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McMuffins at Midnight, Whopper Holder Fail, and Behold the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger

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Plus, 7-Eleven goes mini for breakfast.

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Kudos to the heavyweights in the fast food industry for making additional efforts to market some of their "healthier" options like yogurt and salads over the last few years. Anti-obesity efforts aside, however, it looks like sometimes the gloves have to come off and these companies just need to embrace their gluttonous side.

(See also: Healthy Foods That Aren't)

Yum (NYSE:YUM), with its holdings KFC and Pizza Hut releasing the notorious fried-chicken-for-bread Double Down and cheese-burger-stuffed Crown Crust Pizza respectively, may just be the heavyweight champ of the grease division. This week, however, it seems like everybody wanted a part of the action.

McDonald's to Add Mix-and-Match Menu

Starting June 1, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) restaurants will be offering the After Midnight Menu. Those who have repeatedly failed to meet the 10:30 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. deadline for breakfast will now get another shot. Starting at 12:00 a.m., the new menu will allow customers to pick select breakfast items as well as the traditional late night Mickey D's Big Mac or McNuggets.

With a Scarborough report in 2012 claiming that McDonald's controlled 48% of the breakfast market, the chance to grab an Egg McMuffin or hashbrown after hours may just prove popular enough to sway those in search of a late-night meal.

For now, those hoping for all-day breakfast at the Golden Arches will have to wait, but with CEO Don Thompson acknowledging the possibility in a recent interview with CNBC and the addition of this new menu, the future for an afternoon McMuffin looks bright.

Burger King Frees Up Customers' Hands

For the celebration of its 50th anniversary in Puerto Rico, Burger King (NYSE:BKW) gave away 50 plastic Whopper holders for consumers to wear around their necks. This new device, which cradles the burger at roughly mouth height, is actually late to the hands-free fast food trend. McDonald's beat it to the punch with its car-friendly French fry holder which was available in Japan this April.

This move by Burger King looks to be more of a promotion rather than the introduction of a new product. The video that accompanies the release of the product highlights people eating whoppers while playing the guitar, inking tattoos, walking dogs, and more. Although the video appears to be a parody, the idea may be a blunder.

For many, fast food already epitomizes the stereotypically lazy and overweight American. The idea that actually being forced to hold a burger and bring it up to one's mouth is just too much work does not seem to be garnering much of a positive reaction thus far, despite the video's wild popularity online.

Burger King's removal of the official video, which leaves only reposted versions to view, could be a sign that its new toy didn't go over exactly as planned.

A Wendy's Bun Upgrade Brings a Stock Upgrade

If a bacon cheeseburger just wasn't hitting the spot, Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN) has decided to up the ante. The new Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger sports a pretzel bun and tested incredibly well in Ohio markets, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The new premium offering was actually one of the top test products for the chain in the last 20 years. With this information at hand, Lead Restaurant Analyst Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets updated Wendy's stock from "neutral" to "buy," according to Fox News.

The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger may not have the shock factor of KFC's Double Down, but Wendy's could be in for some additional sales when this new creation releases nationally later this year.

7-Eleven Adds to Its Morning Offerings

After its Chicken Chipotle Mini Tacos proved to be a snacking success earlier this year, 7-Eleven (OTCMKTS:SVNDY) has decided to try a new product with a similar theme but with a change up in meal time. The new Breakfast Empanada Bites are stuffed with cheese, egg, and bacon or sausage.

Three of these mini morning bites will be available for just $1. The company may not be competing directly with the likes of Burger King, McDonald's and Wendy's, but for those stopping off on their way to the office in the morning, this new treat might provide just one more reason to keep coming back.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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