Posts tagged ‘India’

October 17, 2012

Pizza Hut political stunt may lead to more debate viewers

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, October 15, 2012 – The Daily 49er

http://www.daily49er.com/opinion/pizza-hut-political-stunt-may-lead-to-more-debate-viewers-1.2778872#.UH7q-xweXAg

Topics for debate: education, the economy, health care … meat toppings on pizza?

Last week, Pizza Hut announced that they’d reward a brave soul who would ask the presidential candidates what their favorite toppings are at tonight’s debate.

The company was criticized for its unnecessary involvement in the political campaign, and making a mockery of the presidential candidates for the thought of wasting their time.

“Sausage or pepperoni?”

Pizza Hut had offered one free pizza per week for 30 years or a check for $15,600 to anyone who asked this simple question at the debate. The rules did not specify whether or not the contest winner had to receive an answer from the candidates.

The contest attracted several outlets: those willing to ask the candidates and those slamming the political stunt.

Comedy Central talk show host Stephen Colbert was amused by the situation. He laughed at how the prize of a pie a week could kill you within the 30 years of free pizza. Colbert asked his audience, “What could be more American than using our electoral process for product placement?”

Gawker website ran a headline that read, “Want Free Pizza Hut Pizza for Life? Just Make a Mockery of the American Democratic System on Live TV.” The New Jersey Star-Ledger referred to Pizza Hut as “knucklehead of the week.” The restaurant chain has now altered their contest to question their customers rather than President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. With just an email and zip code to enter, one lucky contestant who answers will be selected at random to win free pizza for life.

“The anticipation and buzz around this question proves that this debate should be taken to the people,” Pizza Hut executive Kurt Kane announced. “We’re no longer asking a few hundred attendees at the town hall presidential debate on Oct. 16 to pose the question, rather we’re bringing the question — Sausage or Pepperoni? — to millions ofAmericans.”

Food industries and politics just don’t mix. Chick-fil-A was recently given a national day from a politician who agreed with the owner’s political views but received negative feedback from customers who just don’t agree. Recently, Papa John’s pizza announced it would raise its prices if Obama’s health care reform law goes into full effect.

All in all, I respect Pizza Hut for creating a competition to encourage people to the watch the debate without choosing and promoting a certain candidate.

Still, the stunt was poorly executed, and the company could have gained support and sales had it gone another route. Through the competition, Pizza Hut may have encouraged many to watch the debate regardless of who is the target of the competition. The first debate between Romney and Obama earlier this month earned about 67.2 million viewers. The viewership should rise, and Pizza Hut may have gained some extra eyes with its ridiculous political stunt.

Krista Brooks is a sophomore journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

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October 2, 2012

McDonald’s should consider a vegetarian menu in America

English: The mdonalds logo from the late 90s

English: The mdonalds logo from the late 90s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Krista Brooks

Published September 5, 2012 – The Daily 49er

http://www.daily49er.com/opinion/mcdonald-s-should-consider-a-vegetarian-menu-in-america-1.2757314#.UGpm_U3A-Gk

McDonald’s Corp. announced it will be opening two vegetarian-only restaurants in India next year.

The fast-food chain is famous for its beef hamburgers, which are not an easy sell in India.

There are currently only 271 McDonald’s restaurants in India and more than 33,500 worldwide. That is less than one percent of the company’s locations.

These new meatless outlets will be set in the Sikh holy city of Amritstar and near the Hindu Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra.

According to a 2001 census, about 80 percent of India’s population is Hindu and more than 13 percent are Muslim. Due to religious dietary restrictions, people of the Hindu faith do not consume beef and Islamic followers avoid pork.

With a wide population of vegetarians, McDonald’s has changed its menus to reflect more of the region’s demands. The Big Mac was altered to the Maharaja Mac, which is made with chicken patties in replace of beef.

This was a good alternative to beef, until customers found that the fast-food chain was seasoning the fries and other products with beef flavoring.

McDonald’s apologized and changed its ingredients to avoid another dispute.

The company also donated money to Hindu foundations and other groups in 2002 to patch things up for its mistake. Now, the company is taking the next step.

The McDonald’s chain is trying to reach out to the Indian population to accommodate their dietary needs.

In the United States, three percent of all beef consumption is made up from McDonald’s.

Without beef, the fast-food restaurants have to be creative in adapting new menu items.

According to the Vegetarian Timesstudies show almost 30 million people in America follow a vegetarian diet.

McDonald’s is being progressive in accommodating India and offering options for diverse consumer needs other than its quick-eats from the dollar menu.

Offering a vegetarian option in America could feed even more than the several billions McDonald’s says it has served.

Last summer, I worked at a cold storage where more than half of my customers asked for non-beef or non-pork meals. It’s safe to say there are plenty of people out there following a vegetarian diet.

McDonald’s is a large corporation with many resources.

Taking the extra step to help accommodate religious diets is admirable. They will reap the benefits of extra customers,an audience that will now have McDonald’s as a food option.

After this progressive move in India, McDonald’s should consider opening a few meat-free restaurants in America or add a separate menu with meatless items.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism student and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

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