Gilbert that deserves considerable comment for the large amount of errors and misinformation it contained. “High-Protein Diets--Are You Losing More Than Weight?” is little more than a vegan and soy propaganda piece. If the propaganda were accurate, one could forgive Ms. Gilbert for her zeal. In this case, however, it is not and inaccuracies cost lives.

Clinically, I have used low-carbohydrate, high fat and protein diets to very good effect, especially with those conditions that are worsened by excessive carbohydrate intake, e.g., diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and heart disease. When properly practiced, low-carb diets are not harmful. Furthermore, if one were to follow Ms. Gilbert’s dubious nutritional advice as given in her article, one would actually increase one’s chances of contracting a number of debilitating diseases such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.

Gilbert begins her piece by rightly pointing out the vital need for protein in the human diet. Unfortunately, the errors begin creeping in shortly thereafter. She states that, “Excessive protein consumption, particularly animal protein, can result in heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones.” Though she does not list it, Gilbert would no doubt include cancer as a disease caused by animal protein intake. As I stated at the beginning, the article is unreferenced so these claims have no backing. I have no idea where Gilbert got her “facts” from, but it is certainly not from the scientific literature.

It is excessive carbohydrate intake, not protein or animal protein intake, that can result in heart disease and cancer (1). Readers should note that the type of diet Gilbert advocates in her article is a high carbohydrate one because that is exactly what diets that are low in protein and fat are. Furthermore, the idea that animal products, specifically protein, cholesterol, and saturated fatty acids, somehow factor in causing atherosclerosis, stroke, and/or heart disease is a popular idea that is not supported by available data, including the field of lipid biochemistry (2).

The claim that animal protein intake causes calcium loss from the bones is another popular nutritional myth that has no backing in nutritional science. The studies that supposedly showed protein to cause calcium loss in the urine were NOT done with real, whole foods, but with isolated amino acids and fractionated protein powders (3). When studies were done with people eating meat with its fat, NO calcium loss was detected in the urine, even over a long period of time (3). Other studies have confirmed that meat eating does not affect calcium balance (4) and that protein promotes stronger bones (5). Furthermore, the saturated fats that Gilbert thinks are so evil are actually required for proper calcium deposition in the bones (6).

The reason why the amino acids and fat-free protein powders caused calcium loss while the meat/fat did not is because protein, calcium, and minerals, require the fat-soluble vitamins A and D for their assimilation and utilization by the body. When protein is consumed without these factors, it upsets the normal biochemistry of the body and mineral loss results (7). True vitamin A and full-complex vitamin D are only found in animal fats.

If the protein-causes-osteoporosis theory teaches us anything, it is to avoid fractionated foods (like soy protein isolate, something Gilbert would no doubt encourage readers to consume given her zeal for soy) and isolated amino acids, and to eat meat with its fat. New evidence shows that men and women who ate the most animal protein had better bone mass compared to those who avoided it (8) and that vegan diets (most likely also advocated by Gilbert) place women at a greater risk for osteoporosis (9).

The claim that protein intake leads to kidney stones is another popular myth that is not supported by the facts. Although protein restricted diets are helpful for people who have kidney disease, eating meat does not cause kidney problems (10). Furthermore, the fat-soluble vitamins and saturated fatty acids found in animal foods are pivotal for properly functioning kidneys (11).

Gilbert’s explanation as to how meat supposedly “acidifies” the blood, leading to greater mineral loss in the urine is also incorrect. Theoretically, the sulphur and phosphorus in meat can form an acid when placed in water, but that does not mean that is what happens in the body. Actually, meat provides complete proteins and vitamin D (if the fat or skin is eaten), both of which are needed to maintain proper acid-alkaline balance in the body. Furthermore, in a diet that includes enough magnesium and vitamin B6 and restricts simple sugars, one has little to fear from kidney stones (12). Animal foods like pork, beef, lamb, and fish are good sources of both nutrients as any food and nutrient content table will show. It also goes without saying that high protein/fat and low-carbohydrate diets are devoid of sugar.

