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#foodbeast Drinks Fast Food FOODBEAST SPONSORED What's New

Taco Bell Launches A Creamy Pineapple Whip Freeze

As the summer heat begins to lay a sweltering blanket over a spring spent inside doing home activities, Taco Bell is looking to inject some cool air and color into our lives with the release of the Pineapple Whip Freeze.

The newest flavor of their iconic freeze, releasing nationwide on May 21, blends the flavors of tropical pineapple and a vanilla cream to create a smooth, sweet whipped treat that lives up to the delicious reputation of their freezes.

But, if choosing just one flavor isn’t in the cards, Taco Bell is letting fans combine the flavors for a limited time with their secret menu item: the Tie Dye Freeze. For now, you can get a freeze with a blended swirl of the newest flavor and one of their two standby freeze flavors, Baja Blast and Wild Strawberry.

The Pineapple Whip Freeze will be available in two sizes, as per any Taco bell freeze: a regular runs for $2.39, and a large for $2.59. But (and this is the key caveat here, deal-seeking reader) during their Happier Hour, which runs daily from 2-5 PM, a regular can be acquired on the low for just $1.

I don’t know about you, but the prospect of getting anything for a single dollar nowadays is more than enough to reel me in.

Now, a Taco Bell freeze for a dollar, though? I’ll be first in line.


Created in partnership with Taco Bell. 

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Fruits & Vegetables Grocery Hit-Or-Miss Packaged Food SPONSORED

The Meal Prep Service Behind Zac Efron’s Fit Physique

Meal prepping always seems like such a good idea, since eating healthy and saving time is invaluable to most. Putting the plan into action, however, is where the wheels fall off. Besides the challenge that is cooking healthy en masse, the idea of eating the same meal everyday is quite a dreary prospect. However, a Los Angeles company, Z.E.N. Foods, is looking to solve this issue for people, with their personalized, fresh meal plans.

Z.E.N., which stands for Zero Effort Nutrition, provides their customers with a healthy meal plan of three meals a day. What separates them from the pack of diet planning companies, though, is that these meals aren’t some pre-packaged, TV dinner-style meals that coagulate and become homogeneous once microwaved.

What Z.E.N. Foods provides are restaurant quality meals which are sourced from local food vendors, crafted by hand in their LA-based commercial kitchen, dropped off at their customer’s door every morning, and tailor made for each customer’s dietary needs. The budding company offers five different genres of meal plans, each of which can be further customized.

“From the very beginning, those with health problems, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, were very grateful to have an effortless way to change their lives through healthy, nutritious meals. We can customize just about everything. With nutritionists on staff and R&D chefs creating new products every day, the variety is amazing and it’s impossible to get bored,” says CEO and founder Mariana Rossano.

They currently do this for over 2000 people, including A-listers like Zac Efron and Chris Bauer, who have turned to the service to get their bodies in shape for various roles.

This budding success is leading to projected growth this year for the brand.

“We have expanded on the existing program from Z.E.N. Foods… It has just started in May and it’s called “Z.E.N. Classics.” The Classics is basically pure convenience, offering everything in an al a carte fashion from breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, healthy desserts, kid’s meals, to protein shakes and cold pressed juices. The menu will be constantly expanding and we will be adding meals from all cultures,” detailed Rossano of this expansion.

Z.E.N. Foods has also partnered with Southern California’s own Melissa’s Produce to guarantee the freshness in their meals that one would expect from a company that is a top choice for high profile clientele.

With an ever expanding menu, and a multitude of clean eating options, Z.E.N. Foods is poised to make a splash in the fresh meal delivery sector in the coming year. Or, as Rossano succinctly put it:

“Sky’s the limit in 2020.”

Check out www.zenfoods.com to peruse through and purchase one of the various meal plans. Or if you’re looking for pure convenience, check out zenclassics.com for their a la cart meal plan.


Created in partnership with Melissa’s Produce.

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Alcohol

Texas-Based Distillery Giving Out Hand Sanitizer Free of Charge

Hand sanitizer has become somewhat of a commodity nowadays. In case you’re struggling to allocate this essential item on your trips to the store, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has consolidated a list of local distilleries that are producing hand sanitizer for their communities.

