McDonald's sees its 16th consecutive increase
McDonald's Corp. reported its 16th consecutive increase in monthly same-store sales despite a slight drop in Europe, reports the Associated Press. The fast-food chain said its comparable sales were up 7.2 percent at its U.S. restaurants and 3.9 percent worldwide. Sales in Europe fell 2.1 percent, a drop the company blamed on weak performance in Germany, poor weather, and a decline in tourism across the continent. The latest strong performance at U.S. McDonald's was credited to improved service, marketing, and expanded menu variety, including the recent launch of Chicken Selects. McDonald's stock rose 52 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $27.90 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, September 9.
Beef spending up $22B in 10 years
Consumers will spend $68 billion on beef in 2004, according to a report released from the Texas Beef Council. If the beef industry were a private corporation, those revenues would rank it ninth, right behind IBM, in the Fortune 500 list. The 2004 figures represent a $22 billion increase over 1995, which was three years before the beef checkoff program helped stabilize beef demand after 20 years of decline. The projections were made by Cattle-Fax, the beef industry economic analysis arm.
Packers charged with fraud
Criminal charges have been brought against three Canadian meat processors who sold possibly tainted meat. The provincial police in Ontario, Canada, brought criminal fraud charges against Walter Clare and his sons, Jeffrey and Jay. All three are owners of Alymer Meat Packers Inc., a slaughter and meat-processing company in the southwest region of the province. The men were also criminally charged under the Food and Drugs Act with selling meat unfit for human consumption and labeling meat in a manner that was false, misleading, or deceptive regarding its safety. They are scheduled to appear in St. Thomas court on October 19, 2004. The company was separately charged with fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. The government alleges that Alymer employees last summer knowingly accepted and processed cattle that were dead when they arrived at the plant. Meat from the carcasses was then mixed with carcasses from animals that entered the plant alive. The plant's license was suspended after a search August 21, 2003.
Tyson makes FORTUNE list
Tyson Foods has been listed by FORTUNE magazine as one of America's fastest growing companies. The Springdale, AR-based company ranks 44th on FORTUNE's list of "The 100 Fastest Growing Companies." Tyson is the highest ranked food company and the only meat protein company to be included. "It's an honor to be recognized for the progress we've been making since our acquisition of IBP three years ago," said John Tyson, chairman and CEO. "We're continuing our aggressive campaign to increase our value-added product sales over the next three to five years and believe our recently unveiled 'Powered by Tyson' marketing campaign will boost our efforts." Over the past three years Tyson has experienced a 41 percent earnings-per-share growth, 49 percent increase in revenue and a total return of 32 percent.
Aussie beef exports slip
Beef exports from Australia, a major global exporter, slipped a little in August from July, but remain well up on shipments in August 2003, according to the latest official figures. Exports to the U.S. grew sharply in August from July, while exports to Japan fell, resulting in the U.S. overtaking Japan as the major beef export destination, the figures show. The figures confirm the overwhelming reliance of these two major markets on the overall trade. Total beef exports in the first eight months of this year of 591,243 metric tons were up 7.4 percent from the year-earlier period, mostly reflecting sharply higher exports to Japan.
Carl's Jr. on the road
Fast-food burger chain Carl's Jr., Carpintera, CA, is taking its signature hamburgers, fries and several other menu items beverages on the road to select football games this season. Carl's Jr. traveling Star Diner restaurant-on-wheels visited the University of Utah versus Texas A&M tailgate party on Thursday, September 2. Typically, the Star Diner will stay fairly close to its home base in California, but Carl's Jr. believes the Utah trek was a fun, innovative way to allow loyal customers, and potential customers, to sample its Six Dollar Burger, Famous Star hamburger, and Western Bacon Cheeseburger. The diner's final destination will be Magna, UT, where a recently opened Carl's Jr. franchise "adopted" a local high school. The restaurant will kick off assistance for Cypress High School with a visit from the Star Diner to raise funds for the athletic department.