Gilbert’s contention that the weight loss on high-protein diets is mostly from water loss is strange given that low-carb proponents like Robert Atkins, MD, tell their devotees to drink lots of water while on the diet. Initially, there is a water loss (as with any diet), but the high water intake afterwards would certainly offset any more drastic “water losses.”

She further claims that weight loss occurs on high protein/fat diets because the person eats less food because he or she gets fuller faster on fat. Given that fat has more than twice as many calories than either protein or carbohydrate, this explanation is far from satisfactory. In other words, you may not eat as many carbohydrates as you did before you went on the high protein diet, but because you’re ingesting more fat, which has over twice as many calories as carbohydrate, your actual caloric intake is likely to stay the same or be higher than it was before.

Gilbert’s claim that , “Plant-based proteins, like that [sic] found in soy, lowers [sic] LDL cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. This prevents the build up of arterial plaque which leads to atherosclerosis . . . and heart disease, thus reducing the risk [of] heart attack and stroke,” is yet another nutritional fantasy in her article that, although popular, is not true. The HDL/LDL theory has been thoroughly debunked by a number of prominent researchers (13) and LDL serves many useful functions in the body--there is nothing “bad” about it (14). Cholesterol is actually used by the body as an antioxidant (15); vegetarian diets do not protect against atherosclerosis or heart disease (16); and female vegans have higher rates of death from heart disease than female meat eaters (17).

Gilbert’s contention that, “Vegetable-protein diets enhance calcium retention in the body,” is simply wrong as “vegetable proteins” do not contain the fat-soluble vitamins A and D which are needed to assimilate calcium (and protein and other minerals). Furthermore, numerous plant compounds like oxalates and phytates inhibit calcium absorption. Unfermented soy products, in particular, are noted for their high phytic acid content and phytates block mineral absorption (18). Soybeans and soy food products are also noted for their high oxalic acid content as a recent study showed (19). The authors of this study concluded that soybeans and soy foods (as well as some other legumes like lentils) should not be eaten by people with a history of oxalate kidney stones.

Gilbert’s recommendation for us to replace vegetable protein for animal protein and unsaturated fats “like olive and canola oils” for saturated fats, is dubious at best and dangerous at worst. A number of recent and prior studies catalog the veritable witches brew of toxins found in processed soy products (20) and canola oil has caused vitamin E deficiencies in lab animals (21). Canola oil is also quite susceptible to rancidity due to its high level of alpha-linolenic acid; in the deodorization process used with canola oil, harmful trans-fatty acids are created (22). Are Gilbert’s recommendations sound or sane for health-conscious people?

Lastly, studies have not borne out the claims that vegetarians have lower cancer rates than the general population. A large study on vegetarian California 7th Day Adventists showed that, while the Adventists had slightly lower rates for some cancers, their rates of malignant melanoma; Hodgkin’s disease; and uterine, prostate, endometrial, cervical, ovarian, and brain cancers were higher than the general population, some quite significantly. In the paper, the authors wrote that,

Meat consumption, however, was not associated with a
higher [cancer] risk.

And that,

No significant association between breast cancer and a high consumption of animal fats or animal products in general was noted. (23)

Indeed, Dr. Emmanuel Cheraskin’s survey of 1040 dentists and their wives showed that those with the fewest health problems as measured by the Cornell Medical Index had the MOST protein in their diets (24).

The facts are that high-protein diets, when consumed in balance with enough water, fat and fat-soluble vitamins, and nutritional factors from non-starchy vegetables, ARE healthy. They are not guilty of the things Gilbert blames on them. Minimally processed animal foods like beef and lamb are healthy foods that are rich in a number of nutrients that protect and enhance several body systems: taurine; carnitine; creatine; glutathione; vitamins A; D; several of the B-complex, including B6 and B12; minerals like chromium, magnesium, sulphur, iron, zinc, and phosphorus; complete proteins; and coenzyme Q10, needed for a healthy heart.

If readers want to get an accurate assessment of lower-carbohydrate diets, they should check out reliable books on the subject (25) and not fatuous articles about them by misinformed individuals like Monique Gilbert.
 

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