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Hit-Or-Miss

Outback Steakhouse Jumps Into the NFT Space

Outback Steakhouse has entered the metaverse and everything’s coming up onions. The home of the “Bloomin’ Onion” sold 8,000 NFTs in 20 minutes. 

Created as part of its Outback TeamMATES program, the NFTs were made available to consumers for free on National Onion Day (June 27) and are redeemable at all Outback Steakhouses for rewards from the brand. 

To close out the Spring 2022 semester, Outback also teamed with eight new college baseball and softball athletes, signing them to NIL deals as part of the Outback TeamMATES program

The TeamMATES class of 2022 for college baseball and softball includes the University of Oklahoma Softball’s Jocelyn Alo and Jayda Coleman, University of Washington Softball’s Baylee Klingler and Kelley Lynch, University of Tennessee Baseball’s Jordan Beck and Ben Joyce, and University of Florida Baseball’s Hunter Barco and Colby Halter. 

Each TeamMATE promoted the NFTs on their social media channels, alerting fans about the opportunity to own digital collectables that unlock access to exclusive prizes offered by Outback. 

Outback will continue to build the TeamMATES program with additional male and female college athletes throughout the year, with all eligible student-athletes for the 2022/2023 school year encouraged to apply for consideration at www.outback.com/teammates. The deadline for the fall application period is August 12, 2022. 

To date, Outback Steakhouse has fielded more than 350 applications and has accepted 150 athletes across 24 different NCAA Division I sports into the program.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Juicy Marbles Aims to Make Plant-Based Food Less Preachy and More Tasty

Photo: ALAB Group

The race to revolutionize how we consume protein has been a nail-biter. Hoping to convert life-long meat eaters, many plant-based brands claim to match the real thing. In some cases, respectable results have been achieved, yet most have fallen short. 

Coming fast around the bend is Slovenia-based upstart Juicy Marbles — a company we reported on last year for their plant-based filet mignon — who’s intent on recreating plant-based steak that meat-lovers will enjoy. Still in its early stages, the brand has been whetting appetites by releasing monthly limited-supply drops. Their recent US launch sold out in under eight hours due to hungry plant-based and curious carnivores alike waiting in mouthwatering anticipation. 

Surprisingly, Juicy Marbles is spearheaded by scientists with varying diets. Using advanced science, they aim to find the flavor and texture sweet spot and satisfy palates that simply enjoy delicious food. Their dynamic team underscores the brand’s goal of changing how we view and talk about meat made from plants. 

Photo: ALAB Group

Often in the plant-based world, branding leans heavily on product benefits. Vladimir Mikovic, Chief and Brand Creative for Juicy Marbles straight-shoots, “We [the plant-based category] need to stick our heads out of our asses. I’ve noticed that telling people how much water, land or animal lives they saved makes them feel challenged or guilty. Using such messaging as the top marketing hierarchy for selling food is something that I believe we need to challenge if we are to grow as a category.”

He believes many people think eating more plant-based foods requires an identity shift, and he wants Juicy Marbles to show that that is just not the case.

Using their patented Meat-o-matic Reverse Grinder™ 9000, Juicy Marbles’ team of scientists have combined their genius to mimic the muscle texture and marbling of actual meat. A simplified explanation of the process is that it involves layering fibers from the bottom up with all-natural ingredients, no printing, GMOs or laboratory alterations. The meat itself is mostly composed of soy and sunflower seed oil which provides the fatty texture.

According to Mickovic, the flavor and aroma are the most challenging parts to get right. Since joining the team in 2020, he’s lost count of how many iterations of Juicy Marbles he’s taste tested. While the current version hitting the streets is certainly delicious, they still feel it isn’t quite market-fit yet and continue to make improvements.

Photo: ALAB Group

From your average food blogger to popstar Lizzo, word of mouth has been spreading like wildfire. While the buzz builds, Mickovic says what’s most important is offering a healthy product without requiring a lifestyle change.

“Perhaps you don’t have to change who you are as a person in order to eat more plant-based,” Mickovic emphasizes.

Interested in trying plant-based steak? Make sure to visit their site and join the list for the next limited-supply release. The goal is to enter restaurants later this year with retail shortly following.

