Is McDonald's a food company or a toy company? Some investors think McDonald's has become too dependent on the popularity of goodies in kids' Happy Meals. "It's become more of a toy-promotion company than a fast-food company," one Wall Street portfolio manager told the Bloomberg News Service. And big McDonald's promotions in the past year tied to Hasbro's Monopoly board game and Walt Disney's "Dinosaurs" movie didn't boost sales as much as expected. This year's Teenie Beanie Babies promotion also reportedly was less successful than last year's.
Brand new kind of beef
The Oregon Cattlemen's Assn. is putting together a plan to market a branded product as in brand name, not branding irons called Oregon Trail Beef. Starting around the first of the year, the group hopes those of us who might choose the Calvin Klein label over less expensive jeans will do the same when we lean over the beef case at the local supermarket. The idea is to create appealing designer beef labels that also will beef up the wallets of the ranchers wearing the Wrangler jeans.