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Branded menu items make a difference

mcalister's garden fresh turkey

Putting well-known brands and logos on restaurant menus is hot right now—and for good reason. Brand-name ingredients on menus can boost sales, increase consumer trust and drive traffic.

For example, 62% of consumers say they like to order desserts with brand-name ingredients at restaurants, according to a recent Technomic Dessert Consumer Trend Report. And 37% of consumers say having their preferred beverage brand on the menu drives restaurant visits, Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend Report found.

What’s more, over half (54%) of consumers say they’d be willing to pay more for sandwiches that feature brand-name condiments or spreads, according to Technomic’s 2016 Sandwich Consumer Trend report.

From sweet ingredients to savory, here’s a look at how some chains are adding branded ingredients to their menus.

McAlister’s Deli recently rolled out a Garden Fresh Turkey sandwich LTO. It features Butterball smoked turkey, Havarti, spinach, guacamole, tomatoes and olive oil vinaigrette on nine-grain bread. The chain had previously menued a California Turkey Reuben with Butterball turkey, coleslaw, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

White Castle’s seasonal menu has called out Turkey Sliders featuring Butterball turkey patties with Dusseldorf Mustard as well as Cranberry Spritzer beverages made with Sprite.

Numerous chains have offered items featuring Oreo cookies, including Carvel Ice Cream (limited-time Oreo soft-serve ice cream), Tim Hortons (limited-time Oreo-topped doughnuts), A&W All-American Food (peppermint Oreo shakes for the holidays) and Burger King (Oreo Chocolate Shake with vanilla soft serve, Oreo pieces, chocolate sauce and whipped topping).

TGI Fridays regularly features items with Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce, such as the Jack Daniel’s Full-Rack of Ribs. The chain also calls out the brand in cocktails like Jack Daniel’s Blue Fire Lemonade, Jack Daniel’s Firecracker Sangria and Jack Daniel’s Peach Honey Smash.

Taco Bell has found great success with its co-branded Doritos Locos line of tacos, selling more than 1 million of them chainwide each day, according to media reports.

Additionally, calling out alcohol beverage brands is popular, as research shows that consumers seek out their preferred brands for beverages. Hard Rock Cafe’s summer Mason jar drink menu, for example, featured several drinks with Bacardi rums like Black Cherry Frozen Lemonade, Paradise Punch and the Tropical Rock.

Similarly, The Cheesecake Factory offered a Bourbon & Honey drink featuring Four Roses bourbon and a Peach Mint Julep that called out Maker’s Mark. And Benihana covered a range of brands with its Long Island Iced Tea LTO featuring Bacardi rum, Hendrick’s gin, Patron Silver tequila, Grey Goose vodka and Combier Liqueur d’Orange.

Calling out trusted brand names on your menu can drive sales and build consumer loyalty. 

This post is sponsored by Butterball Foodservice

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