Mickovic looks to strip away the plant-based pretense and have you walk away from the Juicy Marbles experience feeling like, “Fuck, this is sick!”

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#foodbeast Adventures Cravings Drinks Food Festivals FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss News SPONSORED Theme Parks What's New

Knott’s Berry Farm’s Summer Nights Just Made Your Evenings At The Park Even Tastier

@yungfoodbeast Whole squad devoured the menu at @Knott’s Berry Farm ♬ original sound – Foodbeast

Do not let these Summer nights slip away without getting your hands (and mouth) on all of Knott’s Berry Farm’s refreshing new night time treats. On select evenings between now and September 5, 2022, you and your fellow Foodbeasts can soak in all the goodies Knott’s Summer Nights has waiting for you.

Knott’s Summer Nights festivities begin at 5:30pm until park closing time, so there is plenty of time to fill your appetite, and then some. While everything can be ordered a la carte, the best way to get started is by purchasing an exclusive Summer Nights Tasting Card at the park so you can feast on six of their excellent offerings.  

As usual, our resident Foodbeasts took the time to experience Knott’s Summer Nights for themselves, to guide your mouths toward a feast worthy of your Summer memories.  Some of our favorites included corn on the cob with lemon butter dusted with Old Bay seasoning or ranch and buffalo flavor, waffle chicken sliders with honey mustard coleslaw, Cowboy Stew chili with Kielbasa and a waffle biscuit, Boysenberry Dippin’ Dots ice cream, and the peach and pineapple shaved ice.

An assortment of exclusive, refreshing alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages are included in the tasting card, like the sparkling watermelon lemonade, raspberry mojito, blood orange michelada, mango smoothie and much more. 

If all of that doesn’t already scream “Summer!”, building your own s’mores and roasting them around the fire pits located near the Calico Mine Stage may do it for you. Aside from the dozens of food tasting opportunities, Knott’s Summer Nights also has an assortment of lawn games and three main “party” zones with live musical performances to keep you entertained well into the evening. 

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Hit-Or-Miss News Packaged Food Products

Sriracha Production Halts Due to Chili Pepper Shortage

Huy Fong Inc.’s Sriracha hot sauce is a pantry staple in many kitchens, being a versatile condiment that can pair its piquant and fiery brand with practically any meal. But sadly, fans may have to look elsewhere for a replacement sauce for the time being.

The company has said that due to chili pepper shortages, it will be halting production of its signature Sriracha hot chili sauce as well as its Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek products, and will not accept any new orders placed before September. Any orders placed before Labor Day would be fulfilled in the subsequent fall season, due to lack of inventory.

“We are still endeavoring to resolve this issue that has been caused by several spiraling events, including unexpected crop failure from the spring chili harvest,” Huy Fong Inc. shared in a statement. “We hope for a fruitful fall season and thank our customers for their patience and continued support during this difficult time,” they continued.

In light of the unfortunate news, some folks have begun hoarding the current supplies of Huy Fong Inc.’s Sriracha, worried about the uncertain future of their favorite condiment.

The ambiguity of Sriracha’s future could leave fans with no other choice but to find a replacement hot sauce in the meantime.

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Brand Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss What's New

Is Taco Bell’s New Brisk® Dragon Paradise™ Sparkling Iced Tea the Next MTN DEW® Baja Blast™?!?

MTN DEW® Baja Blast™ has been quenching thirsts in legendary fashion at Taco Bell locations for the better part of two decades. The iconic run of the fan favorite has solidified itself as the go-to sip after crushing some Crunchwraps and Mexican Pizzas. And though the crown has rested well on MTN DEW® Baja Blast™ all these years, Taco Bell may have another new beverage exclusive on par in Brisk® Dragon Paradise™ Sparkling Iced Tea. It’s primed to carry the proverbial torch as the next hit drink.

There’s buzz around Brisk® Dragon Paradise™, as it steps up as a vibrant and perfectly fizzy drink, one that creatively blends refreshing iced tea and the bold flavors of dragonfruit, berries and hibiscus.

Taco Bell has an illustrious rep for its exclusive beverage offerings, with MTN DEW® Baja Blast™ paving the way for Brisk® Dragon Paradise™ to be the next icon for fans to enjoy when they pull up to a Taco Bell location*. 

