Category: Coke


http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/112284/subway-passes-mcdonalds

by Julie Jargon
Monday, March 7, 2011

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    It’s official: the Subway sandwich chain has surpassed McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCDNews) as the world’s largest restaurant chain, in terms of units.

    At the end of last year, Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide, compared to McDonald’s 32,737. The burger giant disclosed its year-end store count in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late last month.

    The race for global dominance is an important one for an industry that’s mostly saturated in the U.S. High unemployment and economic uncertainty have battered the restaurant industry in the U.S., and chains are increasingly looking overseas for growth, particularly in Asia.

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    Starbucks Corp. Honda (Nasdaq: SBUXNews) recently said it plans to triple its number of outlets in China, for example. Dunkin’ Brands Inc., parent of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, plans to open thousands of new outlets in China in coming years as well as its first stores in Vietnam in the next 18 months. Subway just opened its 1,000th location in Asia, including its first in Vietnam.

    Subway, which opened its first international restaurant in 1984, in Bahrain, expects its number of international restaurants to exceed its domestic ones by 2020, says Don Fertman, Subway’s Chief Development Officer. The chain currently has just over 24,000 restaurants in the U.S., where it generated $10.5 billion of its $15.2 billion in revenue last year.

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    The closely held company, owned by Doctor’s Associates Inc., does not disclose its profits.

    McDonald’s is still the leader when it comes to sales. The burger chain reported $24 billion in revenue last year. “We remain focused on listening to and serving our customers, and are committed to being better, not just bigger,” a McDonald’s spokeswoman says.

    Subway, which surpassed the number of McDonald’s in the U.S. about nine years ago, expects China to eventually become one of its largest markets. The sandwich shop only has 199 restaurants in China now, but expects to have more than 500 by 2015.

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    Subway has achieved its rapid growth, in part, by opening outlets in non-traditional locations such as an automobile showroom in California, an appliance store in Brazil, a ferry terminal in Seattle, a riverboat in Germany, a zoo in Taiwan, a Goodwill store in South Carolina, a high school in Detroit and a church in Buffalo, New York.

    “We’re continually looking at just about any opportunity for someone to buy a sandwich, wherever that might be. The closer we can get to the customer, the better,” Mr. Fertman says, explaining that it now has almost 8,000 Subways in unusual locations. “The non-traditional is becoming traditional.”

    // The company has some concerns about the economies of certain international markets, such as Germany and the United Kingdom. The company is trying to develop more affordable offerings in those countries, similar to the $5 foot-long sandwiches that have been successful in the U.S.

    “Finding that kind of value proposition in those countries is essential,” Mr. Fertman says.

    I heard about this last night. I’m sad because I love McDonald’s. But, theres nothing I can do about it. So please comment and tell me what you think.

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110215/ts_yblog_thelookout/did-nprs-this-american-life-discover-cokes-secret-formula

    One of the most closely guarded trade secrets in the history of commerce may be a secret no more: the radio show “This American Life” thinks it has found the exact recipe for the world’s most popular soft drink in a 1979 newspaper article.

    According to the show’s host, Ira Glass, the drink’s secret flavoring component, which was created by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886, is something called “Merchandise 7X.” The show’s staff recently stumbled across the February 8, 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which published an article on page 28 about a leather-bound notebook that once belonged to Pemberton’s best friend, another pharmacist in the Atlanta area named R. R. Evans. The notebook contained a number of pharmacological recipes–but the main entry, for students of commercial history, was what’s believed to be the exact recipe for the soft drink: all of the ingredients listed with the exact amounts needed to whip up a batch.

    The Journal-Constitution piece also featured a photo of the page in Evans’ notebook detailing Coke recipe–essentially revealing the recipe to the world. But since 1979 well antedated the explosion of digital media, the photograph of the recipe didn’t travel far beyond the Atlanta area.

    Coke’s recipe is one of the most closely guarded secrets in American commerce, steeped in cloak-and-dagger lore. After businessman Asa Griggs Candler bought out Pemberton–who also conjured up cough medicines and blood purifiers, among other things–in 1887 for $2,300, the exact recipe for 7X was placed in the vault in an Atlanta bank. It’s been reported that only two company employees are privy to its ingredients and how they’re mixed at any given time–and that those two aren’t allowed to travel together out of fear that a traveling accident might take both of their lives.

    According to company historian Mark Pendergrast, Candler was so paranoid about the recipe leaking out of his proprietary control that he would go through the company mail himself to prevent any employees from seeing invoices that might tip off its ingredients.

    “It’s this carefully passed-on secret ritual,” Pendergrast told Glass, “and the formula is kept in a bank vault at Sun Trust, which used to be the Georgia Trust Company.”

    After Pendergrast reviewed the recipe in the 1979 newspaper photo, he concluded that it could well be the real deal: “I think that it certainly is a version of the formula,” he said, adding, “It’s very similar to a formula that I found” in one of John Pemberton’s notebooks when he was doing research for the book. Coke, for its part, denies that the security of its secret formula has been breached. “Many third parties, including ‘This American Life,’ have tried to crack our secret formula,” company spokeswoman Kerry Tressler said. “Try as they might, they’ve been unsuccessful.” Coke’s archive director Philip Mooney told “This American Life” that the recipe may well have been a “precursor” to the prized formula, but probably wasn’t the version that “went to market.”

    So what’s the secret to making Coke? Well, here’s what was written in the notebook:

    The recipe:

    Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
    Citric acid: 3 oz
    Caffeine: 1 oz
    Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity)
    Water: 2.5 gal
    Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart
    Vanilla: 1 oz
    Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color

    The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):
    Alcohol: 8 oz
    Orange oil: 20 drops
    Lemon oil: 30 drops
    Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
    Coriander: 5 drops
    Neroli: 10 drops
    Cinnamon: 10 drops

    Pemberton had reportedly hit upon the formula for Coke in an attempt to overcome the addiction to morphine he contracted after the Civil War, so it’s perhaps not surprising that, in addition to alcohol, the drink originally contained Coca leaves laced with cocaine. After Atlanta passed a local prohibition ordinance in the 1890s, the company took the booze out of the formula, and the company has used cocaine-free coca leaves since 1904.

    When the beverage debuted in Atlanta-area pharmacies owned by friends of Pemberton, marketers pronounced it “a shot in the arm”– while Pemberton himself hailed it as a cure for cure pain, impotence and headaches. In our more enlightened age, of course, we know that Coke “adds life”–together with a dollop or two of neroli and nutmeg oil.

    CORRECTION: This post originally called “This American Life” “NPR’s ‘This American Life’.” However, while the show does air on NPR, it is produced by Chicago Public Radio and distributed by Public Radio International.

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