Consumer and retail news: 10 things you need to know today

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1. McDonald’s is bringing out a new weapon against Taco Bell in the budget-breakfast battles

Select McDonald’s locations are offering a McPick 2 breakfast deal, with different combinations available in different regions, reports Brand Eating.

2. Coke and Pepsi are facing a terrifying reality

The total volume of soda consumed in the US dropped 1.2% in last year, compared to a drop of 0.9% in 2014, according to Beverage Digest’s annual report.

3. Fans are claiming that a plus size supermodel was Photoshopped on the cover of a men’s magazine

Ashley Graham made history as the first-ever truly plus size model to appear on the cover of Maxim’s American edition. While this appears to be a huge step for the notoriously masculine magazine, some fans are claiming she’s been Photoshopped.

4. Trader Joe’s is reportedly slashing prices

Deutsche Bank analysts checked the prices on 77 similar items at a New York-based Trader Joe’s store and nearby Whole Foods and found that Trader Joe’s was about 26% cheaper.

5. Two fan favourites at Taco Bell are making a comeback

After three years, the beefy crunch burrito and cheesy double beef burrito will return to Taco Bell menus nationwide on April 21, according to a release.

6. Fast-food workers reveal the items you should never order

A recent Reddit thread asked fast-food employees “what should we never order from you?”
Some respondents had info on what items are overpriced, while others named favourites that they think are gross.

7. Chipotle’s best-case scenario is looking pretty grim

Wedbush analyst Nick Setyan has downgraded Chipotle from neutral to underperform, saying that even in the best-case scenario the chain’s sales wouldn’t recover until 2018.

8. Lululemon made one change that sent sales soaring

Lululemon reported higher-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter and full-year 2015 early Wednesday, and the stock is jumping higher. The company began to organise its pants by fit (or “sensation”) instead of silhouette — so its customers would be less confused about which attire to purchase for different activities.

9. Starbucks is trying to create its own digital currency to keep customers coming back

Starbucks’ deal with Chase achieves several additional objectives for the company. The bank most likely views this deal as a relationship investment in anticipation of further revenue opportunities in the coming years.

10. Walmart desperately needs its new grocery strategy to be a win

Walmart is turning to a new idea for building sales: online grocery pick-up. The program, which allows customers to order groceries online and pick them up at a dedicated station in the parking lot, has been in testing for two years.

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