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Menu news of the week: Nov. 18, 2019

Chefs and R&D teams are busy creating LTOs focused on seasonal foods, but there’s also been a lot of menu activity around drinks this week. Here’s a roundup of recent winter beverage items launched at chain restaurants.
auntie anne's
Photograph courtesy of Auntie Anne's

Auntie Anne’s is marking the holiday season with the debut of Hot Chocolate Frost. The limited-time beverage, a frozen twist on classic hot chocolate, is topped with whipped cream and drizzled with Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Hot Chocolate Frost will be available through Jan. 5.

Dunkin’ is bringing back its Peppermint Mocha flavor, a combo of mint and chocolate, available in hot of iced coffee, cold brew, espresso drinks, frozen coffee and frozen chocolate. Guests looking for a more elaborate drink can opt for the Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte, made with Peppermint Mocha and topped with whipped cream, a mocha drizzle and hot chocolate powder.

Starbucks is offering several limited-time holiday beverages as well, including some favorites returning for another season. Included in the lineup are Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulee Latte, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Chestnut Praline Latte and Eggnog Latte. All come in festive holiday-themed cups.

Gloria Jean's

Photograph courtesy of Gloria Jean's Coffees

Gloria Jean’s Coffees is enticing fans with a new coffee flavor called Winter Wonderland. Developed by an employee for a companywide competition, the winning flavor resembles a blend of sugar cookies, caramel and cinnamon. Winter Wonderland is available as a latte, cold brew, iced coffee and Chiller—an icy coffee drink blended with milk and topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Gloria Jean’s is also offering two other seasonal flavors until Jan. 5: Gingersnap and Sleigh Ride Cookie.

Steak ’n Shake also brought back its seasonal shakes for the holidays. There are four on the roster: Peppermint Chocolate Shake (with pieces of chocolate and peppermint candy), Oreo Cookie White Chocolate Shake, Egg Nog Shake and Pumpkin Spice Shake. 

Shake Shack rolled out its holiday shake options on its Alpine Tree-O menu. The Coconut Snowball is made with coconut and marshmallow frozen custard topped with whipped cream, coconut and sprinkles, while the Christmas Cookie features sugar cookie frozen custard and the Chocolate Peppermint has a base of chocolate frozen custard with peppermint fudge sauce.

Smoothie King detoured from the holiday flavor trend with its launch of two new diet-specific smoothies. The Slim-N-Trim Dark Chocolate Strawberry blends strawberries, cocoa, chocolate protein, protein blend and nonfat milk sweetened with plant-based sweetener, while the Keto Champ Chocolate is a secret menu item featuring cocoa.


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