With almost every industry pivoting towards providing essential services and products, the distilled spirits community stands out as one of the most helpful, as it works to make a sizable dent in The WHO’s estimated 35 billion liters of hand sanitizer that will be needed in the next year.

Doing this has proved to be a little more difficult than most distilleries thought, as the FDA’s regulations require distilleries to include a denaturant, a chemical that discourages human consumption, into their alcohol. Introducing this into their system would mean that, post-COVID, the distilleries would have to shut down for days, or even weeks, to clean their machinery, which is not economically feasible for most.

Despite this, many distilleries have continued to produce the product, distributing millions of liters.

Some, such as Garrison Brothers Distillery, have even been going the extra mile to assure their community is in good (and sanitized) hands. In addition to producing hand sanitizer themselves, the Austin, TX-based distillery has been giving out their product, entirely free of charge, as well as donating proceeds from some of their alcohol sales to a COVID-19 relief fund.

It’s another example of people going out of their way to help others, a welcome upside in this otherwise bleak situation and a representation of the distillery community’s charity and goodwill. Make sure to check out the website linked above to support distilleries such as Garrison Brothers, and find a hand sanitizer producer near you.

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#foodbeast Feel Good FOODBEAST SPONSORED

Foot Locker Partners With Foodbeast to Deliver 500 Meals to 100% COVID-19 Hospital

Last week, Foodbeast teamed up with Foot Locker LA and HiFi Kitchen, a local Filipino restaurant to announce a delivery of 500 meals to the Los Angeles Surge Hospital over the span of two weeks.

The hospital, which sprang up in the formerly closed St. Vincent Medical Center, has become one of Los Angeles’ treatment epicenters, as it remains a 100% COVID-19 facility.

The meals look to alleviate the ever busy essential staff, whose shifts have left them with little time to eat any substantial meal, according to sources on the ground at the hospital. Options looked to account for any dietary restrictions as well, with workers choosin from Chicken Adobo, pescatarian La’Ing, or vegetarian La’Ing rice bowls.

In addition, Melissa’s Produce will be donating fresh produce to the hospital’s staff weekly for the next eight weeks, so as to make eating healthy ever convenient.

Austin, TX-based distillery Garrison Brothers contributed to the cause as well, donating 200 6oz bottles of their housemade hand sanitizer, which has become one of the city’s rarest commodities.

“Just to be able to give back in some way and show our appreciation for these literal heroes putting their well-being on the line to care for the health of others is special. Let’s all go show love to medical, essential, and front line workers, and give them their roses while they can smell them.” said Reach Guinto, Foodbeast managing editor, who helped deliver the first batch of 250 meals last Friday.

The next round of meals will be delivered Friday, May 8. Stay tuned to Foodbeast for updates, as well as any news regarding food related pandemic relief.


Created in partnership with Foot Locker LA.

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Brand Packaged Food Video

Hidden Valley Ranch Releases New Line of Restaurant-Style Secret Sauces

Few things on this Earth are more dependable than the fact that if a restaurant has a “secret sauce,” that sauce is undoubtedly going to be delicious, and go well with almost anything on the menu. The only problem with “secret sauce” is just that— it’s secret.

Well, fear not my sauce loving friends, Hidden Valley Ranch has solved this issue. They have a new restaurant-style sauce that brings that classic “secret” taste to your home.

The new sauce is available in three flavors, guaranteeing a pairing that’ll spice up almost any food you bring home. Each will have you reaching to throw away that crusty bottle of ketchup in your fridge, but here’s a quick breakdown to help you choose one that’s right for you. Feel free to mix and match, though. Go crazy.

The original flavor is cool and tangy, and goes well with any classic takeout foods, like burgers or sandwiches.

The smokehouse is reminiscent of a BBQ ranch, and can kick any boring fries or tater tots up a notch or five.

And, of course, there’s got to be a spicy one. The last kind will make zesting up any taco or meat/rice bowl easier than ever.

