Fast Food Prices Rise to Better Reflect True Costs

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“Dollar cheeseburgers and discount nuggets are getting Americans in the door at their favorite fast-food joints, but the savings end there.

Even as the recent fast-food discount wars rage on, with Burger King advertising 10 chicken nuggets for $1 and Pizza Hut offering $5 pies, fast-food items that don’t make it onto value menus are actually climbing in price. Median fast-food hamburger prices have jumped 54 percent over the last decade to about $6.95, according to menu researcher Datassential. Chicken sandwiches are up 27 percent. Both surpass overall U.S. price inflation during that same time.”

“McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain, recently started touting a $6 meal including a burger, fries, a drink and a pie, but it’s also offering plenty of items at the other end of the price scale. Its honey-barbecue glazed chicken tenders are more than $6 without any drinks or sides, and the new Bacon Smokehouse Quarter Pounder meal runs nearly $9 in Chicago.”

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McDonald’s Is Selling Cheesy Bacon Fries In Certain States

“McDonald’s traditional hot and crispy fries are getting jazzed up with two classic add-ons: Smoked bacon bits, and a gooey drizzle of real cheddar cheese sauce. It’s not quite the gravy-and-cheese-curd-topped poutine of our Canadian neighbors, but if you like your fries with a little something extra, this is your side dish.”

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Mount Mozzarella: The US Cheese Surplus Piles Up

CHEESEThere are 1.3 billion pounds of cheese in storage this year.  That’s a lot.  That’s the record, in fact, and it’s a global phenomenon that we’re struggling to deal with.  Two years ago, dairy farmers responded to a spike in demand by massively increasing production, but that demand has trailed off, and our supply is now bulging like a ball of mozzarella.

Fortunately, the USDA is making a conscientious move to help those in need: by purchasing $20 million of the surplus to give to food banks across the country.  This is great for food banks, which don’t usually get much of the good stuff.  However, it’s only a small shred in the pile–less than 1% of the 1.3 billion pounds in storage.

Additionally, it won’t do much for the falling milk price, which is hurting groceries across the country.  In fact, “The Chicago Mercantile Exchange spot prices for cheddar cheese were down following the announcement,” said Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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