English: Chemical structure of azodicarbonamide (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NEW YORK — Subway says an ingredient dubbed the “yoga mat chemical” will be entirely phased out of its bread by next week.
The disclosure comes as Subway has suffered from an onslaught of bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient.
The ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner. It can be found in a wide variety of products, including those served at McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks and breads sold in supermarkets. But its long, unfamiliar name has an unappetizing ring, and the petition became a flashpoint in part by noting that the chemical is also used to make yoga mats.
Restaurant discounts and special offers have returned after a recent sales cool-down at some of the nation’s hottest chains, a trend that threatens to squeeze industry profits at a time when food costs are set to rise.
U.S. consumers ate fewer Big Macs at McDonald’s Corp., skipped some caffeine runs to Starbucks Corp. and passed on the occasional burrito at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. — sending a shiver through the investment community that has grown used to those chains posting strong growth in the face of the nation’s lackluster economic recovery.
McDonald’s on Wednesday vowed to focus more on value after reporting flat sales at established restaurants around the world in July — its worst showing in more than nine years.
Starbucks and Chipotle’s industry-leading same-restaurant sales growth decelerated last quarter, forcing both chains to make adjustments to reinforce their positions.
The $3.5 million project is a joint venture of McDonald’s Corp. and the private investment of Robert Hughes, owner of the Sinking Spring McDonald’s for the past nine years and owner of three others in the area.
Hughes has included a pocket park in his plans. The park will have benches and outdoor seating for McDonald’s customers, but anyone will be able to use the park, Hughes said.