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Fast Food: McDonald's Adds Avocado, Ikea Makes Veggie Meatballs, KFC's Double Down Returns

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But to sample that McDonald's burger with avocado, you'll have to find your way to Japan.

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McDonald's Introducing Three Avocado Options in Japan

If there is anyone out there who has a passion for both McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and avocados, a trip to Japan may be in order: McDonald's Japan has debuted a limited-time menu with three sandwiches that feature pieces of avocado. Customers can choose from Avocado Beef, Avocado Chicken, or Avocado Shrimp (a shrimp patty, made in the same fashion as the beef and chicken patties). Each sandwich will come not on the standard white-bread bun but rather on fancier ciabatta. The Avocado Beef comes with bacon, onions, cheddar cheese, and wasabi sauce. The chicken and shrimp options come with spiced cobb salad and cheddar cheese. Each sandwich costs 399 yen, or  about $3.90 USD.


Source: http://www.mcdonalds.co.jp

The healthy avocado-meets-greasy burger experience will be available at Japanese McDonald's restaurants until late May. Maybe California will be next?

Ikea Will Make a Vegetarian Version of Its Famous Meatballs

Last week, a spokesperson for the world's most famous Swedish furniture company told The Telegraph, "A chicken meatball and a veggie ball are under development and will complement our meatball offer next year." As the company's famous, cheap, and addictive meatballs have a cult following, this is big news.

Last Thursday, Ikea's Head of Sustainability Joanna Yarrow spoke at an event to mark the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report. During the speech, she admitted that the famous meatballs are the company's "most carbon intensive" offering. The delicious little morsels are made from beef and pork, meats which have a large carbon foot print, and 150 million of them are ordered per year.

Of course, last year horse meat was found in some European Ikeas, prompting the company to temporarily remove the item from its cafe menu. As Yarrow also told the The Telegraph, "We had people begging us to put them back on the menu, whatever was in them." Perhaps that is a good sign that any kind of meatball, meat-based or vegetarian, will sell well for Ikea. For now, Ikea will continue to offer the original, but will introduce the more carbon-friendly chicken and veggie versions next year.

KFC's Double Down Returns Today

In April 2010, Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is owned by Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM), introduced a limited-time-only sandwich that both enticed and disgusted customers and pushed the envelope for how unhealthy fast food could be. The Double Down, a bacon and cheese sandwich contained not by buns but rather by two fried chicken filets, was so successful in its first month, selling 10 million sandwiches, that KFC extended the limited run. Now, that unapologetic amalgamation of saturated fat is back.


Source: Wikipedia.org

Returning today, the Double Down has begun another limited run; KFC spokesperson Rick Maynard told The Huffington Post that the sandwich will be sold until May 25.

According to HuffPo, many KFC establishments kept the sandwich on their menus well into 2011, and some have even offered the Double Down as an off-the-menu item since its initial debut. Moreover, the company officially re-released the sandwich in the Philippines earlier this year, and added a "junior" version.

Though the Double Down is certainly unhealthy, you can do worse with fast food. From The Consumerist, here are 10 fast food offerings that make KFC's returning champ look a teeny bit healthier.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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