Best of all, each bottle comes equipped with a trusty cap that makes drizzling sauce all over your meal a breeze.

Check out the above News Bites video for trusted Foodbeast Elie Ayrouth’s in-depth tasting notes and advice on pairings for each variation of the sauces.

Hidden Valley Ranch’s new Secret Sauce can be purchased at Walmart, online or in-stores, for $3.48.

Secret sauce lovers, ranch lovers, rejoice. Your issues have been solved.

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Brand Cravings What's New

Skittles Premieres New Sour Skittles-Infused Ice Cream Bars

As spring transitions to summer, so too do snack cravings. Gone are the big bags of sweets that are to be devoured under three blankets while watching movies. It’s time for ice cream. But, as we sit in the in-between period of the change — too hot for a sweater, but not hot enough for a t-shirt— a cravings crisis begins to form. Much like choosing an outfit, choosing the appropriate snack can be a downright challenge.

Enter, Crazy Sour Skittles Coolers, the hybrid ice cream-candy. 

The new treat is the latest in the candy’s ice cream bars, the first of which dropped last February. The premise remains the same: deliver the Skittles experience, but make it ice cream. Except now, the humble Sour Skittle is the star of the show. 

This is accomplished by dipping a fruit-flavored, Skittles-infused ice cream bar in a “sour fruit sorbet.” 

The results can be seen on the Instagram page @newfoodsuk, who reported the find at an Iceland Foods supermarket. 

The response to the account’s post were, unsurprisingly, mixed. But, it’s hard to imagine ice cream and candy not being good together (or at least good enough to try) so this seems like an easy move for candy fiends.

Unfortunately, this is a UK-only product, so any stateside Skittles fanatics will have to find something else to fulfill their cravings.

I’m sorry, Marshawn

Categories
Cravings Culture Deals Fast Food Feel Good News What's New

Checkers & Rally’s Are Giving Out Free Meals to Healthcare Workers

 

Known for their “Crazy Good Food,” Checkers & Rally’s have shifted their focus towards crazy good hospitality.

Now, at all 250 locations nationwide, first responders and medical workers can get a free small combo at the fast food chain, solely by showing up in their uniform.

Each combo includes a small order of fries, a small drink, and a choice of one of the following entrees: Big Buford (which may be the best name out there for a fast food item), Cheese Champ, Chili Dog, BBQ Bacon Roadhouse, Half-Pound Chicken Bites, Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Baconzilla, 5-piece Wings, or a Deep Sea Double. 

The restaurant’s employees will also benefit from the policy, as they’ve been deemed “essential workers,” and will get a free small meal for every shift they work.

This is in addition to the $100,000 they donated to No Kid Hungry that’s estimated to provide a million meals to children, and certainly shows a commitment to helping the communities that surround each location, which is rare for such a large chain. 

Hats off, Checkers & Rally’s.

 

Photo: Jeremy Brooks
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Fast Food News Plant-Based Sustainability What's New

KFC Will Be Selling Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets In China Next Week

On Monday, KFC announced that it will be selling vegan chicken nuggets in China from April 28 to April 30, as it continues its expansion into the plant-based market.

The fast food giant said that the nuggets will be sold in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, and will be manufactured by Cargill Ltd. 

This comes after extremely successful plant-based product testing in multiple countries, which showed enough consumer demand to expand the dishes into more locations in the US. Notably, the company is using a different manufacturer for the Chinese launch, as they tapped Beyond Meat in the US and Lightlife in Canada, respectively.

This isn’t the only way in which the brand’s Chinese release differs. Customers will have to purchase a pre-sale voucher for 1.99 yuan that entitles them to five chicken pieces, according to the company’s official Weibo account. 

This is an interesting path to take, as KFC surely looks to avoid the expansive line that occurred during the high profile Atlanta launch of the company’s plant-based fried chicken. It’s reminiscent of the pre-sale lotteries and raffles that many sneaker companies have done to avoid real-life lines and online crashes during hyped shoe releases. 

We’ll surely be keeping our eyes peeled for any visuals of the new nuggets, as well as any potential plant-based nugget voucher resale market, so check back soon.