2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
The American consumer is a redoubtable beast. Unemployment is high, and wage growth has been essentially flat for a year, but according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census, retail spending — the backbone of the U.S. economy — grew a robust 1.6 percent in March, compared to February. Any way you slice the data — with or without gasoline sales, with or without auto sales — the numbers beat economist expectations. Calculated Risk, possibly the least-prone-to-hype economic commentator on the Web, says without qualification: “this is a strong report.” The Dow and the S&P 500 promptly hit new highs (since the height of the financial crisis.)
Consumer debt is falling. Last week, the Federal Reserve reported that Americans paid down their debts by $11.5 billion in February. But as noted above, we aren’t making any more money — real average hourly earnings for all U.S. employees fell 0.2 percent from February to March. “Over the past 9 months,” reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “real average weekly earnings have changed little.”
So, we’re spending more on retail goods, paying down our debts, and at the same time, experiencing no growth in income. And we’re certainly not using our homes as ATMs any more. So as one might expect, personal savings rates are back on their way down.
How is that possibly sustainable?
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.