With Brisk® Dragon Paradise™ already drawing some excitement as the next destination drink at Taco Bell, fans are curious to try it and see if it’s the next top tier thirst quencher.

*Available at participating US locations.
BRISK®️ is a registered trademark used under license.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Gotham Greens and the Grateful Dead Collab for Sustainability and Plant-Based Eating

Photo: Gotham Greens

Legendary hippie-era rock band Grateful Dead have partnered with indoor farming company Gotham Greens on a limited-edition lettuce medley. 

Using Gotham Greens’ best-selling Gourmet Medley lettuce mix, Deadheads and non-Deadheads alike can enjoy Grateful Greens, a custom-packaged offering that features the band’s iconic Dancing Bears.

The collaboration is rooted in a shared commitment to sustainability, community and plant-based eating. Hoping to expand the experience, it also includes a scannable QR-code which unlocks a Grateful Dead playlist to enjoy while preparing a meal. 

“Over the years, what has really stuck with me is not only the music itself but also the monumental cultural impact of the Grateful Dead community,” said Viraj Puri, Co-Founder and CEO of Gotham Greens. “Alongside Gotham Greens’ core commitment to the highest standards of sustainability, cultivating a meaningful community is equally important to us at every level of our company. As we celebrate our continued growth nationwide, it’s the perfect time to highlight our commitment to growing plants that make our consumers excited to introduce more greens into their diets and underscores our deep commitment to the communities we are a part of. Partnering with the Grateful Dead is not only incredible on a personal level but really speaks to our collective passion for preserving the earth and bringing joy back to cooking and eating plants.”

Photo: Gotham Greens

Further cementing their commitment, for every pack sold, Gotham Greens and the Grateful Dead are planting trees in partnership with Forest Nation, a for-profit sustainable business with a focus on reforestation.

“Eating your greens has never felt so great,” said David Lemieux, the Grateful Dead’s Archivist and Legacy Manager. “It’s not always possible to ‘think globally, act locally’— but Gotham Greens puts this into action. I love that they grow healthy food near you in incredibly sustainable ways, so the greens don’t have to travel far to get to your plate. Just as the Grateful Dead changed so much of how things were done within the music industry, Gotham Greens is an innovator, too, in making local food possible on a grand scale.”

Grateful Greens can be found at grocery stores nationwide through September 2022.

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Hit-Or-Miss Recipes What's New

Reynold’s Wrap Gets Silly With Candied Ham Recipes For Easter

This past Thanksgiving, Reynolds Wrap unveiled turkey recipes influenced by regional hot dog styles from around America, so we already know they’re not afraid to get weird. This spring, Reynolds Wrap is channeling Easter candy energy for some new ‘Candied Ham’ recipes.

Reynolds Wrap has just unveiled three Candied Ham recipes so wild that Easter brunch is about to hit way too different. Fans can either try out The Jelly Bean Ham, The Sour Candy Ham or The Marshmallow Ham. Salty and sweet are usually an undefeated combo, so I’ll give Reynolds Wrap the benefit of the doubt on this one.

The Candied Hams recipes are to help promote Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Foil, so make use of it if you’re taking a crack any of them. For full recipe details check out reynoldsbrands.com.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Jack In The Box Trolls McDonald’s On World’s Largest Digital Billboard

“Ice cream machines that work. What a concept.”

“Don’t get McShammed. Get Jack’s new Mint Shake.”

Jack In The Box said the above with its whole chest, throwing 40,000 square feet of shade at McDonald’s for the latter brand’s perpetually broken ice cream machines — all on the world’s largest digital billboard.

McDonald’s faulty ice cream machines have long been a running joke in the fast food world, so much so that website McBroken.com was developed to track which ones are not working.

In an all out assault on Mickey D’s mechanical woes and to promote its limited edition Oreo Cookie Mint Shake, Jack In The Box has taken over McBroken.com for the month of March as well as trolled its ice cream machine-challenged nemesis on the largest digital billboard in the world — which just so happens to be right next to a McDonald’s location in Downtown Los Angeles.

Your move McDonald’s. This frosty feud can only heat up.